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.