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Who made who? Ehrhoff and the Sedins

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What a great song

Canucks Nation (or Army, or Country, or Posse, or Gang or whatever) is decidedly split on Christian Ehrhoff taking his talents to Northern Western New York. I think it's fair to say his offensive abilities and powerplay quarterbacking will be missed, while his wonderful tendency to blow coverage between the hash marks won't be. Or his pivoting at the blueline to make no look backhanders into the zone as opposed to just taking the damn forehand. Yeah, that's a bit of a pet peeve.

Tearful goodbyes notwithstanding, I've seen a certain theory bandied around that Ehrhoff is the main reason that the Sedins are now Art Ross winners and 100+ point players. As many of you probably would, I took exception to this, and wanted to prove it wrong. I will present my argument and let you decide.

In order to figure this all out, I looked at all the goals scored over the last two years by the Canucks, and determined which of the goals the Sedins were in on (either scored by or assisted on) the following three players had points on as well: Ehrhoff,  Alexander Edler and Alexandre Burrows. I chose Edler because he was a comparable D man to Ehrhoff, and Burrows because he is their main linemate.

Without much further ado, data!!

2009-2010 Season

With Henrik A on Henrik G Henrik A on G A w/Henrik A Total Pts Henrik % Henrik's Pts 5on5 time 5on4 time TOI w/Henrik
Ehrhoff 2 3 2 7 6.25% 32.7% 15.3% 477.93
Edler 3 0 8 11 9.82% 33.4% 37.4% 501.29
Burrows 10 22 8 40 35.71% 77.1% 80.2% 955.12
With Daniel A on Daniel G Daniel A on G A w/Daniel A Total Pts Daniel % of Daniel's Pts 5on5 time 5on4 time TOI w/Daniel
Ehrhoff 2 3 2 7 8.24% 24.8% 12.1% 363.63
Edler 4 0 1 5 5.88% 25.3% 31% 385.52
Burrows 6 17 3 26 30.59% 61.7% 47.1% 744.75

 

2010-2011 Season

With Henrik A on Henrik G Henrik A on G A w/Henrik A Total Pts Henrik % of Henrik's Pts 5on5 time 5on4 time TOI w/Henrik
Ehrhoff 2 3 9 14 14.89% 40.4% 89.5% 811.30
Edler 1 5 8 14 14.89% 41.3% 89.4% 533.10
Burrows 6 14 10 30 31.91% 83% <3% 813.87
With Daniel A on Daniel G Daniel A on G A w/Daniel A Total Pts Daniel % of Daniel's Pts 5on5 time 5on4 time TOI w/Daniel
Ehrhoff 9 7 6 22 21.15% 38.9% 88.6% 787.88
Edler 7 5 4 16 15.38% 39.7% 87.8% 515.9
Burrows 10 16 4 30 28.85% 80.6% <3% 790.40

 

So what does this all mean? Well, before we go on, let's remember what Daniel and Henrik have put up point wise over the last two years:

Henrik: 112 (1.36PPG) - 94 (1.14PPG)
Daniel: 85 (1.34PPG) - 104 (1.26PG)

So, a bit of a drop off from 2010 to 2011 in PPG pace, but since Daniel played more games this year the totals from both twins for the year are basically the same: 198 Pts in 09/10 and 197 Pts in 10/11.  We'll keep that in mind as we go forward.

The first thing that jumps out at us is the massive amount of TOI with the twins Ehrhoff and Edler got this year compared to last year, especially on the powerplay. It's important to remember that Edler and Ehrhoff weren't paired together in 09/10 (Hoff with SOB, Edler with Salo). Burrows' time is pretty similar overall, but you can see how loading up the first PP affected Burrows' PP time with the Sedins.

The second major difference is the much higher percentage of the twins' points Ehrhoff and Edler got in 10/11. Both had similar increases over their 09/10 percentages, even though they weren't paired together before. Now, the fact that they both got more time on ice with the Sedins (especially powerplay) is correlated with this increase in percentage. It's not guaranteed that the one is caused by the other, but I would say it's a pretty good bet (for the record, my favourite logical fallacy is "correlation is not causation" so I feel I have to mention that caveat). 

Why did I use Burrows? Well, we can see pretty clearly the effect he has had on the Sedins, and the effect they have had on him. Both years he is putting up very similar percentages of their points, despite not being on the power play with them this year. Fully 30% of the points the Sedins get, Burrows is in on - no matter the ice time, whereas Edler and Ehrhoff have seen their percentages go up only with increased ice time.

So, in conclusion, we have the following:
-The Sedins put up basically the same combined points over two years
-Edler and Ehrhoff had a massive increase in ice time with the Sedins from one year to the next
-They also had large increases in the percentage of the Sedins' points they were in on in the second year
-Hoff and Edler went from being on separate pairings to the same pairing (only overlapped on very few points)
-Burrows maintained a very similar points percentage from year to year, as well as ice time

It is therefore my opinion that Ehrhoff was not the reason the Sedins have become 100pt players and Art Ross winners. I would put that hat partially on Burrows, and partially on the Sedins finally realizing their own potential.

Now, what do you think?

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