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Vancouver Canucks

Daniel and Henrik Sedin: Bucking the Trend

(Kathleen Hinkel/Icon Sportswire)

There are two constants in the world today: the sun rises every morning and the Sedin Twins are still producing.

The Sedins lead the Canucks in points with 25 points (10 goals and 15 assists) for Daniel and 22 points (seven goals and 15 assists) for Henrik. On top of leading the Canucks in points, Daniel’s 25 points put him at fourth in scoring for the NHL and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Not only are the Twins hovering around a point-per-game pace, they are carrying the team possession wise. Daniel has a Corsi For percentage of 61.08 percent and Henrik has a Corsi For percentage of 62.38.

One of the best ways of measuring a player’s ability to possess a puck is using a metric called Corsi For percentage. Corsi For measures shots on goal, missed shots, and blocked shots directed on the opposing net. Corsi Against measures shots on goal, missed shots, and blocked shots directed on the your net. Corsi For percentage formula is Corsi For / (Corsi For + Corsi Against).

When we look at Daniel and Henrik’s Corsi For percentage, that tells us when the Twins are on the ice, the Canucks are possessing the puck over 60 percent of the time in the opposing team’s end. That is significant because they lead all Vancouver forwards in ice time with Henrik averaging 19:27 minutes per game and Daniel averaging 18:54 minutes per game.

When the Sedin Twins are on the ice, the entire team plays better. Below is a graph illustrating this. Notice where 22 and 33 are in blue and red.

What makes Henrik and Daniel’s ability to carry the play amazing, it the fact that the Twins are 35. The NHL is trending to using younger and faster players over experience and the Sedin Twins are bucking that trend. At 35, the Twins are still producing highlight reel plays and going on streaks like they are 25.

Henrik and Daniel have never been the fastest players and as a result, have never relied on speed as part of their game. The Sedins have relied on their smarts and ability to protect the puck which is why they are able to continue to produce at a high pace, despite being “old.” Instead, the Twins rely on making smart passes that include an uncanny ability to know where each other are going to be on the ice.

For the past ten games, Jannik Hansen has given the Sedins another dimension to their game. Hansen has played with the Twins in the past, but he has finally clicked with Henrik and Daniel. Hansen is known for his speed and ability to forecheck, which gives the Twins the ability to make chip in plays and long passes to allow them to get set up in the offensive zone. This was showcased in the second period against the Minnesota Wild when Daniel sent Hansen on a partial breakaway on Devan Dubnyk and scored the third Vancouver goal.

Henrik and Daniel have also been known for their durability. Henrik has only missed 12 games in the past five NHL seasons. Daniel has only missed 20 games in the past five seasons. Combined with their ability to stay healthy and style of play, the Sedins will be in the league for a while.

What often goes unnoticed is Henrik and Daniel’s leadership abilities. On Tuesday, the Twins were seen meeting with rookies Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann at the end of practice. Nothing was shared about what the Twins said to the rookies, but Henrik and Daniel have been in McCann and Virtanen’s shoes and have years of wisdom to give the rookies.

The Twins have been important leaders in the Canucks’ locker room, the respect their teammates have is evident. The team follows their lead on the ice and off. The Canucks are heavily invested in their local community and Henrik and Daniel have led the way. The Twins have each donated 1.5 million dollars to the BC Children’s Hospital and have continued to be involved with local aid organizations.

Off and on the ice, Daniel and Henrik Sedin have made a living of bucking trends. They continue to slow a game down despite the increasing speed of the NHL. The Twins still have it and have made 35 the new 25.

 

(Advanced statistics courtesy of war-on-ice.com and visuals courtesy of http://hockeyviz.com/)

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