Stats & Info: Daniel Sedin

Crosby Show has been must-see TV

September, 7, 2011

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
With two Stanley Cup Final appearances and one Hart Trophy, Sidney Crosby has meant everything to the Penguins.

Sidney Crosby was having an amazing season when he was hit by Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman on Jan. 5, 2011 and suffered a concussion. On Wednesday, Crosby announced he has no timetable to return to the ice, but says it's "likely" he'll return sometime this season.

Crosby had posted a 25-game point streak, the longest in the NHL since Mats Sundin’s 30-game streak in 1992-93. He was leading the NHL in goals (32), points (64) and faceoffs won (546).

But that game against the Lightning would be the last anyone saw Crosby play last season.

Crosby was on pace for 132 points, which would have been the most in a single season since former fellow Pittsburgh Penguins greats Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux had 149 and 161 points, respectively, in 1995-96.

Finishing with 66 points in 41 games was still an amazing accomplishment. Among those who played in 41 games or fewer, it’s the second-most points in a single season trailing Hockey Hall of Famer Bill Cowley, who had 71 points in 36 games in 1943-44. The difference being the NHL had a 50-game season when Cowley played compared to 82 games now.

While the Penguins went 23-13-5 after Crosby’s departure, their offense took a nosedive. Pittsburgh averaged 2.34 goals per game, which ranked 25th in the NHL. The Penguins’ faceoff win percentage was 26th at 47.4, and their power play ranked dead-last at 14.0 percent.

The statistic “point shares” is an estimate of the number of points contributed by a player both on offense and defense -- similar to baseball’s “win shares” created by statistician Bill James. According to, Crosby’s 68.8 point shares is third in the NHL since 2005-06 behind only Alex Ovechkin (81.6) and Nicklas Lidstrom (72.0).

Excluding his rookie season, when Pittsburgh did not make the playoffs, the Penguins have a .624 points percentage since 2006-07 with Crosby in the lineup. He has the highest points per game among active players at 1.39. Only Wayne Gretzky, Lemieux and Mike Bossy have higher points per game averages in NHL history.

Crosby has collected 336 points at even strength, the most in the NHL since entering the league in 2005-06. Crosby ranks first despite playing 1,129 fewer minutes than the leader in even-strength minutes, Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks.

The website, which examines a player’s value while on and off the ice, puts more perspective on just how amazing Crosby was last season. He averaged 3.98 points per 60 minutes in 5-on-5 situations, by far the highest among forwards last season. Over the last four seasons, the only forward with a higher mark was Daniel Sedin at 4.04 in 2008-09.

Crosby has become the face of the league and everything he has done since the moment he stepped on the ice backs that up.

Burrows, Canucks finish B's quick in OT

June, 5, 2011
Alex Burrows had a part in all three goals including the game-winner 11 seconds into overtime as the Vancouver Canucks take a 2-0 series lead with a 3-2 win in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Burrows’ performance was even more magnified considering he was not suspended for his incident in Game 1 after allegedly biting Patrice Bergeron.

Every Stanley Cup Final since the lockout ended in 2005 has seen a team take a 2-0 series lead at home, but after the Boston Bruins led the Canucks 2-1 entering the third period, that streak was in danger. Especially since the Bruins entered Saturday’s game 6-0 this postseason when leading entering the third period.

The Canucks however had a different idea as Daniel Sedin started the comeback with his ninth goal of the postseason, which sent the game to overtime.

Then Burrows finished the job by netting the second-fastest overtime goal in Stanley Cup Final history. Burrows, who also scored in the first period, earned his third career multi-goal playoff game, but what’s interesting is in all three instances his second goal came in overtime.

The game-winning goal by Burrows was the second wrap around goal for the Canucks this postseason and the third “open net” goal allowed by Tim Thomas. Thomas is tied for the most open net goals allowed this postseason. Burrows now has 16 career playoff goals including nine this year. Entering this season, he had seven career postseason goals in 33 games.

The Bruins lose in overtime for first time this postseason (4-1) and have now lost four straight road games.

One bright spot was Mark Recchi, who according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is the oldest player to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final at age 43 years, 123 days. The previous oldest was Igor Larionov at 41 years, 189 days in Game 4 of the 2002 Cup Final for the Detroit Red Wings at the Carolina Hurricanes.

The series now shifts to Boston on Monday for Game 3 where the Bruins are 7-3 at home this postseason. The Canucks meanwhile hold a 2-0 Stanley Cup Final lead for the first time in team history. In the expansion era (since 1967-68), only two teams have blown a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final: 2009 Red Wings and 1971 Chicago Blackhawks.

And in NHL history, teams are 42-4 when leading the Stanley Cup Final 2-0.

Capitals, Canucks make Melrose look good

April, 14, 2011
On SportsCenter, NHL analyst Barry Melrose predicted the Washington Capitals and Vancouver Canucks would meet in the Stanley Cup Final. Both teams got off to a good start Wednesday night, with the Capitals beating the Rangers 2-1 in OT and the Canucks beating the Blackhawks 2-0. On top of that, here’s the case for Melrose being right:

• The Capitals are the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the second straight season. The last team to do that in the East was the New Jersey Devils, who were the top seed in three straight years from 1997-99.

• Washington has revenge on its minds. In each of the Capitals last three postseason appearances, their season has ended at home in Game 7. Last year, Washington was the Presidents' Trophy winners, but lost 2-1 in Game 7 to the Montreal Canadiens.

• The Capitals have taken a more defensive approach, going from the highest-scoring team in last season to 19th this season. Conversely, they were fourth in goals against this year after being 19th last year. The 2.33 goals against per game were their lowest in a single season in team history.

• While Alex Ovechkin was held to career lows in goals (32), power-play goals (7) and shots on goal (367), he’s playing well at the right time. Since March 1, Ovechkin’s 1.38 points per game is the highest among any player in the Eastern Conference. And since 2008, no player has a higher point per game in the postseason than Ovechkin’s 1.48.

• The Canucks have all facets covered. During the regular season, they were first in goals scored (258), first in power-play percentage (24.3), first in goals against (180) and third in penalty killing (86.2).

• Daniel Sedin led the league in points with 104, one year after his brother Henrik did, making them the first set of brothers to win the Art Ross Trophy for the most points in consecutive years.

• The emergence of Ryan Kesler. Everyone knows about his defensive abilities, but he’s taken his offense to the next level. He scored 41 goals, becoming the first American-born player to score at least 40 goals for a Canadian team since Keith Tkachuk scored 50 for the Winnipeg Jets in 1995-96.

Roberto Luongo
• Roberto Luongo is heading to the postseason in the finest form of his career. In 60 games, Luongo posted a 2.11 goals-against average and .928 save percentage. The only goalie to post those numbers in a 60-game season since save percentage became an official stat in 1983-84 was Dominik Hasek in consecutive years of 1997-98 and 1998-99.

But it will be tough. The top seeds in each conference haven’t met for the Cup since 2001 when the Colorado Avalanche beat the New Jersey Devils in seven games. Plus, no first-time President's Trophy winner has gone on to win the Cup.

Melrose says the Canucks will win the Cup. If so, they will be the first Canadian team to take home the Holy Grail since the Canadiens in 1993.