I am so jealous of LA’s path to the Cup

I am so jealous.

I realized today that the LA Kings could win the Stanley Cup having never faced a Norris-caliber shutdown defense pairing all playoffs. VAN had Hamhuis-Bieksa. STL had Jackman-Polak (Pietrangelo was injured). PHX had Morris-Ekman-Larsson? Could throw Yandle in there, possibly. And now NJ has Salvador-Greene.

In contrast, the Canucks had to go through Keith-Seabrook, Weber-Suter, Boyle-Vlasic and Chara-Seidenberg last year. That’s two Norris trophies, with possibly a third in June. That’s four members of Canada’s 2010 gold medal winning team, a leader of USA’s 2010 silver medal winning team, and the captain of Slovakia’s 2012 WC silver medal winning team.

So I’m a bit reticent with claiming how good the LA Kings are. They’re dominating, yes, but how much of that is who they’ve had to face? Are they simply that much better than all the other teams, or are the other teams making them look good? This is why I’m glad about Mike Gillis’ vision of fielding a good team every year rather than competing to a window of opportunity. You never know when the stars will align and you’ll have to face three perennial Norris nominees or none.

You can call this sour grapes all you want. It’s totally sour grapes.

Man, I am so jealous.

Individual Sedin Points Through 45: Henrik Takes Advantage of Daniel’s Injury

After 30 games, the Sedins were once again showing they do everything alike by being tied in points. Each Sedin had recorded exactly 8 individual Sedin points, with Daniel’s PP advantage from last year gone now that Salo replaced Ehrhoff on PP1 (something I predicted last year, btw).

What I couldn’t predict was injuries. Specifically, Daniel missed Game 31 on December 15 against Carolina. Henrik took full advantage, and scored two points, taking a lead he has yet to relinquish. What’ll happen next? Here are the individual Sedin points from games 31 through 45:

Nov. 29 vs CBJ: Daniel assists (secondary) on Kesler’s EV goal.

Dec. 15 vs CAR: Henrik assists (primary) on Raymond’s EV goal.

Dec. 15 vs CAR: Henrik assists (primary) on Burrows’ EV goal.

Dec. 17 vs TOR: Daniel scores an EV goal.

Dec. 17 vs TOR: Henrik assists (primary) on Burrows’ EV goal.

Dec. 29 vs ANA: Henrik scores an EV goal.

Jan. 7 vs BOS: Daniel assists (secondary) on Kesler’s 5-on-3 PP goal.

Jan. 7 vs BOS: Henrik scores a 5-on-4 PP goal.

Jan. 10 vs TBL: Henrik assists (secondary) on Edler’s EV goal.


Technically, the above wasn’t true. The Sedins were tied in points after the 30th game finished, but the scorekeepers added Daniel’s assist from the Columbus game after the fact. Here’s how it happened:

After some textbook PP Sedinerie, Kesler picks up a new stick and one-times the Burrows feed home. Henrik does the hard work on the boards, drawing two guys to him before dishing it off to Daniel to start the play over to Kesler. It’s an EV goal as the PP just ended, but Daniel’s PP prowess strikes again!


The next two showcase Henrik’s playmaking ability without Daniel in the lineup (Also Henrik’s 700th and 701st career points):

On the first, Henrik sets up in Gretzky’s office before threading it through three Hurricanes for Raymond to tap home. On the second, Henrik waits until Burrows has positioning in front of the goalie for the rebound. No matter how you shake it, Henrik’s a stud and proves that he doesn’t need his brother to put up sweet points like these.


The next two are from the December 17 tilt in Toronto.

Off the rush, Daniel puts home a wonderful backhand saucer pass from Burrows past the goalie as he goes hard to the net.

If the first goal showcased Daniel’s goalscoring ability, this goal definitely showcases Henrik’s playmaking. His patience coming into the zone allowed time and space for Burrows to tee one up past the goalie.

On a side note, how about Alex Burrows? Two great plays off the rush to really show how great of a Sedin linemate he can be.


This next goal really illustrates how much this Sedin rivalry is heating up:

Daniel reaches out to try and take advantage of this rebound but juuust misses, allowing Henrik to do his best Daniel impression and put home the shot from a prime scoring position.


These next two come from that epic Stanlely Cup Final rematch against the Bruins:

Daniel, playing the point on the 5-on-3 PP, gets a secondary assist on Kesler’s goal after Salo’s point shot was blocked.

Back on the 5-on-4 PP, Edler slap-passes it to Henrik in the slot for his goal to put the Canucks up in this one.


Lastly, Henrik gets one by winning the faceoff on this offensive zone draw:


So what have we learned?

