Why Corey Perry is a better choice than Daniel Sedin

This started as a comment in the Fanshot below, but I was asked to preserve it for easier referencing as a Fanpost, so here it is.

I read an article on Puck Daddy last night on why Wyshynski will be casting his PHWA MVP ballot. Here's why I think he's badly wrong, after the jump.

The following link is for easy reference between the two players

<p><a href="" target="new">Head-to-Head Player Card at Behind the Net</a></p>


1. First Goals.

My pet project harbinger of a player’s value to his team.

Look at last season: Sidney Crosby(notes) (12) and Alex Ovechkin(notes) (11) were Nos. 1 and 2 in scoring the first goals in their teams’ games. Both were Hart finalists, and for good reason.

This season, Daniel Sedin leads the NHL with 12 ‘first goals’, two more than Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) and three more than Jeff Carter(notes), Sedin’s teammate Alex Burrows and Patrick Sharp(notes). He sets the tone for his team, which is important, because the Canucks are 40-2-6 when scoring first — best in the NHL.

His 10 game-winning goals, while a bit of a nebulous stat, aren’t bad either.

For comparison’s sake: Perry has 7 ‘first goals’ and 11 game-winners.

First goals don’t mean anything more than GWG do. A goal is a goal is a goal. Vancouver is the best team in the league at winning after they score first because they’re an outstanding team, pretty clearly the best in the league this season by just about any metric you care to name.

2. Ice Time

Daniel Sedin has scored 100 points while averaging 18:31 TOI per game. Perry has 97 while averaging 22:08, which is a significant gap. Part of the disparity is the fact that Perry plays on the penalty kill (1:34) while Sedin doesn’t (0:05). But we’re not buying that a forward playing shorthanded is indicative of anything but the coach’s philosophy on their use; unless you believe Pavel Datsyuk(notes) (0:41 TOI shorthanded) isn’t Selke worthy because of it.

So Sedin had done more with fewer minutes on ice.

Um, what? So Perry kills penalties, plays more minutes both on the PK and at ES, but this somehow makes him less valuable than Sedin? I’m frankly boggled.

But that’s not all. Corey Perry plays against significantly tougher competition (Corsi Rel QComp .634, firmly in the second tier on his team after Koivu’s line) than Sedin (.109, firmly in the easiest competition group for the Canucks).

Perry also has a vastly tougher set of zone-starts. Sedin’s gets more O-Zone starts than anyone in the league other than Cam Janssen, who’s so bad he has to be protected that way. Sedin’s ratio of O-Zone to D-Zone is 74.4%. That’s outrageously, historically high for a non-goon player. That’s extraordinarily high, even for a goon. Suffice it to say that Sedin couldn’t be set up any better to succeed offensively.

Perry, on the other hand, sits in the bottom third of the league by that measure. Sedin does more per-minute? He damn well should. I don’t find it at all a stretch to imagine that if he were forced to play Perry’s minutes that they’d have comparable per-minute stats (or Perry would be better).

3. Penalty Time
Perry (104) leads Sedin (32) in penalty minutes by an enormous margin. Since the lockout, no player has won the Hart with over 100 PIM; hell, make that in recent memory. Even Pronger only had 92 when he won in 2000.
Everybody views the MVP in different ways. The fact that Perry leads his team in minor penalties (37) by 12 over the next guy is a check-mark in the negative column.
Put it this way: He’s fourth in the NHL in minors, tied with … wait for it … MATT COOKE.

This would seem to be a compelling argument in Sedin’s favor…until you look at how many penalties each player draws. For all of his minor-taking, Corey Perry provokes more minors than he’s penalized for. Sedin? He takes exactly as many as he draws. The advantage here, believe it or not, actually lies with the guy who plays for the Ducks.

Sedin, on the other hand, has been the most statistically dominant and consistently impressive player on a team that’s going to finish with 113 points at a minimum. His contributions could still help Vancouver lead the League in goals for, against, on the power play and not allowed on the penalty kill, becoming the first team to do so in the expansion era (since 1967).

He isn’t just the best player on the best team, like the hollow MVPs in other sports often are. They’re the best team because he’s been their best player.

Firstly, Sedin doesn’t play the PK, so unless he’s figured out telekinesis from the bench, he’s not the reason they’re leading the league in PK percentage. Maybe, just possibly, it might be a heaping dose of luck and Malhotra, with some Ryan Kesler sprinkled in.

Vancouver isn’t the best team because Sedin is its best player. Of the entire article, this might be the most objectionable, incorrect statement out of all of them. Vancouver is, and has been, the best team because they’re a dynamite puck possession team with depth all the way through the lineup at every position. Luongo is an elite goalie. Their blueline is chock-a-block with guys who can line up against top players and succeed. Manny Malhotra took damn near all the tough draws against all the top lines and Ryan Kesler took the rest. Vancouver is a great team because Mike Gillis put together a great roster, top to bottom, not because Daniel Sedin is its best player.

Corey Perry might not be the MVP of the NHL, but if the other choice is Daniel Sedin?

It’s a laugher. Perry wins in a walk-over.

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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