Sedins suddenly senior in Vancouver

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:51 PM ET

The West Coast Express left the station long ago.

Todd Bertuzzi was the first to go and a few stops along the way, is now a Calgary Flame.

This past summer, Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison went their separate ways.

Even Trevor Lindens days as a Canuck are now over.

The only forwards remaining from those halcyon days when the Canucks attack was a thing to fear are the Sedin twins.

Thats right, Daniel and Henrik Sedin are now the old guys on the Canucks.

I cant see myself as old, but its our eighth year now, Daniel said. Weve been here a while.

Thats right, the dynamic duo drafted second and third overall in 1999 are heading into their eighth season and it would be nine had that 2004-05 season not been wiped out by the lockout.

Hard to believe, huh?

Its hard for me to believe, too, Daniel said.

The captaincy of the Canucks belongs to goalie Roberto Luongo, and the leadership crew in terms of the other letters is based among a defence corps.

Still, theres little argument the Canucks are now in the hands of the Sedins.

Regardless of whos donning the captains C or alternate As, the key to the fortunes on the West Coast is the Sedin twins. After all, you have to score goals to win in the NHL, no matter how good your goalie is, and the Sedins are the cornerstones to the Vancouver offence.

Daniel, however, didnt want to get into that discussion.

I think we always have taken it upon ourselves to lead by example and do a good job defensively on the ice. Its not different this year, he said. Its a different year, but no different for us.

Our goal every year is to take a step forward, be better every year. This year, hopefully we can take that step forward.

Daniel and Henrik Sedin likely will. As for the Canucks? That could be another story.

The forward ranks include newcomers such as Pavol Demitra, Steve Bernier, Kyle Wellwood and grinders Darcy Hordichuk and Ryan Johnson.

Scoring was a problem for last seasons Canuck team. Its hard to believe this year will be any different.

Or will it?

Sedin firmly believes a huge part of his teams offensive woes a year ago stemmed from the injuries that decimated their defence. Key blueliners Sami Salo, Mattias Ohlund and Kevin Bieksa all missed a large amount of games due to injury.

The natural instinct is to believe it only affects the goals against, but it can have a major impact on the offence.

The difference between two years ago when we won the division and had the most points in the history of this team and last year was the defence was healthy, Sedin said. Our defencemen, they missed over 180 man-games, and thats going to hurt a team because a lot of our offence comes from our defencemen.

The guys we brought in did a good job, but look at Detroit when they lost Lidstrom ... and they lost what, seven or eight of those games. We missed two or three guys every night and it was tough.

Amazingly, last years Canucks were in the hunt, not only for a playoff spot, but also for the Northwest Division crown with two weeks remaining.

They were one point out of first in the division with eight games remaining, but fell that night and dropped six of their final seven contests.

Sedin said he and his teammates spent the summer mulling over that disappointment and returned looking to make amends.

I think those last eight games, the season took a toll on us, missing all those guys. You lose two or three games, its tough to win again, he said. You see everybodys come back in great shape and wanted to win in pre-season to get that feeling right away.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

HENRIK SEDIN

Age: 28

Born: Sept. 26, 1980 in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden

Position: Centre

Shoots: left

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 190 pounds.

Experience: 8th season in Vancouver and NHL

Drafted: 1st round, 3rd overall by Vancouver in 1999

NHL numbers: 87 goals, 291 assists for 378 points in 564 regular-season games; 10 goals, 10 assists for 20 points in 43 playoff contests

Awards: NHL all-star game (2008).

DANIEL SEDIN

Age: 28

Born: Sept. 26, 1980 in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden

Position: Left wing

Shoots: left

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 185 pounds.

Experience: 8th season in Vancouver and NHL

Drafted: First round, 2nd overall by Vancouver in 1999

NHL numbers: 148 goals, 232 assists for 380 points in 560 regular-season games; 5 goals, 13 assists for 18 points in 43 playoff contests


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