VANCOUVER—The noise was ear-splitting, like the whirring of some industrial machinery that was overheating and about to explode.
Henrik Sedin had just earned his 1,000th career NHL point—on a beautiful, seemingly effortless goal in the second period of the Vancouver Canucks’ clash with the Florida Panthers—and the crowd at Rogers Arena was going nuts.
That he reached the milestone at home, as he’d hoped, was “special,” he said afterwards.
“When I saw my teammates come out I lost it a little bit,” Sedin explained, grinning. He noted that for everything that was special about the moment, the giant group hug that took place on the ice following the goal was the best part. “I’ll remember that for a long time,” he said.
Even goaltender Ryan Miller skated down the ice to join in the celebration, though he admitted afterwards that he’d asked referee Brian Pochmara for permission to leave the goal first.
“Just wanted to make sure,” he said, laughing. “I thought we all—it just looked like everybody just kind of jumped and I didn’t want to get caught on the wrong side of the ref. Obviously it’s a special moment and everyone realizes how great of an achievement that is.”
“It was awesome to see that play,” Miller said. “Eagle to Danny to Hank—on Lou. You couldn’t probably script it much better.”
Alex Burrows, who spent his fair share of time on the Sedins’ line in its heyday, called it “well deserved,” and said he was happy for the fans to get a chance to witness the moment in person.
As a bonus, Sedin’s team took the victory. The Canucks had gone down 1–0 early in the second after Jaromir Jagr scored his ninth power-play goal of the season. Sedin’s goal—assisted by brother Daniel and Alex Edler—tied the game, and Luca Sbisa notched his second goal of the season early in the third, the eventual winner.
Grabbing point No. 1,000 against the Panthers was in some sense fitting: Sedin had earned his first ever NHL point versus the team, on an assist in his second career game on Oct. 6, 2000. He also reached the 1,000-point milestone—the first Canuck in franchise history to do so, and the 85th in NHL history—by getting past his former teammate Roberto Luongo.
“Henrik is very deserving of this, just hopefully not tonight,” Luongo had joked ahead of the game.
While Luongo had hoped not to be at the business end of Sedin’s landmark goal, the 37-year-old—who is chasing his 450th regular-season NHL win—provided a nice kicker to his old teammate’s celebration. Once the Canucks’ group hug had finished, Luongo skated up to his one-time captain and gave him a congratulatory fist-bump, which Sedin reciprocated, smiling, before giving Luongo’s face-mask an affectionate tap.
Sedin, who now has 233 career goals and 767 assists and leads the Canucks in all-time points, has extended his point streak to four games. As he’d pointed out this week, his brother Daniel has spent much of this, their 16th NHL season, joking about just what a long time coming the occasion has been. Whenever Henrik had earned another point, his points total would flash on the big screen.
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So it was only natural that Daniel played a key role in Henrik’s moment—earning the primary assist on the goal and increasing his own points total to 968.
“I think he’s happy that it’s over now, and he can move on,” Daniel said of his brother’s historic night. “And we got the two points, too, which is huge.”