Well, not a whole lot. Daniel’s continuing to get points as a goal scorer and by making deft passes to the point on the powerplay. However, Henrik’s stepped up his arsenal by adding points on rebounds in the slot and on slap passes, in addition to his usual repertoire of behind-the-net passes and faceoff wins. In short, looks like Henrik might run away with this after taking the 2-point lead on Daniel’s absence in the Carolina game.

After 45 games, Henrik’s up by three points. Can Daniel catch up? Will Sami Salo’s brief absence after the Boston game help? Find out next time!

Individual Sedin Points through 30: Daniel Takes the Lead

When we last caught up with the Individual Sedin points, Henrik and Daniel were tied, with Henrik continuing to put up points via scramble situations and Daniel making up the difference on the power play. In the next 15 games, Daniel takes the lead, but Henrik keeps clawing back:

Nov. 10 vs LA: Daniel assists (primary) on Salo’s 5-on-3 PP goal.

Nov. 11 vs ANH: Daniel assists (primary) on Hansen’s ES goal (tip).

Nov. 11 vs ANH: Daniel assists (prim) on Hansen’s ES goal (rebound).

Nov. 13 vs NYI: Henrik scores an ES goal (from the point).

Nov. 26 vs SJ: Henrik scores a PP goal (rebound from the circle).

Nov. 29 vs CBJ: Daniel scores an ES goal (rebound off point shot).

Dec. 8 vs MTL: Henrik assists (primary) on Salo’s 5-on-4 PP goal.

Dec. 10 vs OTT: Henrik assists (primary) on Edler’s 5-on-4 PP goal.


The first of this series is a pretty textbook Canucks 5-on-3 goal where Daniel’s point position excludes Henrik from the scoresheet:

Nov. 10, 2011, vs. Los Angeles, 5-on-3 PP: Salo from Daniel and Kesler to make it 1-0

Kesler. Up high to Daniel. Over to Salo. BOOM. Back of the net. Textbook.

And to show he’s not just a PP dynamo, Daniel gets two points the next game at ES:

Nov. 11, 2011, vs. Anahiem, ES: Hansen from Daniel and Salo to make it 4-2:

Daniel  takes a shot from up high after Salo’s shot is blocked and Hansen has a beautiful tip to net Daniel an ES individual Sedin point.

Nov. 11, 2011, vs. Anahiem, ES: Hansen from Daniel and Bieksa to make it 4-3:

Daniel, covering on the left point for Hamhuis, makes this ES goal look like a PP goal as the puck comes around to the point and Hansen’s able to put away Daniel’s point shot.


I thought Daniel would walk away with the Sedin scoring lead with this 3-point lead, given his role on the PP, but, as with all things Sedin, Henrik came back with two that say ‘Anything you can do, I can do better:’

Nov. 13, 2011, vs. NY Islanders, ES: Henrik from Bieksa and Hansen to make it 2-0:

Henrik gets the puck at the point and he, too, feathers one through with a Hansen screen, just like Daniel did the previous two. That said, Henrik gets pretty lucky here as Nabokov whiffs on the floater (although he’s screened too, I guess).

Nov. 26, 2011, vs. San Jose, 5-on-4 PP: Henrik from Bieksa and Hamhuis to make it 2-1:

Henrik gets one on the PP here as Niemi puts out a juicy rebound right to Henrik at the faceoff circle. Henrik just barely gets it through (doubt he makes it if Niemi doesn’t stumble on the push-off to the right), but they all count the same.


And, as if sensing Henrik is clawing back, Daniel outworks a defenseman for a point-shot rebound to put another one away and regain a two-point lead:

Nov. 29, 2011, vs. Columbus, ES: Daniel from Edler and Salo to make it 1-0:


Of course, Henrik responds back with two more points, tying the Individual Sedin point race through 30 games. A few games later, Henrik gets the first by feeding Salo for a point shot on the PP:

Dec. 8, 2011, vs. Montreal, 5-on-4 PP: Salo from Henrik and Kesler to make it 3-3:

This formation is an interesting one, as it’s one of the rarer times Henrik feeds one-timers at the point instead of being down low. This happens because Kesler’s in the corner instead of screening the goalie, so Edler decides to vacate his position at the point to force the defenders back. This opens up the one-timer pass from Salo up high for the goal.

And, finally, Henrik ties it all up by feeding Edler at the point on the powerplay here:

Dec. 10, 2011, vs. Ottawa, 5-on-4 PP: Edler from Henrik and Kesler to make it 1-0:

We’ve seen this play before on the Canucks PP. Kesler wins the faceoff on the right side, Henrik retrieves the puck and then feeds a defenseman for a goal. While rarer than Daniel Sedin’s left side passes up to defensemen (which we’ve seen less of this year without Ehrhoff), it’s definitely a play that Henrik has that helps him to even the Individual Sedin Point race.


