After nearly bursting the net with a pair of pucks perfectly teed up for him by Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks defenceman Sami Salo humbly asserted Sunday it doesn't matter who plays the point on the power play as long as Sedin is on the ice to feather passes. Like all the great passers in any sport, Sedin will make sure the puck is where it needs to be when it needs to be there. Mostly it needed to be on Salo's stick. But at 5:43 of the third period of Game 4 against the San Jose Sharks, the puck needed to be pulled wide on to Sedin's backhand, then slipped brilliantly back between the pads of goalie Antti Niemi until it bumped into the stick of linemate Alex Burrows' and crossed the goal-line. It was a little tap-in for Burrows and a giant exclamation point on Henrik Sedin's virtuoso performance. The centre set a team playoff record with four assists in the Canucks' 4-2 win against the Sharks, which leaves Vancouver one win shy of its first Stanley Cup final appearance since 1994. Sedin, blistered by some critics earlier in the National Hockey League playoffs, now leads the Stanley Cup tournament in scoring with 19 points. The critics fell as silent Sunday as the conspiracy absurdists, as the Canucks used three straight 5-on-3 power plays to take a 3-1 lead in games in the Western Conference final. "I didn't even see it; it just hit my stick and it went in," Burrows said of Sedin's amazing pass that made it 4-1 early in the third period. "Every time I have a chance to go on a 2-on-1 with him, I just try to keep my stick on the ice and hope that it comes and make sure I'm ready." Burrows has scored on about 80 passes from Sedin the last three years, but he had never seen one like the feed between Niemi's wickets.
Henrik's Sedinery a marvel for Alex Burrows
Vancouver Sun | May 23