- Coach weathers vicious storm (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Unless injuries strike, Canucks will be quiet at trade deadline (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- Gillis ‘confident’ Canucks will re-sign Sedins (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun)
- Just a hometown boy (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Luongo implores mates to shoot low (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks battle the Habs (Bob Mackin, 24 Hours Vancouver)
- Canadiens send Price a strong message (Pat Hickey, National Post)
- Montreal hands reins to backup Halak (Sean Gordon, Globe and Mail)
- Dezzy makes most of spot with Moose (Gary Lawless, Winnipeg Free Press)
- Gloom meets Canucks in Montreal (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Attention gets deflected (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks reach rock and roll status on road trip (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Revenge is a dish best served in blue-and-white (Michael Traikos, National Post)
- Sundin returns to haunt Leafs (Tim Wharsby, Globe and Mail)
- Sundin gets some loving, then boos (Bill Lankoff, Slam Sports)
- Sedins, tempting twins (Lance Hornby, Slam Sports)
- Too many Clark Kents, no Superman (Gary Lawless, Winnipeg Free Press)
- Sports teams plan for deepening recession (Bruce Constantineau, Vancouver Sun)
In an interview on the TEAM 1040, Mike Gillis mentioned that playoff success was not a prerequisite to getting a contract done with Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Maybe not, but if they hope to get that $6.5 million per year contract, it should be.
The Sedins’ current $3.575 million per year contract was signed prior to the 2006/2007 season – the season after the Westcoast Express was dismantled and the Sedins became the Canucks’ go-to guys. And in the 2+ regular seasons since then, they’ve done just that. Consider their production against other players with a cap hit of $5 million or more this season or those who have already signed contracts effective next season with a cap hit of $5 million or more.
POINT PRODUCTION FROM 2006/2007 TO PRESENT:
Not that anyone was questioning their regular season prowess but this table illustrates how proficient the Sedins have been. In terms of regular season points production, Henrik and Daniel fit in nicely in that group of highest-paid players in the league. In fact, Henrik is also 4th among that list in total assists and Daniel is 10th in total goals scored.
But if the Sedins are going to be expected to be paid alongside premier players, then they cannot disappear when it counts. Premier players make everyone around them better, which they’ve done (see: Klatt, Trent, King, Jason and Burrows, Alex). But also, premier players step it up in the playoffs when it matters the most, and unfortunately, this is one area in which they haven’t proven themselves. Consider the playoff production of the same group of players since 2006/2007.
PLAYOFF POINT PRODUCTION FROM 2006/2007 TO PRESENT:
Now I realize that this is a small sample seeing that there’s only been 2 postseasons since 2006/2007, but I think the numbers are still telling. The other players in that group – most of them anyway – have more or less been able to keep up their production in the playoffs. The Sedins haven’t, and in fact, Henrik and Daniel have 2 of the worst playoff point per game averages (0.33 and 0.42, respectively).
Also, the dropoff off from their regular season production to playoff production is tremendous. Only 5 people from that list had their production drop by at least half, and unfortunately, the Sedins are 2 of them. Henrik goes from 0.95 points per game in the regular season to 0.33 points per game in the playoffs – a 65.44% dropoff in production. Daniel goes from 0.98 to 0.42 – a 57.03% dropoff. (The only others are Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Gaborik and Paul Stastny.)
As a point of reference, scoring in the 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 postseasons dropped off by 10.15% from the regular season (2.95 to 2.65). As another point of reference, almost half of this group of highest-paid players did not have their production drop off by more than 10.15%; 2/3rds of them did not drop off by more than 20% (the difference between a point-per-game player to a 0.80 point per game player). And if you look at the players at the top part of that list, you wouldn’t be questioning the amount of money they make.
To be fair, the Sedins have only appeared once in the postseason as first-line players (2006/2007), and even then, they had very little help offensively and teams keyed in on them. With Mats Sundin, Pavol Demitra and Ryan Kesler forming another scoring line, that won’t be the case this year and the Sedins won’t have any excuses left.
When Mike Gillis took over as GM, he said he wasn’t sure the Sedins were the type of players he wants to build this franchise around, and in only a couple of months, the Sedins will finally get a chance to respond. They’ll either prove they can elevate their game when it matters the most and deserve to get paid like the players who do, or they can take their $6.5 million contract demands elsewhere.
