NHL Recap: A Sedin Sendoff; Hedman For the NorrisApril 10, 2018
As the Stanley Cup Playoffs get going this week, we thought it was an opportune time to take a quick look back at hockey’s regular season and some of the Swedes who stood out.
A Sedin Sendoff
Swedish twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin announced their retirement the last week of the season and went out with a bang in their final home game for Vancouver later in the week. Daniel scored two goals, including the game-winning goal in overtime, on an assist from Henrik that sent Canucks fans into delirium and rekindled all kinds of emotions of the Sedin brothers’ 18 seasons in Vancouver. As USA Today pointed out, the first goal, also assisted by Henrik, was Daniel’s 22nd of the year, matching his jersey number, and came at the 33-second mark of the second period (33 is Henrik’s number). The overtime goal, Daniel’s second of the game, came at the 2:33 mark in overtime.
Tight Race for Best Defenseman
Before the season, a panel of NHL Network experts ranked Victor Hedman the fourth-best defenseman in the league (fellow Swede Erik Karlsson was ranked first). Hedman, in his ninth year for the Tampa Bay, helped lead the Lightning to the best record in the Eastern Conference and, according to ESPN, is the favorite to take home the Norris Trophy for the league’s best defenseman. Hedman, who was a finalist for the award for the first time and finished third in 2017, is expected to be challenged by Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty. John Klingberg, in his fourth season with Dallas, had a brilliant season with career-highs in assists (59) and points (67).
Vegas’ Karlsson for Lady Byng?
ESPN also tabbed Las Vegas’ William Karlsson as the leading candidate for the Lady Byng, which goes to the most gentlemanly player. Karlsson had a breakout season, scoring 43 goals (third in the league) and assisting on 35 more as the expansion Golden Knights took home a division title in their inaugural season.
Caps’ Bäckström Gets Noticed for Being Underrated
A couple weeks after the Washington Post featured the “underrated” Nicklas Bäckström , the Swede was named the most underrated player in the league in a poll released by the NHL Players Association. In the same poll, Swedish legend Peter Forsberg was the favorite player of current players as they were growing up.