The elephant in the room: Daniel Sedin's scoring woes

Dimitri Filipovic
January 29 2014 10:16AM


Umm.. [Image via Puck Daddy]

January has truly been the month from hell for the Vancouver Canucks. They've gone 4-7-2, but somehow it feels like it's almost been worse than that. There have been some losses that I'd characterize as both embarrassing and largely forgettable. After the way last season had concluded - and the way the summer went, with the lowered cap essentially handcuffing Mike Gillis from making any sort of big moves - we knew that this team was a far cry from the (Presidents' Trophy!) champion of years past. 

But things have been so, so, so much worse with all of the injuries the team has been racking up. A squad that was already dealing with depth issues has really been decimated for weeks now, most recently having to play without 2 of its top 3 centers. So its not exactly surprising that they've had difficulties scoring, with the Brad Richardsons of the world being thrust into roles their individual skillsets don't allow them to succeed in.

Something that needs to be discussed, despite how unpleasant it may be: the fact that Daniel Sedin probably can't hit the broad sign of a barn at this point. During a stretch where his team has scored 25 goals total in 13 games (dropping them all the way down to 22nd in the league on the season), the most prolific scorer in the franchise's history has failed to score once. That's a problem, and has been for a while now. Jim Jamieson broke the ice this morning, and we'll take the baton from him.

The Puzzling Problem

We've spilled a lot of digital ink on this platform with regards to the conundrum that is Daniel Sedin's slipping offensive production. The issue is that it's really tough to just chalk up his struggles to a typical age-related decline from an athlete; while his counting stats and scoring efficiency have continued to slip (dramatically) over the past couple of seasons, his underlying possession numbers have not.

In fact, if anything, they've been better over the past year and a half than they were at any point prior. While the OZ star % is still quite high (though not as high as in previous seasons), the Sedins have been crushing it from a shot attempt differential perspective despite consistently facing the opposition's best. So they're not exactly getting all that much "worse", per se, but moreso just different.

There's hardly anything wrong with that in a vacuum. The issue arises when you take consider a) the contracts that they just signed, b) what we've come to expect from them based on the past, and c) the way the Canucks have been built with b) surely being taken into account.

Here are a few worrisome facts:

  • 99 players have scored more goals this season than Daniel Sedin, including Steven Stamkos, who hasn't played in an NHL game since November 11th.
  • Another player ahead of him on that list is Chris Higgins. Higgins is a fine player in his own right, and is a guy that I've been trumpeting for years, but..
  • Daniel has been on the ice for exactly 100 more faceoffs in the OZ than him, and has logged 117 more minutes on the power play this season. That's not good.

As we're ones to do on this platform, let's look at a couple of charts, because why not..

This isn't exactly groundbreaking stuff. His shot rate/60 minutes has also gone down this season by nearly a shot/60, but he has made up for it by eating up more ice-time, meaning that the volume itself is actually still there. The low goal total is basically entirely percentage-driven. The problem is that we're now gathering enough of a sample size to take this trend seriously, and wonder what gives.

A while back there was a study done on shooting percentage as a player ages. While it definitely drops as a player gets into his early 30s, there's nothing in there that would suggest that Daniel's decline in this regard is par for the course. His peak in '09-'10 (13.19%) was probably fool's gold, but even if he was hovering around the 11% mark that he did in the two seasons sandwiching that one we'd be painting this picture with an entirely different brush. I'm not sure we can chalk this up to the aging process, at least not entirely.

Injury?

When a player of his stature experiences the sorts of struggles that he has, you immediately begin to wonder whether he's attempting to play through a nagging injury that's ultimately hampering his play.

I have it on pretty good authority that this is *not* the case with Daniel. He hasn't been getting any sort of treatment from the team's doctors, and by all accounts he's as healthy as you can expect a hockey player to be during the grind of an NHL season.

The elephant in the room here is obviously the Duncan Keith elbow that prematurely ended his '11-'12 regular season. It's impossible to know - without actually pulling his brain out of his head and having doctors analyze it closely - but I suspect that it's definitely a factor here.

It'd be crazy not to given the information that we do have in front of us. Solely from the eye-test, he looks both tentative and lost out there, which has been a jarring experience to behold.

I unfortunately don't have a definitive explanation for all of this. I'm not willing to place everything solely on that one event, because as you can tell, the scoring rate was already dropping (regressing, from that high sh% in '10-'11) prior to it. It does seem however that it has sped the process up exponentially.

