Daniel’s goal is simple: more goals
Sedin looking to rebound from two “disappointing” seasons
Like fellow Vancouver Canuck forward Ryan Kesler, Daniel Sedin is held to the high standard he reached in 2010-11 when he scored 41 goals and had 104 points.
And just like Kesler, Daniel insists his best years are not behind him and hopes to prove it by adopting more of a shoot-first mentality this season.
“It has been a disappointment the last two years in that department and I think I need to score,” Daniel said after Sunday’s scrimmage at Rogers Arena. “Especially on our line, I am the goal-scorer. It’s up to me to get better.”
In last season’s abbreviated campaign, Daniel had just 12 goals in 47 games. The year before Daniel had 30 goals.
In other words, he is trending in the wrong direction and when you are a player about to turn 33, people begin to wonder.
But Daniel was adamant Sunday that he can return to past form.
“I have always been a goal scorer,” he said. “I don’t maybe have the great shot that Kes has, but I think I am pretty good at getting in positions to score and work to get to those rebounds and that hasn’t been there the last two years and that has been disappointing.”
And don’t try suggesting to Daniel that the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season doesn’t really count.
“I was disappointed with last season,” he said. “That wasn’t good enough and anyone that says last season goes out the window, I think they’re wrong. For me, any game you play is an important game. It’s disappointing, but I know I can score more. I scored 40 once and I would like to be up there again. I still feel like I can produce a lot more than I have the last two years.”
For Daniel, it all comes down to percentages. He feels if he gets the right number of shots on goal, the goals will come.
“For me, if I can get three-and-a-half to four shots a game my shooting percentage is usually around 13 or 14 per cent,” he said. “That is going to put me right there goal-wise. That is key for me, to think shot and if I can get three or four it’s going to become some goals, I think.”
Last season, Daniel’s shooting percentage dropped to just 8.7 per cent. He clicked on 15.4 per cent of his shots in his 41-goal year in 2010-11.
Daniel thinks at times last season, he became hesitant to shoot and occasionally passed the puck when he should have put a shot on net.
“We are a line where I have to think shots and Hank is usually the other way around,” he said. “I have to be the shooter.”
Vancouver’s struggling power play certainly played a part in Daniel’s spotty production last season.
“For sure, when you score on the power play, get production on the power play, it’s going to make you get confidence and when you don’t score on the power play it’s the other way around. If you can’t score on the power play, how are we going to score five-on-five, that’s the mentality that is there. Our power play has to be better. It should be top 10, top 5 in this league. We have the personnel to be there. That was on us last year and we shouldn’t have been that bad.”
The pressure for Daniel to score figures to increase if Zack Kassian begins the season on the top line. The past few seasons, Alex Burrows has provided plenty of goals as the line’s right winger.
“if Zack plays with us and we are a successful team, we are more than happy,” Daniel said. “Zack can be a powerful player out there. I think he has to realize that and we are going to have to talk to him a lot and be on him and push him and I think he wants it, too. It is going to be interesting.”
Daniel said the pace of this year’s training camp under new coach John Tortorella has been quite different. Even he and brother Henrik have had to catch their breath on occasion.
“We are pushing ourselves, we are doing it together as a team,” he said. “We are struggling out there skating. Everyone is dead tired after skates, but we are doing it together as a team and that is going to make us stronger, I think, in the long run. We are going to go into the season knowing we have done everything we can to be in as good a shape as we can. If you know you have done more than the guy on the other side of the rink, mentally that is huge.”
The Canucks open up their six-game pre-season schedule Monday against the San Jose Sharks at Rogers Arena.
“We’ve done enough of this and so now we get to the next part of camp here,” Tortorella said. “That’s when we really start our evaluation when we start playing exhibition games.”
ICE CHIPS: Tortorella would not reveal his lineup for Monday night’s game, but did say he wants to give some of the younger players a good look early. “The first two games are important for us to really take a look at the young guys,” he said. ... Tortorella said assistant coach Glen Gulutzan will handle power play duties this season, while fellow assistant Mike Sullivan will be in charge of the penalty-kill.
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