Who's this guy?
Daniel Sedin - You know him, you love him and you can actually make tell him apart from his worthless brother.
Height: 6 feet 2 inches of beautiful
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. No offense to Tim Connolly, Barret Jackman and what's left of Martin Havlat, but the twins remain the premier talent from the first round of their draft class.
What'd he do?
Before the season started, Daniel Sedin addressed his scoring:
"It has been a disappointment the last two years in that department and I think I need to score...Especially on our line, I am the goal-scorer. It's up to me to get better."
With his intent to get three to four shots a game, Daniel started the season where we've grown to love him: alongside his brother and Burrows on the top line. Despite the early injury to Burrows that fractured the trio, Sedin started strong, ending October at a point-per-game pace. In November Sedin hit the skids, going six games without a point, his longest futility streak since a 10 game slump in 2002-03. He got back on track in December and started the new year just off the point-per-game pace. However, January - usually one of his stronger months - saw Daniel's production all but dry up. The vanished production continued into February before a hamstring injury knocked him out for two weeks of the playoff hunt. Daniel would finally toss the monkey off his back on March 26th with a goal against Minnesota but, by then, the damage to the team's playoff push was done. The season ended with a thud - literally - when Dank was laid out by Calgary's Paul Bryon in the season's final meaningless game and stretchered off the ice.
Returning to his quote from the preseason, Daniel scored 30 goals in 2012 and 12 in the lockout-shortened 2013. In 2014 he lit the lamp only 16 times, his worst total in a full season since 2003. His shooting percentage (7.1%) was his worst since the 2002 season. His game winners (4) was his worst since 2005. His PPGs (5) were the worst since 2002. So, yeah...
So was he any good?
Compared to mere mortals, sure he was OK. Compared to elite skaters, no he wasn't. Some primary stats (sortable below) show some key indicators going in the wrong direction.
|Season||Games||Points||SH%||Corsi For%||Fenwick For %||O/D/St%|
To be fair, the make-up of the first line (with Burrows out Daniel played more games with Kesler and Hansen up on the top line) combined with being used shorthanded (his TOI/60 when shorthanded jumped from 2012, from .1 to .9) explains a lot of this season's misery. Next season will be fairly telling for Dank (and Hank for that matter). If they can rebound strongly, we can all gleefully forget this season. If he continues to regress the Canucks will soon be in desperate need of an elite scorer. Perhaps two. Fine three.
What'd we like?
Go ahead, call him soft again.
Cool. So what did we hate?
The team needed his production badly this winter - and during the playoff push - and the fact 81% of his goals came before January is a tough pill to swallow. Then loop in the PP struggles (he scored 1 PPG since January) and his hamstring injury at the zillionth Winter Classic game of the season and, all in, it's a year to forget.
So what now?
The Sedins both signed a four year, $28 million dollar extension in November and remain the defacto faces of the franchise, so chances are your Sedin jersey is safe. Dank will obviously look to rebound strongly next season, but at 34 years old next year, it's logical to ask how much longer fans - to speak nothing of the new GM and whoever the coach is - can expect them to carry the bulk of the team's offensive output. As has been uttered forever, you shut down the twins and you shut down the Canucks and that narrative was partially accurate this season. Regardless of direction the team takes, Daniel will continue to be Vancouver's primary scoring threat and best left wing on the roster. If he can stay healthy, it's safe to expect a 60-70 campaign is still possible.
Also feel free to yank him off the PK. Just a thought.