Daniel Sedin used to be money in the bank for 30+ goals in a season. That (and in part his longevity) are what will have allowed him to become the franchise's leader in goals scored sooner rather than later. So you have to at least raise an eyebrow when a player of his pedigree drops from that to a guy that will be lucky to reach 20 goals on the season.

Since March 21st, 2012 Daniel has lit the lamp a measly 25 times in 107 games. As a frame of reference, David Booth has scored 22 goals in 106 games as a Canuck, and consistently gets skewered for it. With Daniel, though, he has built up the track record and trust level with the fanbase that has allowed him to somewhat skate by, because I think people expect his fortunes to turn around. I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

Unless something that I'm not seeing fixes itself over night, we're in for a long (loooooonnnnnng) four seasons. Not many teams can get away with paying a checking depth winger $7 million/season. Speaking of, who's up for unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2018?

*cough cough*

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Dimitri Filipovic writes about hockey on the internet, and is the Managing Editor of Canucks Army. You can follow him on Twitter @DimFilipovic, and email him at dimitri.filipovic@gmail.com.
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#1 Rahim
January 29 2014, 10:34AM
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I haven't looked at the numbers on this, but it seems like, anecdotally, the shooting percentage for the entire team has gone down since '10-'11 or so. Do the numbers reflect this?

Maybe there's a shot quality issue going on here (I.e., the shots we get on net today are much easier to save then what we were putting on net a few years ago)? As we've seen multiple times this season, there have been many games where we've had good 'underlying stats' but have still struggled to break the 2-goal barrier. Is there a stat that considers quality of shot? I think it would be interesting to compare today's Canucks on that dimension versus 2010-11/2011-12.

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#2 Rahim
January 29 2014, 10:34AM
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I haven't looked at the numbers on this, but it seems like, anecdotally, the shooting percentage for the entire team has gone down since '10-'11 or so. Do the numbers reflect this?

Maybe there's a shot quality issue going on here (I.e., the shots we get on net today are much easier to save then what we were putting on net a few years ago)? As we've seen multiple times this season, there have been many games where we've had good 'underlying stats' but have still struggled to break the 2-goal barrier. Is there a stat that considers quality of shot? I think it would be interesting to compare today's Canucks on that dimension versus 2010-11/2011-12.

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#3 Ted
January 29 2014, 10:59AM
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I think it might be time to make Daniel a healthy scratch for a bit. I know he tries but this is a results based league. It may also shake him out of it.

Personally, I think he is in a decline and won't turn into a big goal scorer again unless he gets a significant upgrade to the roster (a winger on the Sedin line that is a big talent).

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#4 NM00
January 29 2014, 11:00AM
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"the lowered cap essentially handcuffing Mike Gillis from making any sort of big moves."

Gillis dedicated $12 million to Edler, Burrows & Higgins after he knew the EXACT cap number for 2013-2014.

I'm not sure how much more information one can expect the NHL to provide a GM to manage his cap properly.

And the cap wizards have done it again by ignorning the fact that they controlled the Sedins rights through June 2014.

Once again, this management team has jumped the market.

The Sedins should not be making more than Thornton/Marleau.

Espescially Daniel who is now the most overpaid Canuck on the roster and should be a serious buyout candidate as a result...

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#5 Mantastic
January 29 2014, 11:28AM
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@NM00

problem you can't compliance buyout players that have signed contracts after the lockout, so you can't buyout Sedin with taking a cap hit of 66%.

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#6 Unknown Comic
January 29 2014, 11:56AM
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I think it was Drance who did a piece last season that outlined the Sedins were having their finest defensive season ever last season and their 5v5 goal differential was better than 2010/2011?

Daniel is 6th in the league for wingers in 5v5 goals differential. I know there's alot that goes into that, but the value of a player should be not how many goals they score, but how many more goals they score than give up.

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#7 Mantastic
January 29 2014, 12:01PM
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@Unknown Comic

so +/-... yeah, stat guys love +/- stats!

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#8 JDM
January 29 2014, 01:05PM
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"Speaking of, who's up for unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2018?"

OMG IT'S JOHN TAVARES JOHN TAVARES JOHN TAVARES THE CANUCKS ARE GONNA SIGN JT OMG!

Just have to wait another four years and hello promised land! It's a done deal, plan the parade!

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#9 NM00
January 29 2014, 01:14PM
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@Mantastic

Interesting.

Espescially since buyout candidate #2 (Alex Burrows) also signed his contract after lockout...

