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Are Vancouver’s Daniel and Henrik Sedin playoff duds?

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With the Vancouver Canucks struggling to solve Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference semifinals, the spotlight of shame has fallen on Daniel and Henrik Sedin for their pointless (literally) performance through two games.

From The Tennessean:

When the Predators and Canucks series started Thursday, Vancouver's Sedin twins were thought to be a looming presence because of their skill, smarts and mostly unrivaled scoring ability.

Two games in, the Predators have made them look like mere mortals.  Daniel Sedin had 104 points (41 goals, 63 assists) in the regular season to lead Vancouver. Henrik was second with 94 points (19 goals, 75 assists). But things have changed. The twins have combined for zero points so far in the series.

Despite a hot start for Daniel in the quarterfinals against the Chicago Blackhawks, the twins still have "a reputation as playoff underachievers," according to the Globe & Mail.

Is that a fair assessment of the Sedins? Are they too often invisible in the playoffs?

And when they do score, are they important goals or offensive padding?

It can be argued that every goal in the postseason is an important one, but let's face facts: a goal that ties a game or gives a team the lead is slightly more significant than the goal that makes it a 5-1 game in the third period.

So we went back to the 2002-2003 postseason, the Sedins' third trip to the playoffs, and broke down their offensive output into four categories since then:

• Points (Goals and Assists)

• Points on Goals That Tied Games

• Points on Goals That Gave Vancouver a Lead

• Points on Goals That Gave Vancouver a Lead, Minus First Goals of the Game

How does it break down for Daniel and Henrik Sedin?

Since 2002-2003 Playoffs Points Points on Game-Tying Goals Points on Tie-Breaking Goals Points on Tie-Breaking Goals (Minus 1st Goals)
Daniel Sedin

(64 Games)

45 8 17 9
Henrik Sedin

(64 Games)

43 5 17 11

The only real deviation is on goals that tied the game, as Daniel has a slight advantage there.

Admittedly, these numbers lack the context of their regular season output in the categories, and the comparison to other elite players' performances in the playoffs. But at first glance, over half of their playoff points since 2003 have tied the game or given the Canucks the lead.

Is that enough for two Art Ross winners in the playoffs? Perhaps not.

One criticism of the Sedins is that they don't have the postseason offensive output that matches their regular season totals — Henrik has 49 points in 74 games and Daniel has 49 in 74 — but another is that the don't score enough big points in big spots. Daniel going scoreless in four of five games and Henrik in five of six this postseason hasn't helped.

So they try to get on track in Game 3 on Tuesday night with Alex Burrows on their wing. From the Globe & Mail:

Burrows, meanwhile, has been scorching since Game 6 of the Blackhawks series, when he was reunited with centre Ryan Kesler and winger Mason Raymond. He has been contagious for his new linemates, who have been more threatening offensively than before, yet head coach Alain Vigneault appears poised to risk that momentum in order to get his first line on track.

"A lot of it is on me and Hank," said winger Daniel Sedin, the NHL's leading scorer in 2010-11. "We're two-thirds of the line. We should be able to get guys going. So it's mostly on us. Now, getting a chance to play with Burr again, it should get us going."

If the Canucks are going to solve Rinne, they better.

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