And so the Sedins are tied again in points after 30 games as after 15. While Daniel’s favourable position on the powerplay and ability to get more rebound goals have played a role in his individual Sedin points, he’s been matched by Henrik’s own points on the PP. Like I predicted before the season, specifically here, the factors that allowed Daniel to walk away with the Sedin scoring race aren’t there this year and that’s why we’re seeing such a tight race.

Individual Sedin Points: Back and Forth through 15

It’s such a funny thing. Through the first 15 games of the season, the Sedins have gone back and forth with individual points, with no brother gaining more than a 2 point lead. After the first two occurred on October 12 against Philly, here’s the recap of individual Sedin scoring race:

Oct. 20 vs NSH: Daniel assists (primary) on Kesler’s 5-on-3 PP goal.

Oct. 22 vs MIN: Daniel assists (primary) on Salo’s 4-on-3 OT PP goal.

Oct. 25 @ EDM: Henrik assists (primary) on Burrow’s ES goal (off rush)

Oct. 29 vs WSH: Henrik scores an ES goal as a PP expires (rebound).

Nov. 3 @ MIN: Daniel assists (secondary) on Hamhuis’ ES goal.

Nov. 6 @ CHI: Henrik (primary) assists on Hamhuis’ 5-on-4 PP goal.

Since then, Daniel’s notched 3 extra assists (one against LA on Nov. 10 and two against Anaheim on Nov. 11), so it’ll be curious to see if Henrik can respond to catch up in the race.

        



We didn’t see it as much last year since the Canucks only scored one goal 5-on-3 in the regular season, but Daniel’s position playing the left point at 5-on-3 and 4-on-3 situations, where one-timers from D-men increase the likelihood of individual Sedin points, is a constant weapon to increase his point totals. 

Oct. 20, 2011, vs. Nashville, 5-on-3 PP: Kesler from Daniel and Salo to make it 5-1

Oct. 22, 2011, vs. Minnesota, 4-on-3 OT PP: Salo from Daniel and Kesler to win 3-2

 

Daniel thriving in these situations is at first counter-intuitive to me.

From the 5-on-3 goal display against SJ in last year’s playoffs, you’d think that Henrik would have the advantage because he loves to pass it to Salo for the one-timer. But it’s actually Daniel who has the advantage because he has Kesler on the left side to take away that second assist when Salo one-times it. Henrik isn’t going to have any passing plays with Burrows in front of the net there. 

          



In contrast to Daniel’s two on the PP, Henrik gets one off the rush from a great pass to Burrows (Salo pinched to take the other assist) and one off a rebound as the PP expires:

Oct. 25, 2011, @ Edmonton, ES: Burrows from Henrik and Salo to make it 3-2

 

Oct. 29, 2011, vs. Washington, as 5-on-4 PP expires: Henrik from Kesler and Edler to make it 5-4

 

There’s an interesting shift in formation on the PP on the Henrik goal, as Edler goes to the net and the chaos created by both Edler and Kesler allows Henrik to sneak in for the rebound. The play by Edler was, dare I say it, Ehrhoff-esque.

          



Then, as if to showcase their breadth, the Sedins reverse roles. Daniel scores one at ES and Henrik scores one playing the left branch of the Umbrella on the PP.

Nov. 3 2011, @ Minnesota, ES: Hamhuis from Burrows and Daniel to make it 1-0

Nov. 6 2011, @ Chicago, 5-on-4 PP: Hamhuis from Henrik and Edler to make it 5-2

Daniel’s point is a product of Hamhuis pinching in and collecting the garbage with Burrows wreaking havoc in front of the net. Henrik’s comes from his position, rather than any really nice passing play with the D.

I wouldn’t read too much into Henrik’s PP point, since it was the fourth PP goal for the Canucks that night (maybe they were changing things up a bit?) and the puck bounces to Hamhuis in a pretty lucky way. You can tell that he was trying to backhand it down low to Daniel, so I’m not sure how repeatable this PP set-up is for the Canucks (and for Henrik’s chances to get more points like this).

          



Overall, what we’ve learned last year is holding true. Daniel’s points on the PP are controlled, repeated and seem to stem from AV’s PP setup. Henrik’s points on the PP come from scramble situations or unrepeatable bounces. Their ES points come when defensemen pinch in, either off the rush or while the Sedins are playing down low.

So, though I predicted that Kesler’s absence and Salo’s presence on the point would likely cause a decrease in Daniel’s PP dominance, this hasn’t rung true for the first 15 games. First of all, Kesler has come back much quicker than expected and Salo’s been injured for a few games. However, the big equalizer has been that the Canucks have been scoring at a much higher rate 5-on-3 and 4-on-3, where Daniel has a strong position.

If Daniel doesn’t get the first two goals, Henrik has a 4-2 lead in the scoring race, but instead, they’re tied 4-4 after fifteen games. Since the Sedin scoring race has been won by less than 5 points six times over the past ten years, those 2 points are huge. So, with their PP dominating the same way as last year, look for Daniel to continue getting individual points and to firmly take the lead from Henrik.