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#10 PB
January 29 2014, 01:47PM
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@NM00

Is it two buyouts a year 2013 and 2014 or two over the two years? I thought it was the latter, in which case we'd only have one left. The NHL.com site shows a buyout tracker that seems to be only two slots total. If so we've already used up on on Ballard and we'd be fools not to use it on Booth since the coaching staff won't actually play him.

Buying out Sedin or Burrows only makes sense if we have others that we are trying to acquire. Who exactly are these free agents again?

P

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#11 Ted
January 29 2014, 02:08PM
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NM00 wrote:

Interesting.

Espescially since buyout candidate #2 (Alex Burrows) also signed his contract after lockout...

NadMuncher00, your stupidity knows no bounds. It is amazing!

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#12 Aaron
January 29 2014, 02:32PM
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Anecdote. I haven't looked at the numbers very closely but it looks like Naslund's shooting percentage dropped from about 15 pre Moore concussion, to 11 post concussion. Seems a little steep for an aging curve as well. Would be Interesting to see this looked at on a larger scale. Crosby's shooting percentage at 5-on-5 has dropped from 15.9 (2007-2011) to 13.4 (post concussion). since he's still in prime goal scoring years aging decline isn't a factor. Could be polluted by small sample size though as he has only registered 246 shots since missing time due to his big concussion.

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#13 Matt
January 29 2014, 03:02PM
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Ted wrote:

I think it might be time to make Daniel a healthy scratch for a bit. I know he tries but this is a results based league. It may also shake him out of it.

Personally, I think he is in a decline and won't turn into a big goal scorer again unless he gets a significant upgrade to the roster (a winger on the Sedin line that is a big talent).

I agree with the second thing you said, but the first thing you said is just crazy.

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#14 Jamie E
January 29 2014, 03:34PM
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NM00 wrote:

"the lowered cap essentially handcuffing Mike Gillis from making any sort of big moves."

Gillis dedicated $12 million to Edler, Burrows & Higgins after he knew the EXACT cap number for 2013-2014.

I'm not sure how much more information one can expect the NHL to provide a GM to manage his cap properly.

And the cap wizards have done it again by ignorning the fact that they controlled the Sedins rights through June 2014.

Once again, this management team has jumped the market.

The Sedins should not be making more than Thornton/Marleau.

Espescially Daniel who is now the most overpaid Canuck on the roster and should be a serious buyout candidate as a result...

Ah! Your newest talking point.

The Canucks have jumped the market! The Sedins should not be making more than Thornton & Marleau!

Daniel & Henrik Sedin will be making $7 million a season next year at 34 years of age. They signed four year extensions.

Thornton and Marleau will be making $6.75 and $6.66 million respectively next year at 36 years of age. They signed four year extensions.

There is so little difference here in term/dollars/age here that using one set of contracts to bash the other is totally ridiculous. They are basically the same damn thing.

You might as well argue this: "Any player who make as much money or more than another other player on any other team that happens to be higher in the standings, is overpaid."

Good for you. What a useful argument.

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#15 NM00
January 29 2014, 03:42PM
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@PB

Sigh.

The buyout Daniel stuff is (mostly) in jest.

Because it's not actually going to happen.

But it's another example of this management team foolishly jumping the market and all but ensuring mediocrity (or worse) in 2014-2015.

Did you really need the dots connected for you?

You've been warned about the foolishness of this direction for months...

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#16 Ted
January 29 2014, 03:46PM
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Matt wrote:

I agree with the second thing you said, but the first thing you said is just crazy.

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on point 1. I am quite certain Daniel is trying as hard as he can. My rationale for making him a healthy scratch? Well, for starters, he isn't getting the job done...at all. He has been given a ton of opportunities and still no results. Next. Scratching him may light more of a fire under him.

Daniel has heart but that isn't enough right now.

Torts talks about young players earning better spots. I think he needs to demote veterans who aren't making good on their opportunities. I know he's been doing some of that but it might be time for the 'healthy scratch' route.

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#17 NM00
January 29 2014, 03:47PM
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@Jamie E

Thornton & Marleau are 35 next season and each signed 3 year extensions.

They also happen to play on a contender whereas the Canucks are a perfectly mediocre group that should strongly consider changing up its core.

But thanks for playing...

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#18 GeezMoney
January 29 2014, 04:38PM
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There is no guarantee that Daniel Sedin can't improve upon his figures. I think we have seen his peak however, but I do believe some of this is puck luck.

The reason I don't think Daniel and Booth are comparable is Daniel is still a good if not great passer. He has always had the ability to set up his linemates, a talent that is often overlooked because his brother is equally as good and plays centre (thus more assist opportunities).

