For those of you who didn't catch it, Yahoo Sports' blogger Greg Wyshynski listed 5 reasons why Daniel Sedin will be receiving his vote for the Hart trophy. To be fair, Wysh admits that he is fine with Perry winning the Hart. However, I think Wysh is a little mistaken in some of his analysis, and I am going to offer counter arguments to his 5 points in a very straight forward, debate manner.
After that, I will be offering any extra points I think he should contemplate before making his decision. Consider this my attempt to change Wysh's mind and get him to switch his vote to Corey Perry. I will use the same tag lines as Wysh, so it's probably best if you read his article before reading this one. There might be a little debate jargon on here, but I'll be as clear as possible. Also, my arguments will be emphasizing what I believe is the true spirit of the Hart trophy, to identify the player that is most valuable to his team.
The first thing I'd like to observe is that Wysh starts out by insinuating that Daniel has been more consistent than Perry. He points to Perry's slow goal month of November, he only had 6, as proof that Perry's recent hot streak is the real reason he's in the Hart discussion. During November, Perry had 8 assists to go with his 6 goals. That's 14 points in 14 games. It might not have been his most productive month, but it's disingenuous to say he wasn't contributing to the offense. Again, this award isn't about who is the best player, but who is the most valuable to his team. Perry had a hand in 38% of goals the Ducks scored in November. Could he have done more? Maybe. But the guy certainly wasn't dead weight.
1) First Goals: Wysh's claims that Sedin's 12 first goals are more significant than Perry's 11 game winning goals.
His justification is Vancouver's sparkling record when scoring first. However, the Ducks lead the league in one-goal-wins. As such, I consider Perry's goals to be just as important to his team. If your team has a great record when it scores first, then the relevance of scoring first increases. If your team has a phenomenal record in one-goal-games, then scoring that one goal that wins the game becomes more important.
There's an argument that not all Perry's GWG's came in one goal victories. Similarly, I'm sure Daniel Sedin has scored first in games the Canucks lost. In this instance, I'm tempted to say that each category is a wash in terms of relevance to the team. However, I'd like to note that there is no discernible impact to the first goal. It's just as easy to claim that Vancouver's defensive depth makes it easier to secure leads. A game winning goal breaks a tie and permanently puts a team ahead for the remainder of the game. In terms of being relative stats to a game, a gwg always has an impact, it wins a game. The momentum of a first goal can be derailed by a tying goal or even a good hit. Again, in terms of relevance to the team, I think both stats are equally significant. Therefore, Sedin's first goals shouldn't be a reason he should be considered more valuable to his team.
2) Ice Time: Essentially, Wysh argues that Sedin scores more with less ice time. I have two responses to this.
First, I think this is irrelevant. Whoever the better scorer is has little to no bearing on the importance of the player to his team. Second, this argument actually proves that Perry is more important to his team.
The fact that Alain Vigneault only has to play Sedin 18:31 a night demonstrates that he has more depth in his line up than Carlyle. To put it another way, Vigneault's need to play Sedin is not as great as Carlyle's need to play Perry. The Canucks might not score as much with Sedin out, but clearly Vigneault is comfortable using other players to shoulder the responsibility of playing.
Carlyle doesn't have a lot of choice. He HAS to play Perry, and get production from him. It's more than the fact that Perry plays shorthanded minutes. There's a trophy for the best scorer in the league. In terms of determining who is more valuable, TOI shows how much more the Ducks need from Perry than the Canucks need from Daniel. I think this one should go to Perry
3) Penalty Time: Simply put, no one with more than 100 PIM has ever won the Hart, therefore Wysh won't vote for him.
First, I think this is also irrelevant. Even if it's never happened before, that's not a justification to hand the Hart to Daniel Sedin. PIM has no link to a player's value to a team. Moreover, since January, Perry only has 30 PIM. When the Ducks needed him to stay focused and stay out of the box, he answered the call. I know that's still a high number, but it's less than 30% of his overall total.
Perry is still a physical player and that will result in more penalties. Five of his 15 minors were roughing. That's just a part of his game. It hasn't affected his scoring, and as the numbers continue to decline, it will affect the Ducks less. If the argument is that a guy can't be valuable to his team from the box, that's fair. However, Perry's physical game can turn the tide for the Ducks, and it's important to the team that he play with that edge. Part of the risk is the penalties.