The First Two Individual Sedin Points of the Year

It’s funny. After all the Sedin Analysis of August/September, I can’t read a box score without noticing individual Sedin points anymore. In tonight’s game against the Flyers, each Sedin had an individual goal to remain tied at 5 points a piece.

Here’s Henrik’s to close the Flyer’s lead to one (assisted by Burrows and Edler):

It’s a broken play, but Henrik and Edler force the turnover with a strong forecheck. You can see that Daniel’s back at the left point covering for Edler. Henrik has outscored Daniel at even strength before, so perhaps this is one way he’ll make up for Daniel’s slight PP advantage.

And here’s Daniel’s to tie the game at 4-4 (assisted by Edler and Samuelsson)

If you watch the commentary by Ray Ferraro after, you’ll see what I meant about the Canucks PP system biasing towards Daniel. Even the Canucks bench knows what the PP is going to do before Edler makes the cross seam pass to Daniel. Daniel’s goal scorer’s mentality allows him to play the down low rover position on the PP more effectively than Henrik.

So the tally remains 1-1 for individual Sedin points. Henrik gets a lucky one off the rush and Daniel gets it back on the powerplay. I’ll monitor this as the season continues.

How the Canucks Have Embraced Social Media

Since Mike Gills took over as GM of the Vancouver Canucks, he’s wasted no opportunity in improving the team. From the employ of sleep doctors to the exploration of salary cap loopholes, not to mention a certain ten million dollar overture to one former Maple Leafs captain, Mike Gillis has explored every avenue to improve the team and make the organization one players want to play for.

So it comes as no surprise that during this time the Canucks have also embraced social media and the opportunities it creates to engage with the fan base. For example, while other teams have resisted the shift in media representation to bloggers, Vancouver has utilized it to build goodwill and blogger engagement.

But it’s not merely with bloggers that the Canucks have chosen to engage with; they’ve been active on a wide range of social media networks in order to engage fans and provide meaningful interactions. They’re on Facebook and Twitter, of course, but also on Blogger, on Foursquare and on Youtube too. It’s worthwhile delving into how they’ve used each medium to spread their message:

Twitter

The Canucks surely have one of the most active, if not the most active, Twitter feeds in the NHL. Run by Derek Jory and Nicole van Zanten, Vancouver’s identified that twitter feeds without personality are boring and disengaging. So rather than having a faceless, passive account, they’ve put their social media duo in the spotlight and it’s allowed fans to identify and interact with them (the Twitter feed regularly replies to fans).

Having full-time staff running their Twitter feed creates many avenues for fan interaction. Derek and Nicole routinely run fan contests using Twitter to take advantage of the mobile nature of the platform. Last year, there was a contest where fans had to navigate to parts of Vancouver for playoff tickets. Before this season, there was a contest to take a picture of Canucks tickets on select skytrain posters. These contests have allowed fans to engage with the brand in a fun way that shows that they really understand the medium.

Of course, discussing the Canucks use of Twitter would be incomplete without mentioning that Mike Gillis was the first general manager to use the service. Though not a regular user, he still found ways to interact with fans. He used it to break a trade and also invited fan questions in a Q&A session. Even if he’s mostly inactive now, that he would take the time shows that Mike Gillis understands the opportunities (or has people who do) social media can provide for engaging fans.

Lastly, beyond marketing and access, Twitter has really taken hold of how fans interact during games with the team and with each other. The Canucks have a separate account (@canucksgame) that provides play-by-play of the games (for fans who can’t watch the game) and hold events for Twitter fans to come together to watch the game (Tweetups). Rather than leave it up to others, Vancouver’s decided to take hold of fan interaction and engage fans on their terms.

Facebook: 

The Official Canucks Facebook page shares similar content to the Twitter account from a marketing perspective, but utilizes Facebook’s strengths in photos for fan interaction. Unique photos of players, both on the ice and behind the scenes, are uploaded and shared amongst Facebook fans. Exclusive desktop wallpapers from the team are also uploaded. Recently, a photo album of a contest showing Canucks fans around the world was shared. 

The feed also asks poll questions, links to Canucks-related Youtube videos and offers special ticket promotions only for fans of the Facebook page. The Canucks on Facebook don’t do anything unique (like having Mike Gillis on Twitter) but understand enough about the medium to utilize it well in many aspects. It’s a mostly passive medium, so the Canucks have used it as a base for their other work, using it to spread things from their official website.

Blogger:

Derek Jory, one of the Canucks bloggers, runs a blog called Fort Nucks where he shares stories of fans and also of what it’s like to work for the Canucks. He frequently talks about his friendship with Jeff Vinnick, the Canucks photographer, and adds another layer of personality to the Canucks social media presence. I count this as an ‘official’ Canucks endeavour since his work has been linked over on the official Canucks website and because he’s been given leeway to present interesting, behind-the-scenes stories. For example, last year he went with the Canucks on their road trip and allowed fans to live vicariously through him.