- Canucks take lead and keep it to beat Senators 5-2 (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Scoring was never really his thing (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province)
- Sundin circus to Sedin circus (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province)
- Yes, they can: Canucks beat Senators 5-2 (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Rebuilding the blueline (Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail)
- Sundin’s road show arrives in Ontario (Roy MacGregor, Globe and Mail)
- The Sundin train to TO stops in Ottawa (Wayne Scanlan, Ottawa Citizen)
- Double trouble for Sens (Ken Warren, Ottawa Citizen)
- Sundin deserves nothing less than cheers in TO (Sam Craig, The Hockey News via Metro News Vancouver)
- Top prospect trade bait? (Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun)
- Burke’s European adventure (Gary Loewen, Toronto Sun)
- For Mats it feels like a homecoming (Don Brennan, Toronto Sun)
- Will Leafs fans cheer Mats Sundin’s return? (Paul Hunter, Toronto Star)
- The centre of attention (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Kesler carving out new career path (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Auld still has Sens-e that he will improve as goalie (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province)
- Canucks’ Burrows barges ahead (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Sedin contracts remain a stumbling block (Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail)
- Swedish compatriots eagerly await Sundin’s return to Toronto (Tim Wharnsby, Globe and Mail)
- Confident Sens get their groove back (Sean Gordon, Globe and Mail)
- Sens offer Shannon great opportunity (Rob Brodie, The Daily Observer)
When it was put together 3 games ago, the Demitra-Sundin-Kesler line was expected to provide some secondary scoring and take the heat off the Sedin line. It has, of course, done more than that, outscoring the Sedin line 22 (9G-13) – 6 (3G-3A) in 3 straight wins.
The other thing I noticed is that Vigneault has taken to putting the Sundin line (with Bernier on the wing, and sometimes, Demitra on the point) out first on the powerplay. In fact, Demitra, Sundin and Kesler combined for 36:58 minutes of powerplay ice-time the last 3 games vs. Sedin, Sedin and Pyatt’s combined 30:58 minutes.
I don’t think even the most optimistic of Canucks fans would have expected this when Sundin signed.
The beauty of the emergence of the RPM line (Ryan, Pavol and Mats), as they’ve now been dubbed, is it forces opposing teams to choose which of their best defending players they should play against which line. Against Chicago, the Sedins played primarily against Chicago’s best defensemen, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, while the RPM line played primarily against Brian Campbell and Matt Walker. Against St. Louis, it was the RPM line that faced Barrett Jackman and Carlo Colaiacovo, while the Sedins faced Jeff Woywitka and Jay McKee.
I realize this is a small, 2-game sample, but at least it’s a glimpse of the goodness of having some secondary scoring. Not all teams are blessed with dynamic defensive duos a la Niedermayer/Pronger, Chara/Wideman, Lidstrom/Rafalski, Blake/Boyle or Phanuef/Regehr that can defend more than one scoring line. In fact, most teams don’t and those teams would have to pick their poison. Defend the Sedins and hope the RPM line doesn’t score? Or vice-versa?
- On the road again. And again and again and again and again. (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- Blues down but surely not out (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- Case of Blues dogs Wellwood (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- More room for Sedins (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province)
- Net gain for Luongo (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Sundin to get taste of ‘real’ Canucks travel in next two weeks (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun)
- ‘Bottom-feeding’ Blues still present a tough challenge (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks ready to hit road after win (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun)
- Lacking killer instinct (Hosea Cheung, 24 Hours Vancouver)
- McDonald’s healed ankle leaves him ready to go (Norm Sanders, News-Democrat)
- GM goes back, back, back (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- A rusty Luongo will come around: Gillis (Vancouver Province)
- O’Brien provides welcome distraction (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province)
- For the time being at least, Sedins’ man is no agent of change (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- How I got Sundin moving (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- A turning point? (Scott Rintoul, Metro News Vancouver)
- McIver back on blue line (Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun)
- Time for Sundin to get big (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Power points display needed (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun)
- Sundin feels the pressure (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- No caution in this optimism (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Sedins central to uncertainty (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Let’s hope little rest helps a lot (Ed Willes, Vancouver Province)
- Everybody loves Raymond? (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- Canucks hit for bucks (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun)
- Grabner to lead Austria (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- Brunnstrom assigned to Moose (Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun)
- Preds to keep focus on hockey, not history (John Glennon, The Tennessean)
- A broken home record (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun)
- Waiting to be ‘wowed’ (Cam Cole, Vancouver Sun)
- D-men due for a makeover (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Poor puck management is costly (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- Pyatt one bright light in dim result (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province)
- Sedin twins try best to end team’s suffering (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province)
- Vancouver limps into all-star break (Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail)
- Panic time in Canucks nation? (Scott Rintoul, Metro News Vancouver)
- Nash a new model since awarded captaincy (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun)
- Back and forth game ends happily (Tom Reed, The Columbus Dispatch)