Again, if the point is simply that it's never happened, that's not a good enough reason to vote against Perry's value to the Ducks. If the argument is that his penalties hurt the team, I think the Ducks are well aware of it, and willing to live with a lower risk, which Perry is now providing.
4) The Getzlaf Absence Factor: I think Wysh was trying to say that both players did well while missing an element of their line, therefore the tie goes to Sedin...I think.
Wysh admits that Burrows is not comparable to Getzlaf, but I'd like to take that a step further. Daniel Sedin and Corey Perry are both the finishers for their respective lines. Perry played 14 games without his primary playmaker and still managed to average 1.07 PPG. Daniel Sedin was without the guy who digs the puck out of the boards. I'm not saying Burrows isn't a great player, he is. I'm saying that if you had to choose between replacing your top playmaker and the second best goal scorer on your top line, who would you choose? Plus, Perry didn't just produce in Getzlaf's absence; he force fed Bobby Ryan a couple tap-ins to help him get his confidence back after an awful December. Perry didn't just score while Getzlaf was out; he got other players going too. I think this one definitely goes to Perry.
5) Juggernauts Trump Bubbles: Wysh claims that Sedin has made Vancouver the best team, and is not just the "best player on the best team."
I think the tag line puts this all in a proper context. Daniel Sedin has factored into 40% of Vancouver's total goal production; Corey Perry has factored into 42% of Anaheim's. If you're looking for a guy who contributes to more of his team's offense, Perry wins the pure numbers game.
However, I think there are two main responses to this idea. First, I think it is fair to ask if a guy whose team doesn't make the post season is worthy of the MVP. But IF, notice 'if' is in all caps, IF the Ducks make the playoffs, this should be a moot point. Moreover, I think this is another argument that should be turned against Daniel Sedin.
The player who drags his team to the post season should be considered more valuable than the player who keeps scoring long after his team has clinched its playoff birth. Perry has been the best player for the Ducks when the team desperately needed him to be, when the pressure makes it harder to be. Sedin had a great year, and if/when he gets the Art Ross, he will have earned it. However, Perry has scored clutch goal after clutch goal and given the Ducks the confidence they need to compete for this playoff spot. In terms of value to the team, I don't see how Perry hasn't done more for the Ducks.
In terms of Wysh's arguments, I think I have successfully demonstrated that at least 3 of them should actually be seen as favoring Perry. In case that isn't convincing enough, I have a couple of extra points of my own.
1) The Match Ups: Carlyle spends a lot of time matching top line against top line. Normally, coaches try to get their top scorers away from the other team's top scorers. Carlyle tells his top line to shut those scorers down. To put it another way, when the Ducks go to Vancouver, Vigneault tries to get the Sedins away from Getzlaf and Perry. When the Canucks come to Anaheim, Carlyle tries to match the Sedins against Getzlaf and Perry.
Perry produces while being considered the Ducks top shutdown option. That's a much more perilous way to demand scoring, and Perry is meeting demand. Daniel Sedin has Ryan Kesler to carry the defensive load while he focuses on offense. In terms of value to the team, Perry is one of Anaheim's top scorers, AND one of its top defensive forwards. Daniel Sedin is only one of his team's top scorers. Perry does more for the Ducks, and fills more roles for his team, than Daniel does.
2) The Only Complete Scorer: Only one player in the league is in the top 10 in even strength, power play, and shorthanded scoring. His name is Corey Perry. Perry is first in ES scoring, 8th in PP scoring, and tied for 9th in SH scoring. Kesler is the only other player to be in the top 13 of PP and SH scoring, but his 39 ES points pale in comparison to Perry's 62. Perry produces in every facet of the game, and he does it well. Sedin only flourishes in offensive situations.
Overall, Perry offers more variety in his production and more options for his team than Daniel does. Sedin might be more of an offensive threat than Perry, but Perry's ability to be an offensive threat in every situation has turned the tide for his team.
He has definitely demonstrated that he can do everything the Ducks ask of him, and still do more. If Vancouver asked Daniel Sedin to kill penalties, could he still be a threat? Maybe, but he hasn't proven that this year. Perry has answered and excelled in every task the Ducks organization has set before him this season. I just can't see an argument that Daniel Sedin has been more valuable to the Canucks when you consider he can't fulfill the multiple roles that Corey Perry does.