Talking the talk is one thing. Walking the walk, as history has shown time after time, is quite another. Framed in that, I couldn’t help but wince as I read what Darcy Hordichuk of the Edmonton Oilers said to the Vancouver Province today.
Here’s the item, from reporter Jason Botchford:
"EDMONTON — Darcy Hordichuk remains a big supporter of the Vancouver Canucks. He was at Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final sitting in Mikael Samuelsson’s seats. If they had won, he probably would have been with the team for some of the late night shenanigans.
The ties are still there, more than a year since the team moved on. So, you just know he’s been following the ongoing debate about the Canucks toughness, or lack thereof. You just know he’s been itching to get in his two cents on whether the Sedin twins need protection. His position won’t surprise anyone.
"I am big advocate of having a big guy on the fourth line just to protect those guys," Hordichuk said.
"It seems the Canucks are going in a different direction. It’s great for me. It’s great when I get into a game like this because those are the guys you want to try to abuse on the ice. We’ll see how they respond."
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
I get it that Hordichuk is stoked about facing the Canucks. He spent the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons playing for Vancouver and riding shotgun for the Sedin Twins. He’s a tough man who knows his role.
But abuse the Sedins? Easier said than done. While the names Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin fit quite properly in the same sentence as "abuse" and "Oilers," it seems to me it has seldom played out the way Hordichuk is suggesting.
In 60 career games against the Oilers, Daniel Sedin has scored 29 goals and has 56 points. In 63 games, Henrik Sedin has 12-46-58. So, unless Hordichuk has devised a way to lean on the Sedins that other opponents have yet to come up with — teams have been trying to muscle The Twins for over a decade — I’m guessing calling the shot isn’t smart.
I’m also guessing that, despite Hordichuk setting the table for tonight with suggestions he’ll be running around, it’s highly unlikely Daniel or Henrik will come down with the Philly Flu. It’s a good bet they’ll be willing to show up and take their chances.
Likewise, I don’t imagine Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault and The Sedin Boys will object if Tom Renney chooses to hard-match Hordichuk and his line against Daniel and Henrik with the last change.
All that said, the smart money says Hordichuk will have plenty on his plate without focusing on the Sedins — starting with the first time one of the Canucks puts Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on his pants.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.