We may never know what’s behind the great Sedin scoring famine of 2012

There has been much consternation about the twin scoring slumps of twin scoring champs Daniel and Henrik Sedin, but it’s worth noting that offensive droughts are an inevitability in professional hockey. Sometimes they just happen.

Heck, Aaron Rome once went through a spell during his time in Vancouver in which he only tallied 1 goal in 105 games. Now that’s a slump. He finally got back to his usual scoring self this November with 3 goals in 4 games, but then his luck turned once again and he immediately fell into another prolonged drought. The poor guy only has 1 goal in his last 34 games!

But hey man, that’s just slumping.

Granted, unlike Aaron Rome, the Sedins have been fairly slump-resistant in recent memory (perhaps they carry slump repellant in their utility belts?). Their current drought, while a far cry from the potato famine some are making it out to be, is still the worst in a decade, or, as Henrik Sedin brilliantly put it Saturday night, since “Way back then I was a crappy player.”

You can understand why there’s a little unrest about the great Sedin scoring famine of 2012. For the past two seasons, the Sedins have been so automatic that, if they were pointless late in a tied game, you could be confident in the Canucks’ ability to win because the Sedins’ inevitable goal was still forthcoming. Not so over this recent stretch.

So what’s been the issue?

Some are saying it has to do with the way the officiating has changed, as fewer penalties are being called. Fact: the Sedins’ slump corresponds with an 8-game minor penalty famine. And Henrik has avoided the box altogether in 23 of his last 24.

Bonus fact: if you can’t toss a Sedin in the box for hooking on a nightly basis, the rules have changed.

Henrik acknowledged the stark shift what constitutes a penalty yesterday, telling a scrum of reporters, “This might be the only sport where rules change throughout the season depending what game you are playing and if it’s playoffs.” And while he can be forgiven for forgetting that the NBA exists (not a lot of cagers in Sweden, you know), the point stands. Inconsistent reffing may be having an impact.

Some are saying it’s the powerplay itself, which isn’t simply being starved by the secret new new NHL — it’s just not clicking. Sure, maybe it would have had more opportunities to click if the rules hadn’t changed, but a few months of infrequent whistles are hardly enough for the twins to unlearn a lifetime of playing together.

That said, as a married man, I can tell you that even life partners struggle with chemistry issues when trying to overcome a scoring drought.

Perhaps it’s a motivation issue? It’s not like the Sedins are the only in-game somnambulists on the team right now. Their struggles are shared throughout the lineup (a phenomenon Iain MacIntyre called “Sedin contagion“, which sounds like a disease that turns your hair red and your spine into steel). With the Northwest Division seemingly locked up, the St. Louis Blues running away with the West, and the Pacific Division leader a full 11 points back, the Canucks will likely remain firmly ensconced in second place regardless of what they do. So who the heck cares? Could the absence of anything to play for be the monkey behind this outbreak?

And at a more personal level, now that both Daniel and Henrik have won Art Rosses and no one’s out for blood, there’s no sibling rivalry to drive play.

Thus, all things considered, you can forgive the twins if they had a hard time Saturday night lusting for retribution on pesky ol’ P.K. Subban, for whom the highlight of his season will shutting down a slumpy Henrik in a March game that saw the Canadiens finish the night a little less last.

Or maybe it’s something else entirely. You know, Henrik was riding a four-game assist streak until Keith Ballard got injured. And, as mentioned, others are slumping too. Maybe the perpetually snake-bitten Ballard is actually some sort of Messianic figure that selflessly takes on the slumps and hardships of others? Is Keith Ballard the Canucks’ John Coffey? All signs point to yes, provided you abandon reason and logic and only look at one tenuous sign.

Or, speaking of Messianic figures, maybe the twins are afraid to pass Trevor Linden in franchise scoring? Perhaps he made a few veiled (or explicit) warnings? I hate to tarnish the man’s reputation, but I’ve heard from sources deep in the know that he’s been known to write threatening limericks, and I found this one on a piece of paper in the trash outside Rogers Arena:

There once was a captain named Trevor
Revered as the best Canuck ever
Were his totals beaten
He might fly to Sweden
Your arms at the elbow to sever

Okay, those last two theories were nonsense, but cut me some slack. Really, any attempt to explain this slump is grasping at straws.

Like I said, scoring slumps tend to happen, and while this one is a remarkable outlier — a fact that speaks to the Sedins’ mind-boggling consistency — it’s bound to end before we figure out what’s behind it.

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27 comments

  1. Dave Robinson (@dcrwrites)
    March 12, 2012

    I’m just hoping it ends sooner rather than later, because it’s frustrating to watch.

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  2. D to the W
    March 12, 2012

    “As a married man, I can tell you that even life partners struggle with chemistry issues when trying to overcome a scoring drought.”

    LOOKOUT! HI-YOOOOOO!

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  3. bergberg
    March 12, 2012

    As a married man, I can tell you that even life partners struggle with chemistry issues when trying to overcome a scoring drought.

    All signs point to yes, provided you abandon reason and logic and only look at one tenuous sign.

    These are the reasons I come here. Thank you PITB.

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    Rating: +16 (from 16 votes)
  4. Brent
    March 12, 2012

    “As a married man, I can tell you that even life partners struggle with chemistry issues when trying to overcome a scoring drought.”

    Oh man, once you wife reads this your scoring drought is going to continue for a long, long time!

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      March 12, 2012

      Really, I think it’d probably be worth a sympathy screw.