Youtube:

Vancouver has an official Youtube account (canucksdotcom) where they show many of the same videos as on their official website. They have player interviews, special vignettes, game day reports and highlight packages. This might not seem that unique, but it provides yet another platform for fans to engage and share content created by the team. It ensures that their videos get watched by as many people as possible.

Foursquare:

Yes, the Canucks have even found a way to use Foursquare! Last year, when they opened their new Robson street store location, Foursquare users who checked in at the store got 15% off! It’s small, but it goes a long way to fans that the Canucks have thought about the fan minorities as well.

There may be more platforms, but I went with just the ones that the Klout uses to calculate their influence. If the Canucks were on Klout, I’m sure it would be close to 100.

Overall I think the key to the Canucks use of social media has been that they’ve made a real effort at putting real people in social media roles (e.g. Derek Jory in Fort Nucks) and letting them be creative and show off their personalities. Social media is no fun you’re interacting with a corporate entity.

Morever, rather than that being passive and using these platforms for marketing, they’ve created content for fans to engage with. They’ve gone beyond the standard highlight packages to behind-the-scenes looks into the lives of professional hockey players. There’s a reason why HBO’s 24/7 was so successful last year and it’s because fans are eager to know the players they love as people rather than just as players. The Canucks have understood that what social media really affords fans is the abilities to see what happens off the ice and to engage the team in a more interactive way.

Hockey fans don’t become fans simply to buy tickets and watch games, but to identify with something bigger than themselves. Fans don’t want to just passively consume hockey media; we want to interact, to debate to embrace the team as our own. We want to see if Kevin Bieksa is as funny privately as he is in interviews. We want to engage with other fans who share our Canuck fandom. And, through social media, the Canucks have given that to us.

Which Sedin Will Score More Next Year? (Infographic)

I made some stuff to summarize my thoughts on which Sedin will score more next year.O Brother, Where Art Thou?Powerplay Personnel 1Powerplay Personnel 2Powerplay Personnel 3Preferential Treatment 1Preferential Treatment 2Brotherly Competition

Which Sedin Will Score More Next Year? Part 3: Video Review (4)

Will Samuelsson's presence tilt the points back toward Henrik?

We’ve come to the last post in our series examining every powerplay goal scored in the past two seasons where only one Sedin recorded a point. Once I get through this post and finish categorizing how each Sedin recorded his points, I plan to put it all in fancy infographic form, as this blog format has been pretty dull I think. 

But I’ve always been one to finish what I’ve started, so let’s get on with it! We’ve established that Daniel’s position on the left side combined with both Canucks d-men being left-handed shots allowed him access to individual points via passing for one-timers and through goals off rebounds. In this post, we’ll see a lot more of Samuelsson (a RHS) on the point, so we can observe how that influences the tallies.


22. February 9, 2011 (Daniel from Samuelsson and Kesler):

Samuelsson’s presence on the left point certainly doesn’t hinder Daniel on this goal! The creativity of Samuelsson on the point here is clearly evident as he takes the defender with him to the center and gaves Daniel ample space to put it past the screened goalie. So though Daniel’s ability to use the defense for one-timers is diminished with Samuelsson on the point, perhaps his ability to make plays and score goals like this one is enhanced. It’s one thing Henrik doesn’t do often - shoot when up high in the umbrella formation.

23. February 12, 2011 (Samuelsson from Ehrhoff and Daniel):

This one is tough to give the advantage to Daniel, even though he received the second assist. It looks like the play is mostly created by Ehrhoff and Samuelsson working off of each other well for the one-timer. Yes, Daniel created the screen and so was in position for a tip or a rebound, but I doubt this assist was earned through any systemic facet of the Canucks PP (just through good puck retrieval).

24. February 22, 2011 (Henrik from Samuelsson and Kesler):

By jove, a Henrik rebound! They do exist! Both Sedins are in good positions for rebounds here (though Henrik’s facing the net and Daniel’s not) but this is where I expected having Samuelsson as a RHS on the PP helps Henrik more. If that were Edler instead of Samuelsson, he probably wouldn’t have been able to shoot it as quickly considering they weren’t properly set up. It just gives them more options to have the play develop on the right side (Henrik’s side) if they’ve got versatility on the back end. That said, Henrik’s still got to shoot the puck!

25. February 22, 2011 (Samuelsson from Ehrhoff and Daniel):

Another goal one timer that, due to Samuelsson’s presence, develops from right-to-left. However, unlike what I hypothesized, Daniel’s getting these assists too! While I still think that the increase of these right-to-left plays SHOULD even out the secondary assist competition between Daniel and Henrik, it’s getting harder to assert that without the evidence to support it.