David Booth handles the puck like he's trying to move an anvil. I have always said that Booth is a quality third line grinder, but at $4.5 million he is vastly overpaid.

Track record also matters a lot. It's not so much that people expect Daniel to rebound to his 2010-11 model. We just have a harder time slamming him after he's given us such great years. And he is still capable of putting up 65-70 points in a season. In this crummy version of the NHL (Bigger is Slower)that still counts for something.

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#19 Lemming
January 29 2014, 04:38PM
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I won't lie, it's annoying to have an article talking mostly about Daniel Sedin as a player devolve into an argument about cap hits, Marleau, and Thornton.

I get that you, NM00, have a bunch of greivances and I also agree with a lot of them, but is it ever possible to talk about something else?

Canucks Army could write an article about Cheezies, and you'd probably say something like "They're cheesy like Mike Gillis' drafting record. The team hasn't fielded a draft pick on the team since Raymond blah, blah, blah."

Is it possible to talk about Daniel as a player without invoking how screwed we all are?

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#20 Unknown Comic
January 29 2014, 04:54PM
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Mantastic wrote:

so +/-... yeah, stat guys love +/- stats!

Tell me where Vikings come from again....

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#21 GeezMoney
January 29 2014, 04:55PM
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@Aaron

Concussion could be a factor, but there is simply no way to verify that. What we can do is look at first line forwards, albeit selectively and subjectively, and see that production usually drops off by age 33.

For instance, the last time Gretzky broke the 100-point barrier was his age 32 season. A combination of a wonky back and some meh teams perhaps helped knock down his production, but age 32 is the last time he was truly "The Great One."

Markus Naslund's last big season was at aged 32, when he registered 79 points. Again, an injury may have played a role but it's plain to see his production dwindled.

Todd Bertuzzi's production was dropping quickly by his age 30 season, but he still managed 70 points that year. He never again even reached that lofty standard.

Lanny McDonald's last productive season was his aged 32 year as well. He put up 71 points that year and never came close again.

This is of course a very shallow and subjective list of players. You can't read too much in to it. But there does seem to be a trend that once a plater hits 30 his production drops and after his aged 32 season, it's a real cliff jumper.

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#22 GeezMoney
January 29 2014, 04:58PM
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... which is to say, re-signing the Sedins at $7 mill per for the next four years is a dicey proposition; especially if the cap doesn't balloon, and Aquillini decides his play thing isn't as fun as it used to be.

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#23 Mantastic
January 29 2014, 05:11PM
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@Unknown Comic

that's all you have, good for you, keep hanging onto that as long as you can!

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#24 JFR
January 29 2014, 05:15PM
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The best analogy of why Daniel is struggling is basically having a great wide receiver that all of a sudden loses his QB. Hank has played without Daniel, but Daniel hasn't played without hank in over 600 games. It seems to me while watching the new Sedin line that Daniel is trying to be both a playmaker and a scorer. He can't do both, so let's become a dump and chase team that plays good solid turn over free hockey and get some wins. Until this roster is fully healthy the puck possession/ fancy pants stuff must hit the back burner. Dump and chase, shoot the puck go to the net. That's it

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#25 NM00
January 29 2014, 06:49PM
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@Lemming

If narratives like "the lowered cap essentially handcuffing Mike Gillis from making any sort of big moves" were not still being perpetuated, the subject would not have to be addressed.

Daniel's declining production, cap hit at the micro level and how it fits into the team's structure at the macro level are all relevant here.

And the pattern of jumping the market for the second year in a row relates to Dmitri's quote above.

"Is it possible to talk about Daniel as a player without invoking how screwed we all are?"

The two things happen to be related...

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#26 PB
January 29 2014, 07:57PM
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@NM00

Instead of resorting to your usual attacks and self-congratulation about your far-sightedness, how about you actually try and have a conversation about this?

You've gone on about jumping the market -- what does that even mean? Do you really think that a) the Canucks would be a better team next year without the Sedins, that b) they would find better replacements on the open market, and c) that waiting till the end of 2014 would somehow leave the Canucks in a better negotiating position with the Sedins than locking them up in the middle of the campaign?

The Sedins are having a much tougher middle of the season than the start but their skills have not eroded enough that they wouldn't command at leas this much money on the open market. The last time we went that route I believe Ehrhoff left, didn't he? If a complete tool like Clarkson can command the money he does do you really think that we'd get the Sedins at a hometown discount come UFA time next summer?