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  5. ArtemChubarov
    March 12, 2012

    The Sedin twins play lately has reeked,
    Team1040 callers are crying “they’ve peaked!”
    No matter how much we implore
    they just can’t seem to score
    At least they’re consistent, in that they’re still from Ornsklodsvik.

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    Rating: +17 (from 17 votes)
    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      March 12, 2012

      too many syllables in your last line. But I still give you a +1.

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      • ArtemChubarov
        March 12, 2012

        Rhyming Ornskoldsvik with anything is hard. I did my best.

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        Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
  6. TIM DOUBROFF
    March 12, 2012

    Canucks aren’t playing for a few days. Go pick on slumping teams like San Jose, Boston, NYR, and if really bored — TML. Cheers! Tim

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  7. Lukas Menstrator
    March 12, 2012

    Oddly enough I was just thinking about how the Canucks slump corresponded with Ballard’s demise. Clearly the situation is proving both the ‘look at the stats’ and the ‘watch the games’ crowd wrong. Ballard is clearly the straw that stirs the Canucks drink, and I have the Tarot cards to prove it.

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  8. Chris the Curmudgeon
    March 12, 2012

    I think a possible solution would be to split them up, as AV should some inclination to do last game. People have big time conniption fits when you suggest that, but why not do it? It’s not as though you can’t switch them back midgame. Put Henrik with Burrows and Hansen and Daniel with Pahlsson and Raymond for a period and see if they can get off the schneid.

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    • The Bookie
      March 12, 2012

      Wait, what do you want them to do to Cory?

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  9. Andre
    March 12, 2012

    Here’s another theory: when you analyze everything to the nth degree, you’re bound to come up with times when you can’t explain something.

    Relax and enjoy the game. The Sedins have not suddenly lost all their skills and become ordinary.

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    Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
  10. The Bookie
    March 12, 2012

    Honestly, your Ballard theory holds more water than the crazy guy over on CDC suggesting that this dates back to last season and Henrik becoming captain, as though Daniel might be jealous and purposefully not scoring to get back at him.

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  11. PeeSeeGee
    March 12, 2012

    I would like to point out that given they are Wizards, it is less likely they were carrying slump repellent in a utility belt (more commonly associated with super heroes) and more likely that they just ran out of a key ingredients for an anti-slump spell.

    Perhaps Cody Hodgson was a key source of said ingredient and they are struggling to find a new one.

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    • akidd
      March 12, 2012

      having offensive options and a rookie to push the vets has nothing to do with it. a proof of that as written in the article is that coho hasn’t scored a point in buffalo;)

      there are lots of reasons for this slump i’m sure. hangover, demonic possession, many things. completely discounting the trade as a possibilie contributor just doesn’t seem that honest, however comfortable it might be.

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  12. Jeff Dwyer
    March 12, 2012

    I have to say that Harrison Mooney is far and away the funniest sports commentator I have ever read. And pretty insightful. Wicked combination, Mooney.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      March 12, 2012

      Hey thanks!

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    • canucks in europe
      March 13, 2012

      But just wait until he goes into a slump…then what will we do?

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  13. Superreggie
    March 12, 2012

    Maybe Henrik is still having ankle trouble?

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  14. SteveB
    March 13, 2012

    Maybe the Sedins have forsworn scoring for Lent?

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  15. shoes
    March 13, 2012

    All I know is it feels damn good to read a story of the slump that is not along the vein of the doomsday stories coming out of both Vancouver papers……. middle-aged, lemon-sucking, pinched faced sports reporters consistent chicken little viewpoint.

    And believe you me….the first headline out of about 6 of them when the slump is bumped….will be “but can they sustain it?” God awful to go through life with that viewpoint and they should take a page out of the flowery and optimistic writers of the Calgary Herald who constantly tout, that the corner is now turned after even something as close as a 2 goal loss.

    And in addition Craig Simpson of CBC and Mike Milbury are both more or less braindead if they think Sedin fighting a tough guy is the answer…..the same as Stevie Y and Joe Sakic never dropped them ….to bump a slump. It would be like a tough guy trying to become top 6 just cause he lost 2 fights in a row.

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    • Brent
      March 13, 2012

      Ya, Cam Cole just wrote a “Panic button” piece. Generally I like him but lost a lot of respect after this one. Basically he criticized everyone from Mike Gilles right down to the water boy. Of course when he was in Edmonton, he did the same thing to the Oilers.

      Lets see how they play the next couple of games before we panic. So who do we want to play in the first round? It likely won’t happen but I want Chicago. And I would like to manhandle them winning in 5 just to shut up some of the haters.

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  16. Impartial Outsider
    March 13, 2012

    It’s because of the curse of COHO (just like when babe Ruth got traded away in Chicago).

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  17. J21
    March 13, 2012

    With the Northwest Division seemingly locked up, the St. Louis Blues running away with the West, and the Pacific Division leader a full 11 points back, the Canucks will likely remain firmly ensconced in second place regardless of what they do.

    The Blues are only “running away” with the West because of the Canucks’ current slump, though — and they aren’t very far ahead. To anyone who honestly thinks the team is coasting, I can’t believe for a second they wouldn’t much prefer the #1 seed. It’s the difference between the victor of, like, a five-way dogfight for eighth place and home ice advantage, versus a team like Chicago or San Jose again who has underachieved but could easily oust the Canucks with even the teensiest bit of luck.

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  18. iLovePITB
    March 14, 2012

    That was a beautiful limerick, sir.

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