26. March 8, 2011 (Henrik from Kesler and Ehrhoff):

Another Henrik rebound goal. I’m not sure if it’ s because of the law of averages that we’re seeing more of these or it has something to do with how Henrik plays with Samuelsson on the PP, but we’re seeing Henrik increasingly go to the front of the net rather than just stay at the side. Maybe he’s just gearing up for the playoffs in this game?

27. March 12, 2011 (Kesler from Samuelsson and Henrik):

A bit of a weird goal this one, as there’s no Canuck in front of the net to screen the goalie. Again, Samuelsson’s presence on the point allows goals to come from the right side and Henrik is finally the recipient of this fact. We’ve seen Daniel score as the LHS on the left side, so why not Kesler as the RHS on the right side? Unfortunately, I doubt this goal development is something that’ll be repeated often since even the commentators say that Kiprusoff probably should’ve had it (i.e. it was a lucky goal).

28. March 12, 2011 (Daniel from Kesler and Ehrhoff):

A fortuitous bounce for Daniel gives him another rebound goal. I’m beginning to think Thomas Drance was right in guessing that Daniel’s rebounds play a huge role in his increased PP production over Henrik. Especially with Kesler screening in front of the net, the opportunity (i.e. time and space) has been there for him to hunker down on rebounds (or funny bounces) like this one. Furthermore, Henrik isn’t getting as many points as I thought he would off of won faceoffs. It seems that Kesler takes the FOs on the right side (his strong side) and Henrik takes the ones on the left. Since Daniel’s on the left too, Henrik would have to win the puck back cleanly to the point to receive a point sans Daniel.

29. March 31, 2011 (Kesler from Daniel and Salo):

Though this is a 5-on-3 (and the only one they would score all regular season), it has a formation we don’t see too often. Burrows is screening the goalie and Salo and Daniel play the point, with Henrik making passes on the right and Kesler on the left side for one-timers. We saw it more in Game 4 against SJ in the playoffs. I’m not sure whether this formation favours Henrik or Daniel. Henrik makes the passes (he earned one point sans Daniel in that playoff game) but Daniel’s on the point, which allows him to get points off of rebounds and passes (like this goal). I’d call it a wash, with no clear advantage for either of them.


In this set I think we have a better picture of what the Canucks powerplay will look like without Ehrhoff on the point next year (assuming Edler and one of Salo and Samuelsson mans the points on the top unit). Plays will develop more from the right side and Daniel’s left side advantage will be negated. That said, Daniel still outscores Henrik 5 points to 3 here, owing his advantage to taking more point shots and getting better rebounds. What I thought might be a Henrik advantage with faceoffs is negated by the fact that Kesler takes the right-side FOs.

So what have we learned?

Without getting too ahead of myself, I’d say that Daniel’s got a really good shot at outscoring Henrik next year. Last season, Daniel showed that he could outscore Henrik at even strength, so the one area where Henrik could make up for his lack of PP PSB seems to be negated. And the absence of Ehrhoff doesn’t seem like it will slow down Daniel’s powerplay points either. Systemic influences, like Daniel being better at rebounds and shooting from the point seem to tilt the odds in Daniel’s favour.

That said, the margin between the two, points-wise, is miniscule. In their 10 NHL seasons, They’ve only been separated by more than 10 points three times. Six times, they were within 5 points. Five times, within 4 points. So, since their PP and ES PSB totals vary by as little as 6 and as many as 16 points year-to-year, it’s hard to say if whether the systemic effects will outweigh the variance. That is, whether Daniel’s power-play prowess will have enough of an effect to overcome the randomness of hockey.

Who knows? Maybe Henrik gets a whole boatload of assists like this one.

Which Sedin Will Score More Next Year? Part 3: Video Review (3)

Kesler's presence in front of the net has led to more points for Daniel

Continuing this from the first two Video Reviews, today we’re looking at the next eight powerplay goals scored last year where only one Sedin recorded a point. This will be interesting since, near the end of this period (the last three goals), Edler got injured and Samuelsson replaced him on the PP.

From the first two posts, we found that Daniel’s additional points come from his position on the left side. Because LHS Ehrhoff plays the right side and is mostly the shooter, Daniel is able to get many points by passing it up to the point or by coming in for a rebound. 


14. December 22, 2010 (Daniel from Kesler and Ehrhoff):

Another great rebound goal for Daniel. It looks like Henrik got the puck as Daniel and Kesler won the battle in the left corner and moved up to play the right side of the umbrella formation. This leaves Daniel to play the rebound as he gains position on Stuart and puts home Kesler’s pass. We see with this goal that Daniel can put home rebounds from either side; here he’s on the right and Ehrhoff’s shot comes from the left, in contrast with the previous goals we’ve seen.

