Will 'Luuuuu' stop Henrik Sedin's quest for 1,000 points?
Vancouver captain can reach milestone with 1 point against former Canuck Roberto Luongo on Friday
Troy Stecher watched most of Henrik Sedin's points in the NHL from afar.
Growing up a fan of the Vancouver Canucks, he would marvel as the talented Swede and his twin brother Daniel dazzled with the puck night after night.
Now a rookie defenceman with the club, Stecher should have a front-row seat when Henrik Sedin adds to his impressive haul of accomplishments.
Vancouver's captain sits one point shy of 1,000 for his career and has a chance to become just the 85th player in league history to reach the mark on Friday when the Canucks host the Florida Panthers.
"It's pretty cool to be a fan on the outside and then come inside the room and be a part of it and be his teammate," said Stecher, a 22-year-old from nearby Richmond, B.C. "It's a pretty special experience."
Sedin downplays milestone
The 36-year-old Sedin has 232 goals and 767 assists in 1,212 career games, and while he has somewhat downplayed the 1,000 points, he's most proud of the fact he's accumulated his numbers with one franchise.
"I've said it before when I hit these milestones that it means a lot that its happened here, every single one," said Sedin, in his 16th NHL season. "That's the most special part."
Sedin will have a chance to reach 1,000 points against friend and former teammate Roberto Luongo, who played in Vancouver from 2006 to 2014.
"At the end of the day we're looking for the win," said Luongo. "If he gets his 1,000th then more power to him, but we'll take the two points and give him the one."
His brother Daniel currently sits at 967 career NHL points and barring injury the brothers will become the first siblings to score 1,000 career NHL points.
Alexandre Burrows spent a lot of time playing with the Sedins on Vancouver's top line during the club's heyday and said it would be fitting if the milestone point came on one of the mesmerizing sequences the twins made famous.
"Power play, half clapper to Danny, high tip, the Sedin play. Beats Lu," said the veteran winger. "Winning goal, too. That would be nice."
"It would be pretty perfect."
Selected third overall at the 1999 draft — one spot behind his brother — Henrik Sedin recorded his first point on Oct. 6, 2000, with an assist in a 4-3 overtime victory against Florida.
The Sedins would eventually assume the role of offensive leaders in Vancouver, with Henrik winning the Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer in 2009-10 with 112 points to go along with the Hart Trophy as league MVP. Daniel followed that up by also winning the scoring title the following year.
Henrik Sedin overtook Markus Naslund for the franchise lead in points nearly four years ago, but the twins' production has, not surprisingly, tailed off in the twilight of their careers.
Henrik, who has 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) this season, is on pace for 52 in 2016-17, which would be his lowest total since registering 42 in 2003-04 when he was still finding his way in the league.
Vancouver's pop-gun power play, which currently sits 29th overall at just 13.3 per cent, hasn't helped the Sedin's cause.
The Canucks are also committed to a defence-first scheme to keep afloat in the playoff race, a style that looks nothing like the club's run-and-gun glory days that included coming within a game of winning the 2011 Stanley Cup.
Flying under the radar
If Sedin doesn't get to 1,000 against Luongo and the Panthers, he will likely reach the milestone on the road with Vancouver set to begin a three-game swing through Chicago, Colorado and Arizona on Sunday. All told, nine of the club's next 11 games after Friday are away from home.
"He's been such a big part of this team for a long time," said Burrows. "It would be great for him to get the recognition from the fans."
Sedin's slow march to 1,000 points hasn't garnered the same attention as Alex Ovechkin, who got there last week, or Sidney Crosby, who should reach the mark soon.
"For me this is big enough. We play on the West Coast," said Sedin. "We're not going to get the same coverage as other teams, which we're fine with."