Last week, Tom Awad had a great post showing the disparity between Manny Malhotra's zone starts and that of the Sedin twins. The difference between how the Vancouver Canucks use their lines and how other teams use theirs is immense. The concept is that Malhotra is an enabler for the Sedins to play extremely offensive roles on the team. With the checking line center's eye injury putting him out for the season and the playoffs, the Sedins won't be the only players on the Canucks that suffer.
Manny Malhotra has a GVT of 7.5 through March 27th. On the surface, he has been worth a little more than a win to the Canucks this season. But looking a little deeper, his absence could affect the likes of Ryan Kesler in addition to the Sedins. Daniel Wagner of Pass It To Bulis had a great post earlier in the year about Malhotra's effect on Kesler. He called the phenomenon a "trickle-up effect".
Kesler's zone start ratio has increased from 45.1% in 2009-10 to 49.5% in 2010-11. That jump in offensive zone time along with playing against easier competition has really shown up in his possession stats. Kesler's Corsi Rel increased to 18.6 this season from 11.0. That's a massive jump. The odd part is, that despite all the hype around his newfound offensive prowess, Kesler's scoring rate at even strength is slightly worse than that of last season.
The biggest boost for Kesler this season has been an increase in power play time of close to 45 seconds per game. Playing more with the man advantageand with the Sedins no lesswill boost almost anyone's point totals.