I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Henrik Sedin has 1 goal (an empty netter) in his last 18 games. Daniel Sedin has not scored since the Chicago series. Their plus-minus is a combined -14 in the postseason. Mason Raymond has zero goals.
There are a lot of uneasy stats making Canucks fans queezy right now, and they are a little concerning. But remember stats can be misleading. For one, Henrik Sedin has only 1 goal in his last 18 games, but he often has stretches of 10+ games without a goal. You know why? Because he is a playmaker. When he’s not getting assists, that’s when alarm bells will go off for me.
You know what else is misleading? Plus-minus in small sample sizes. The Sedins have been a victim of this lately. Is it their fault that Alex Edler has been playing like he’s drunk in this series? He’s coughed the puck up more than a few times resulting in goals. And combining their plus-minus is just plain stupid. If they’re on for two goals in a game, they’re “a combined -4″. Sounds impressive but it’s misleading.
These aren’t great stat lines, but things can change very quickly. Remember when Ryan Kesler had 0 goals in the playoffs? Where was the offense from this 40 goal scorer people wondered. Kesler had no goals in 9 playoff games, that was 6 days ago. Now he’s tied for the league lead in points.
What about Roberto Luongo? Remember his save percentage and goals against average after game 5 and 6 versus Chicago? All of a sudden, if you take a look at Luongo’s stats (2.35 GAA, .914 SV% and 2 shutouts) they’re pretty good.
My point is not to suggest that the Sedins are doing great, clearly they’re not. I thought Daniel and Henrik had some great shifts in game 5, but ultimately they didn’t produce. But all of that can change in an instant. If Daniel Sedin scores 2 goals in game 6, he will move into a tie for first in league goal scoring.
The Canucks lost game 5 because of a few bad breakdowns. If they tidy that up, they should win. Every game in this series has been so tight, that just one bad bounce can decide the hockey game. If they play hard and smart, they should earn their bounces and the stats will follow.
Mikael Samuelsson injured himself in game 5 and didn’t take the trip to Nashville. That means he’s not close to returning, and could mean it’s a very serious injury. I would be very surprised if he’s not out longer than a week at minimum. That means that either Victor Oreskovich or Jeff Tambellini are likely to take his place. Personally, I would like to see Jeff Tambellini inserted into the lineup. Tamby hasn’t played a playoff game yet, and I think he would be thrive given the chance. He would be so pumped up to play, he would play like he was shot out of a canon. He’s gritty enough, and they could use a fourth line goal.