15. December 28, 2010 (Kesler from Henrik and Ehrhoff):

Ahh the classic skee-ball goal. Henrik, playing the right side of the umbrella (as in #14), takes a weak shot that gets re-directed over the goalie’s shoulder by Kesler in front. From the first part of the video, it seems that the umbrella with Daniel on the left side is their go-to formation and that they only change it up when the situation calls for it. You can also see that on this goal, Daniel’s just standing in the middle of the formation, not even ready for a rebound. He probably didn’t expect Henrik to shoot it!

16. January 3, 2011 (Edler from Ehrhoff and Daniel):

This is an odd goal off the rush that is created all by Ehrhoff jumping into the rush. Daniel plays give and go with Ehrhoff who jumps in deep and makes the cross-ice pass for an Edler one-timer. This is one point that I think Daniel only gets because he’s the winger. Henrik’s defensive responsibilities as a center (even on the PP) likely preclude him from being as up on the rush as Daniel is here.

17. January 14, 2011 (Ehrhoff from Kesler and Daniel):

This is a goal that deviates from the formation we’ve seen before. Kesler’s up high and both Sedins are down low to start. As he gives the puck to Edler for the shot and heads to the net, Henrik backs off and Daniel stays at the net. When the puck gets to Ehrhoff, Kesler, Daniel and Henrik are all about 5-7 feet from Varlamov ready for the rebound. However, it’s Henrik backing away from the front of the net that lets Daniel get the point on Ehrhoff’s goal.

18. January 24, 2011 (Kesler from Edler and Henrik):

Another formation that really shows the versatility of the Canucks PP last season. Henrik, Ehrhoff, Daniel and Edler have all switched sides. Henrik is on the left; Daniel on the right (he shimmies over from the middle). Ehrhoff’s in the middle and Edler’s on the right. This is no matter, however, as Edler and Ehrhoff are both left hand shots so the one-timer from Henrik is perfect for Edler to receive. Again, great vision from Henrik to earn his assist on this goal.

19. February 1, 2011 (Samuelsson from Ehrhoff and Daniel):

I thought changing up Samuelsson for Edler might make a difference in the PP formation, but the same set-up we’ve seen before, with Henrik down low on the right side and Daniel up high on the left continues. It’s a bit of a change with Samuelsson’s RHS allowing him to snipe this goal, but the path (i.e. Daniel starting the passing play) remains the same.

20. February 1, 2011 (Ehrhoff from Daniel and Samuelsson):

Wow, it’s almost as if Daniel saw Henrik’s great pass in goal #18 and said, “I could do that.” Goal #20 is, positioning wise, almost exactly like the #18. Daniel, on the left side, threads the needle through to the right point where Ehrhoff slaps it into the net. It’s not tipped, or a one-timer, but the basic PP formation is the same. It’s also interesting how the RHS Samuelsson ended up in the middle while Ehrhoff, being a LHS, was set up on the right side for one-timers. This means Daniel still reaps the rewards of being the set-up man on the left side.

21. February 4, 2011 (Samuelsson from Henrik and Hamhuis):

Finally, this last goal is important as it shows the impact that moving Samuelsson to the left point can have. Henrik gets the puck on the right side and threads the needle to the opposite point as we’ve seen time and time again for a one-timer that leads go a goal. Now, if Samuelsson’s RHS were on the top PP more often, I really think that we would have seen more of these points originating from the right side.


By my count, in this post we have Daniel has 2 points off of rebounds, 2 points because of us positioning on the left side of the umbrella, and 1 point off a thread-the-needle pass. Henrik has 1 point by being on the right side of the umbrella and 2 points off of thread-the-needle passes to the opposite point for one-timers.

The leads me to one question: is Henrik’s passing ability that much better than Daniel’s that, were Samuelsson permanently on the left point, the points he would get from opposite point one-timers would outweigh the points Daniel gets from rebounds?

My reasoning is that, now that they have Samuelsson’s RHS on the left point for one-timers, they have another weapon to choose from. Since individual Sedin points come mostly from point shots, having someone who can shoot on the left side drastically evens things out for Henrik, who spends most of his time on the right side. The last goal (#21), a mirror image of Daniel’s primary assist in goal #20, demonstrates what a big factor the handedness of the point men plays in determining individual Sedin points. But, since Henrik gets no individual points off of rebounds, can he make up the difference with deft passing to Samuelsson (or Salo) at the point?

Which Sedin Will Score More Next Year? Part 3: Video Review (2)

Daniel gives Henrik the death stare.

Today we’re continuing our look at the power play goals scored last year where only one Sedin recorded a point. In case you forgot, from the overall numbers, the power play was where Daniel majorly outscored Henrik in 2010/2011.

