Not gonna lie, but I seriously thought about copying Jordan's piece and just changing where it said 'Henrik' to 'Daniel', but nooooooooooooo, Duncan Keith had to go screw it up for everyone. Jerk. Last year's leading scorer quite likely should have won the Hart Trophy (apparently the NHL thought awarding the MVP to the brother of the guy who won it the year before was more awkward than giving it to one of the biggest douchebags in the league), but this year? Not so much. Not that I wanna eviscerate him here, but to me the struggles of the Sedins were symbolic of the issues the Canucks faced all season long. You can't pin the problem on one player (glares at the rickety wagon carrying a large group of drooling, mouth-breathers holding "I ♥ Cory" signs), but this is one player that didn't have as good a year as we hoped.
Who's this guy?
Weight: 187 lbs.
Born: September 26, 1980 in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
Drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1st round (2nd overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
What'd he do?
Along with brother Henrik, ran the top line for the Canucks that still has the ability to make even the most experienced defencemen look foolish with their 'Wizardous Sedinery'. Hit the 30 goal mark for the 4th time in his career. Led the team in scoring and helped the team win it's 2nd straight President's Trophy. Also, caught a dirty elbow in the face from Duncan Keith, missing the last 10 games of the season as well as the first 3 playoff games.
So was he any good?
It's not often that you can look at a player who puts up 37 less points than the season before and not kinda lose it, but much like Henrik, I am hard pressed to criticize Daniel. The long (and I mean long) pointless streak that he and brother Hank struggled through near the end of the season was so out of character for these two that it became surreal. Even stranger was that the team didn't spiral out of control, they still found ways to either win or get it to extra time or the shootout. I am a big fan of what these two guys bring to the rink, and think it's more likely a combination of burnout, adjustments in style via the coaches and just an all around off year than anything else. I am sure we'll see his numbers back to normal next season.
What'd we like?
Even with the drop in production, Daniel Sedin is still one of the most entertaining and dangerous offensive threats in the NHL. While the team's power play went south (which oddly enough coincided with their slump) Daniel was still a threat to score with the man advantage. He and Alexandre Burrows (or whoever ended up on their line through endless shuffles for various reasons) could count on those sweet Henrik Sedin passes, and it would have been nice to have him not get gooned by Keith, that LA series might have been different with the Canucks best player in the lineup.
But he wasn't perfect either right?
He still did, as mentioned put up 37 less points, and while some of that can be forgiven missing 10 games with a concussion, that's still a significant drop. The interesting thing was a lot of people will focus on the fact he scored less goals this year, to me it's the dip in assists from Dank that stands out. Is this a product of Danny just having a bad year, or is it because of the Canucks spreading the scoring out more? There were some that felt Daniel & Henrik were taking more physical punishment this year as teams tried to replicate what we were told Boston did against the twins in the Stanley Cup Finals. I do think teams got away with a lot more against them this season, but they tried, as they always do, to battle through it.
Like brother Henrik, and even though he's the goal scorer of the two, Daniel doesn't shoot nearly enough, sometimes seemingly getting caught up in trying to see the play develop rather than simply making it happen. They play the game at such an advanced level that we may never fully understand how they do all the things they do, and while we didn't see as much of him this year, he's still an elite scorer and a key to the success of this team going forward.
So what now?
No one likes an early exit from the playoffs, but perhaps it's a blessing in disguise? A chance for the Canucks best players to heal themselves physically and mentally after a pretty emotional couple of years. With the tragedies off ice this team has gone through, the on ice highs and lows seem to be magnified a thousand fold. Add in a fan base dying for this team to finally hoist that Cup, and it's as pressure packed as any market in the league. So some well-deserved time off (in spite of what feels like a wasted season) should help the man who will surpass Markus Naslund as the leading goal scorer before his time is done here in Vancouver get back to the kind of success we know and love about him.