If you want to suggest that the Canucks should go a different direction than the Sedins then fine, that's another issue. I'm still waiting to hear who we'd replace them with. Even if they are regressing to 2nd line players, that's a hell of a lot better second line than I think we'll get for the most part on the open market.

Listen, I agree that the Canucks are a team in obvious decline, but it's a decline that's in some way perhaps inevitable, not in the least helped by some pretty poor trades by Gillis (or at least talent evaluation not matching coaching preference given the wasted years on Ballard and Booth) and some bad drafting coupled with poor draft position. We have some bad contracts (Booth in particular) but others that to me still aren't out of line with the rest of the league or their peers.

Daniel Sedin is in a slump, no doubt, as I think is Henrik (injuries notwithstanding). But I think it's precipitous to buy them out or bench them--they are part of the problem but not the core of it.

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#27 NM00
January 29 2014, 10:06PM
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@PB

"I agree that the Canucks are a team in obvious decline"

Really? This is new. What exactly has changed in January to make you pull the plug...

Since you (finally) acknowledge that this team is in decline, what exactly is the endgame of giving raises to Daniel, Henrik, Hansen and quite possibly Tanev, Kassian, Santorelli etc (or their replacements) and trying again?

To maintain the mediocre present and mediocre (near) future which you called "negative" (as opposed to "realistic") what, like a month ago?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be suggesting that extending the Sedins is the ONLY path this franchise could have taken.

Whether it's an ultra-aggressive retool or full-on rebuild, there were other paths that could actually, you know, realistically open up a new window...

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#28 JCDavies
January 30 2014, 12:32AM
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@NM00

Speaking of perpetual narratives, repeatedly stating that the contraction of the salary cap affected every team in the same way while ignoring factors such as the development stages of the teams, the arc of time it takes for decisions to come true, and the spending tendencies of the individual teams is tired and lazy.

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#29 Locky
January 30 2014, 03:24AM
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Daniel Sedin has David Booth disease. Great posession numbers, no goals.

Looking closer though; there is a difference. Daniel's on-ice S% is still pretty similar to Henrik's. Although neither is as good as their 08-11 numbers.

So Daniel is still a pretty reasonable playmaker? But he has declined as a shooter? Seems like a fair call.

Visually, I think the Sedin's have pidgeonholed their offence. Almost immediately upon entering the offensive zone they look for the cycle. Very little in the way of shooting off the rush or from the slot. I think this is something that doesn't work without both of them healthy, and a healthy Kesler or Burrows on the wing. It's an all or nothing proposition in terms of health and them being PPG players.

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#30 PB
January 30 2014, 06:27AM
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@NM00

I don't think that extending the Sedins was the only path to take. I'm saying that on balance it seems like there aren't necessarily better alternatives. If you think there are I'd love to see what you suggest would have been better -- i.e. who would you have replaced them with? What are those other paths? Tanking? Trading them (for what/who? high picks? we obviously wouldn't have got that for expiring contracts/upcoming UFAs).

What has made me believe the Canucks are a team in decline? Their actual performance and lack of depth as demonstrated over the course of the season. I know, I know, I don't have your astounding predictive powers, but i like to wait and see what will actually transpire...

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#31 NM00
January 30 2014, 10:47AM
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@JCDavies

"repeatedly stating that the contraction of the salary cap affected every team in the same way"

Sigh.

You really have nothing but straws to grasp at...

I've never once said the salary cap affected every team in the same way.

What I've said is that the salary cap dropped for all 30 teams.

It's not a conspiracy against Vancouver and the NHL, for the first time since the cap was implemented, gave the exact dollar amount of the cap for the upcoming season.

Before this management team chose to dedicate $12 mill to Edler, Burrows & Higgins.

But the strawman is quite adorable...

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#32 Chungus
January 30 2014, 11:35AM
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I hate the comments section. I'm going to ignore it from now on.

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#33 aaron
January 30 2014, 01:36PM
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@GeezMoney

Oh I totally agree age is an issue with those players.

Goal scoring usually does drop off at 26 though. Gretz only cleared 50 once after he was 26, and his shot rate dropped as well.

with Daniel his shot rate has dropped a little bit this year (about a shot per 60 mins) but that is probably do to the increased minutes he is getting per game. He is not aging like a normal player. Usually Sh% falls at 26 (the opposite happened in his case) and shote rate begins to fall. If Daniel's fall off in production was purely aging you would expect his rates to be falling as well as his sh% but that is not the case.

