Sedins still tough to tell apart

Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin, right, and his twin brother Henrik Sedin skate together...

Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin, right, and his twin brother Henrik Sedin skate together during hockey practice for the NHL Stanley Cup in Vancouver, June 3, 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:47 PM ET

VANCOUVER -- Don't feel bad if you still can't tell the difference between Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

Neither could their coach.

But don't be too hard on Vancouver Canucks bench boss Alain Vigneault, who needed 36 months on the job to figure it out.

"It took me three years," Vigneault laughed when asked about the Swedish twins by QMI Agency Saturday. "I'm not proud of that."

If you buy Vigneault's claim, it must have been pretty chaotic around the Canucks headquarters when he took over as coach in 2006.

It wasn't so bad when the Sedins were on the ice. Daniel wore No. 22 on the back of his Canucks jersey. Henrik was No. 33. At least that's what the official game program said.

Off the ice? That's a different story.

Vigneault probably should have demanded they stitch name tags onto the front of their suit jackets.

"The fourth year, when Danny got hurt and basically was out of my sight for about six weeks, I finally figured out what Hank looked like on a regular basis," Vigneault said.

"Then when I saw Danny again, I was really embarrassed that I couldn't tell them apart before because they don't look alike at all. They've got two different personalities.

"I'm not proud to say it took me three years to figure it out."

Since Professor Vigneault is now an expert when it comes to Sedins 101, here is his rundown on how you can properly identify them.

"Danny's a little bit more quiet and listens to his brother," Vigneault explained. "Henrik is obviously a lot more outspoken and usually speaks for both of them."

OK, we get it.

Daniel's the introverted one.

Henrik's a chatty Cathy.

That's probably one of the reasons Henrik is the captain. Makes sense.

For their part, the Sedins have had fun with the inability of casual observers to tell them apart.

A couple of years ago, for example, after a Canucks practice at the Air Canada Centre, they decided to stand in front of each other's cubicles inside the visitor's dressing room.

In the end, reporters interviewing the guy in the locker with Daniel's name on it were actually talking to Henrik. And vice versa.

Can't blame them. They've been doing it since they were kids.

If you were in their shoes, wouldn't you?

Of course, now that the twins have been in the National Hockey League for more than a decade, they consider the topic a bit tiresome, even if the public doesn't.

"Are we still talking about this?" Henrik said on Saturday.

Yup. Sorry.

Henrik finally gave in and spoke about it, revealing that Vigneault has a penchant of forgetting the first names of his players.

As for the confusion their looks have caused for much of the rest of the modern world, Henrik shrugged his shoulders.

"It seems really obvious," Henrik said. "It's been the same deal with teachers or coaches. We don't try to look different. We don't even think about (being identical twins).

"I think coaches, they don't spend enough time around us in the dressing room. It's not as easy for them. I think guys that are close to us, it's not a problem."

It was for Kyle Wellwood.

A couple of years back, Wellwood jumped onto the ice prematurely during a shift change and cost the Canucks a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. Wellwood, a centre, was supposed to jump on when the centre on the ice came to the bench. When Daniel, a winger, came off, Wellwood thought it was Henrik, a centre, and jumped on.

Oops.

Maybe Wellwood should have had the twins sign an autograph for him.

Daniel, after all, writes with his left hand, Henrik with his right.

We think.

How about it, coach Vigneault? You seem to be the expert now.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/zeisberger


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