Sedins are mind readers

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:56 PM ET

Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund would love to develop a Sedin-esque chemistry with his new linemates.

Just not at the expense of sharing certain physical traits with wingers Niklas Hagman and Olli Jokinen.

“They’re both bald,” Backlund said with a grin. “So I hope not.”

A full head of red hair isn’t the only thing twin brothers Henrik and Daniel Sedin have in common.

The Vancouver Canucks superstars also share an unparalleled chemistry on the ice, sparking debate in hockey circles about whether twins really do share some sort of telepathic connection.

Count Flames head coach Brent Sutter among the believers.

Sutter was one of six brothers to skate in the NHL, but he admitted after Wednesday’s morning skate at the Saddledome that the only set of twins — Rich and Ron — shared a unique bond.

“I know first-hand,” Sutter said. “When you have two people that think so much alike, it’s like one. I know with Ronnie and Richie, that’s why coaches kept them together through minor hockey, junior — they always played on the same line. They just had that knack of knowing where they’re at all the time, where to put pucks, where not to pucks. They could just read off each other so well.

“And obviously, with the Sedins, it’s happening for them at the NHL level, too. Inseparable, that’s what it is.”

The Canucks would be crazy to separate them.

Heading into Wednesday’s showdown at the Saddledome, both Sedins were sitting among the NHL’s top 15 point-producers. Daniel was tied for fifth on the goal-scoring charts with 13 tallies in 22 outings, while Henrik had registered a league-leading 25 assists.

Kinda makes you wonder what the Flames could accomplish with another Jarome Iginla or a second instalment of Alex Tanguay.

“It’s obviously very unique to play together you’re whole life and with twins, reading off each other or whatever,” Iginla said. “I would say it’s definitely a nice advantage. You think of guys you’ve played with over the years. I’ve really enjoyed playing with Connie (Craig Conroy) and have good chemistry with Tangs, and you kind of feel like you’re reading where each other go.

“I can only imagine the number of years there. And you can see it. Obviously, they’re very good players and especially together, they’re a pretty dynamic duo.”

They’ve certainly showcased the type of offensive wizardry that former Canucks GM Brian Burke must have had in mind when he engineered a series of trades and selected the Sedins with the second- and third-overall picks in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

The Sedins have now been skating side-by-side for a full decade in the NHL, combining for 392 goals and 1,259 points in regular-season and playoff action.

Including three seasons in the Swedish Elite League, several international tournaments and countless minor-hockey games, the skilled Swedes teamed up to terrorize hundreds of netminders.

“Chemistry is a huge thing and they’re twins, so who knows what they’re thinking and if they can read each other’s thoughts,” said Flames centre Matt Stajan. “But they’re as good as they get when it comes to chemistry. And all the power to them — they’ve been lucky enough to player together for that long, but it’s not just luck. They work hard. They make it happen.

“They’re good players and they work for every inch they get, so you don’t want to take anything away from them.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

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