Obviously getting old is a problem which is why it will be interesting to see what happens to crosby's sh % and shooting rates with a larger sample. But a nearly 2 percent drop at 5-on-5, and roughly a 5 per cent drop in all situations, sustained for basically two half seasons from age 24-25 following his concussion doesn't seem like normal aging. That said he is back up to his career average in all situations so far this season so the affects of a concussion may not have a permanent affect on Sh%. Who knows, they may have no affect and these numbers are all a bad mix of aging coincidence and sample size.

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#34 JCDavies
January 31 2014, 09:32AM
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@NM00

You’re hiding behind semantics now. While you didn't use the words “same way” to describe the situation (those were my words, not yours), you have responded to posts commenting on the Canucks’ cap difficulties with, as you've said, “the salary cap dropped for all 30 teams, not just the Canucks”. Where do you think that response leads the conversation? In what way would a contraction of the salary cap have impacted non-cap teams like Ottawa and Edmonton? It would have no impact what so ever. So, why even bring them into the conversation? What's the purpose of emphasizing that the cap was reduced for all 30 teams other than as an attempt to diminish the challenges faced by cap-teams like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Vancouver?

“It's not a conspiracy against Vancouver”

I can’t recall anybody ever writing that it was.

“and the NHL, for the first time since the cap was implemented, gave the exact dollar amount of the cap for the upcoming season.”

... while ignoring factors such as the development stages of the teams, the arc of time it takes for decisions to come true

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#35 NM00
January 31 2014, 12:06PM
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@JCDavies

Hiding behind semantics?

You're making up a position for me, which you readily admit when you state "you didn't use the words “same way” to describe the situation", and then making an argument against a claim I never made.

"... while ignoring factors such as the development stages of the teams, the arc of time it takes for decisions to come true"

Instead of hiding in an abstraction, make a concrete claim with a concrete example.

Specifically "the arc of time it takes for decisions to come true". I'd applaud any attempt you make to use this sentence as part of a cogent argument.

The Hawks, Blues & Bruins are three examples of cap teams that creatively managed to keep themselves at the top of the mountain (Hawks lost Bolland, Blues lost Perron, Bruins lost Horton, Seguin & brought in Iginla, Eriksson) despite the cap cut.

As have Pittsburgh, San Jose, LA.

Middling cap teams like Toronto, Montreal & Philly don't really have the cap cut to blame on their mediocrity, either.

Aside from the fact that two big ticket items had to be exiled (Ballard & Schneider) after spending $12 mill on Edler, Burrows & Higgins), what is so unique about Vancouver relative to other cap teams?

If you want to focus the playing field to cap teams (which is still half the league or more), be my guest.

Just be concrete about why there is something unique about Vancouver relative to other cap teams...

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#36 JCDavies
January 31 2014, 08:36PM
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"You're making up a position for me, which you readily admit when you state "you didn't use the words “same way” to describe the situation", and then making an argument against a claim I never made."

Relax. I already backed off the "same way" statement. What isn't clear is why you compare non-cap teams to a team that is clearly a cap-team. Why include them? I can see only one reason for doing this...

"Middling cap teams like Toronto, Montreal & Philly don't really have the cap cut to blame on their mediocrity, either."

Oh? This is kind if a strange statement. Sure there are other things going on but to suggest that teams operating up against a constraint aren't impacted by that constraint is strange. It is clearly part of the cause.

"Instead of hiding in an abstraction, make a concrete claim with a concrete example."

For someone who is always asking people if they need dots connected for them, this is a curious statement.

Re: development stages of the teams:

Several of the teams you compare the Canucks to have younger cores and are at a different stage in their development. Teams with more RFAs and ELCs would be better equipped to deal with a short-term contraction of the salary cap.

Re: the arc of time it takes for decisions to come true:

This was discussed at the SLOAN conference earlier this year.

http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=bostonnew-england-patriots&id=4740427&wjb=

I was originally referring to the amount of time it takes for a decision to come true once it's made and it wasn't intended to be an argument in itself but rather part of a whole argument, a form of context.

With most NHL contracts running from 3-6 years and prospects often taking longer than that to develop into NHL players, the NHL isn't a league where decisions come true quickly.

Despite what you wrote, the teams were only given the exact dollar amount of the cap a couple of months earlier than usual. In a league like the NHL, most decisions take longer than a handful of months to produce results. If a team was in a poor position to deal with the cap contraction, it would be difficult for them to adjust that quickly.

"why there is something unique about Vancouver relative to other cap teams..."

I didn't say anything like this. What I said was the contraction didn't affect all 30 teams the same.

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