Sedin Twins on the decline in Vancouver

Since their Stanley Cup run in the 2010-11 season, at age 30, the Sedins’ raw points numbers have been in decline. Since that season, Henrik’s numbers have dropped to around high second-line average and Daniel’s to a low first line calibre, compared to the point-per-game levels that were seen earlier in their careers. This is especially true of Henrik, who hasn’t been able to break the 55 point threshold for the past two seasons.

However, this does not mean they can’t contribute to the team. They have effectively been doing so since the mid-2000’s, but their production has noticeably decreased, as can perhaps be expected with age.

Additionally, their power play numbers have also taken a hit. Henrik only tallied 15 points on the power play (compared to his career average of 22.5) and Daniel recorded 14 points on the man advantage compared to his career average of 22. To compare, last year’s leader in power play points was Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals with 35 points, and both Sedins have put up a larger or equal total than 35 at one point in their careers.

Corsi for percentage is a statistic which takes into account shots (both on goal and missed, as well as blocked shots) for the team in question both for and against when a specific player is on the ice. Therefore, this can be a solid indicator of puck control, chance creation, and team performance when the player in question is on the ice.

The brothers’ Corsi numbers suggest they have still been able to drive play and create chances for their line-mates. Daniel ranks in at a Corsi for percentage at even strength of 59 percent and Henrik at 59.9 percent, third and second on the Canucks respectively.

However, the player in first, Alex Biega, has only appeared in one game, so it is safe to say that the Sedins lead the Canucks in even strength Corsi percentage. To put these numbers into perspective, last year’s Corsi percentage leader in the NHL was Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, with 61.8 percent, and Bergeron has always been considered to be an excellent driver of play.

Though it has only been eight games into the Canucks season, the Sedin brothers look to be headed in a positive direction, except they have struggled offensively despite this. The two have some of the worst shooting percentages on the team (Daniel with a 7 percent and Henrik with 6.5 percent) and thus their PDO (shooting percentage plus save percentage) is also low.

Reports and analysis of the brothers’ play this season and last have criticized them for a lack of speed and strength, inferring that they are not able to get to the puck as they could in the past and have taken shots mostly from the outside as a result. This is most likely due to the natural aging curve taking its toll on their play, as they are now both aged 37 and far past their prime.

As a result, perhaps a trade involving the Sedins is unlikely. Though there was a campaign from fans of the Canucks last year to trade the brothers. Further counter to trade possibilities is the fact both Daniel and Henrik have stated that they would not accept a trade unless they were both part of it. Additionally, both Sedins carry a cap hit of $7,000,000, and unless the Canucks would be willing to take on some of their salary, most teams in the NHL would be either unwilling or unable to take on $14,000,000 in cap space for two aging, underachieving forwards.

The Canucks’ best bet would be to hope the Sedins can still provide some semblance of value, and hopefully act as tutors for their young talent.

 

Image courtesy of Matt Boulton

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