In the first Video Review, we saw that in 2009/10 Daniel recorded his points most often when playing as one of the branches in the umbrella. It also didn’t matter who the shooter was (Salo, Ehrhoff or Samuelsson). Henrik’s points, in contrast, were more lucky, coming off of faceoff wins and luck bounces. Let’s see if this trend continues.


7. October 13, 2010 (Ehrhoff from Edler and Daniel):

I was worried that the trends we saw in 2009/10 wouldn’t carry over to 2010/11, but, lo and behold, on the first goal we see Daniel, playing high on the left side, make a cheeky pass off the boards to Edler (the top of the umbrella) who gets it over to Ehrhoff for the one-timer. Kesler’s marvelous screen and a fortuitous tip off of Cam Fowler do the rest. Henrik, meanwhile, not only manages not to touch the puck, but also falls down to add insult to injury.

8. October 17, 2010 (Kesler from Ehrhoff and Henrik):

This PP has a different look than we’ve seen. The Sedins do the spade work down low and Kesler’s up high in Daniel’s usual position (Ehrhoff’s also the umbrella QB). I wonder if it’s because they’re playing Carolina and they wanted to change it up since they’d probably be using video mostly for their pre-scouting. In any case, Henrik makes this goal. First, he finds the seam up top to Ehrhoff, then gets in front of Cam Ward (and the defenseman) just enough to provide a screen so that Ward’s not set for Kesler’s one-timer.

9. October 20, 2010 (Daniel from Kesler and Ehrhoff):

Another broken power-play set up off the rush. Ehrhoff jumped in on the rush so Henrik’s back at the left point. His point shot creates a scramble in front where Ehrhoff and Kesler try to put it past Turco. Daniel, well-positioned at the side of the net, puts away the rebound. Interesting that this is the first goal we’ve seen with a) a defenseman up on the rush and b) a goal-mouth scramble.

10. November 4, 2010 (Kesler from Daniel and Edler):

This is the first goal we’ve seen that’s been off rush. The Canucks are re-entering the zone (Shorty’s comments) and Daniel just fires the perfect tape-to-tape pass to Kesler who roofs it over Budaj. This is just great vision from Daniel. You can see that all of the Avs are converging on his side, so he threads the needle to the guy away from the play. To Henrik’s credit, he skates toward Daniel ready for a give and go to enter the zone (Daniel doesn’t pass) and then is ready for the potential rebound off the Kesler shot.

11. November 6, 2010 (Edler from Kesler and Henrik):

It’s a shame Daniel doesn’t get an assist on this because his cross-crease pass to Henrik is fantastic. High on the left side (familiar?) Daniel makes the pass and then goes to the net as Kesler moves to the high slot. I’m not sure how much Kesler tips this back to Edler though. Is it intentional? Faking the one-timer? In any case this is the type of Henrik point I expected to see more often. Henrik on the right half boards passing it up to the defenseman for a one-timer.

12. December 3, 2010 (Ehrhoff from Edler and Daniel):

Hmm, this looks mighty familiar, eh? It’s almost a carbon-copy of goal #7. On the left side, Daniel gets up to to Edler who moves into the middle of the ice and then passes it over to Ehrhoff on the right for a one timer. Of note is that Daniel gets the puck as a result of a winger-won faceoff, so that advantage of Henrik’s isn’t as important as I thought it might be.

13. December 8, 2010 (Daniel from Ehrhoff and Kesler):

Here’s the rebound factor again. Off a cleanly-won faceoff by Kesler, Ehrhoff tees it up and Daniel’s right there for the rebound. I wonder if Daniel’s just better at rebounds than Henrik (goalscorer’s nose for the net) or if, for example if this won FO hadn’t been on the right side, their positioning on the PP just means that Daniel was closer to the net while Henrik was playing higher up in case Ehrhoff wanted the pass.


With this set of goals, some of the previous trends are continuing. Daniel definitely reaped the benefits of playing high on the left side as he was able to get another 2 points here by passing it up to the defensemen (Edler and Ehrhoff) for one-timers (#7 and #12). However, his nose for the net when he isn’t playing high on the left side (or to come in when he is) is equally impressive (#9 and #13).

The other three goals showcase the Sedins’ great vision. Henrik makes the pass all the way back to Ehrhoff in #8, Daniel finds Kesler streaking in #10, and they both make great threading-the-needle passes in #11. 

I think we have some real trends emerging. Due to Daniel’s position on the left side and Ehrhoff’s on the right, Daniel’s in the right position more often to get it over for a one-timer or capitalize on a rebound. Meanwhile, Henrik’s position on the right half-boards gives him less access to Ehrhoff (who shoots more than Edler per game) and increases the likelihood that Daniel’s touched the puck (Sedinery down low). 

With Kesler pretty firmly parked in front of the net and the shooter Ehrhoff on the right side, Daniel was well equipped (from these seven goals, anyway) last season to outscore Henrik on the PP.