The Brown Knight wrote: Uncle dans leg wrote:
Markus Naslunds' game went south rapidly like this. He even had a nasty head shot that seemed to be the trigger.
Maybe there's something about O'vik natives and headshots
Thing with Naslund though, is that he still played pretty well a year or two after that. If I recall correctly, Naslund was still pretty decent in 2005-2006, but Bertuzzi was the one that had really declined. Naslund's decline started to happen in 2006/2007.
With regards to Daniel, I don't think he was overly terrible last year (I haven't checked the stats..........just going with my gut here).
So in both these instances - I don't think we can use the headshot as a point of trigger for rapid decline in play. I think it has more to do with age.
Naslund just never looked like the same player after that hit. But it's tough to judge because not long after that hit he lost his wing-man when Bert retaliated and KO'd Moore. He ended up having shoulder problems too, which contributed to the decline of his wrist shot.....and that shot was the foundation of his offensive game. After Bert came back Crawford often broke up Naslund and Bertuzzi in hopes of distributing the offense. Neither of them played the same again.
What made absolutely no sense was the fact that 2005-06 was the first year that the Sedins cracked 70 points. Naslund led the way with 79, then Hank, then Bert, then Daniel. Carter was 5th as that was the year that he played with the twins. So Crow was moving Bert around from the top line to the 3rd line, slotting him in at center some nights, and just mishandling the entire top 6. Our defense was so fucking bad on top of it all that we couldn't hold a lead.
Then Naslund was set to play with the Sedins after Bertuzzi was traded and Vigneault took over. That didn't work at all because the Sedins can't create off of the rush and Naslund, one of the best scoring wingers of the last 4-5 years (at the time), couldn't figure out what to do with the endless cycle. I remember Markus even being the guy at the net.....lol. The drama that revolved around Bertuzzi, and the playoff failures, all of the pressure drove Naslund out of Vancouver as his numbers dipped.
With the Sedins the game has changed and people are wise to them. They are declining partly due to age and partly due to not being able to adapt their game. Daniel's game has steadily dropped off since Keith gave him a concussion. But that was also the season that teams had increasingly stepped up against the Sedins and played a defense that was designed to shut them down.