December 12, 2015 - 11:25 AM
VANCOUVER - Henrik and Daniel Sedin didn't even bother trying to shut out the noise.
They were slowing down. They were too old. The Vancouver Canucks should trade their superstar twins to get something back while they had value.
Two years after that nightmare season under John Tortorella, the Sedins are showing they can not only still contribute, but dominate on a nightly basis.
"You hear everything," Henrik Sedin said of playing in Vancouver. "It's just a matter of trying to handle it the right way."
And handle it they have.
At 35 years of age, Daniel Sedin sits fourth in NHL scoring heading into the weekend with 13 goals and 20 assists, while his brother has nine goals and 20 assists, good for ninth overall.
"If you play for a lot of years you're going to have some down years," said Daniel Sedin. "(2013-14) was obviously a real bad year for us. I wasn't too worried. After a year like that you want to come back and prove to more yourself that you can still play."
The Sedins recorded just 97 points between them in Tortorella's only season, but Daniel put up 76 in 2014-15, and Henrik added 73 as the Canucks returned to the playoffs with first-year head coach Willie Desjardins.
Vancouver has had an up-and-down start to this year as a team — the Canucks have won two straight, but just five of their last 18 overall — with the Sedins having combined for 29 points over the last 10 games for a club that somehow sits second in the lowly Pacific Division with a record of 11-11-8.
Daniel is on pace for 35 goals and 54 assists (89 points), which would be the second-highest point total of his career after the 104 he put up in 2010-11. The 35 goals would be his third-highest mark.
"It's a good feeling," said Daniel. "But for years now I've said if you do the right things over and over again you're going to have success."
Henrik, meanwhile, is on pace for 24 goals and 54 assists. The 24 goals would be his best season since scoring a career-high 29 in 2009-10 and the 78 points would be his highest total since amassing 94 in 2010-11.
"It's incredible to watch them," said Canucks defenceman Christopher Tanev. "Every time they're out there you're talking to someone on the bench going 'Did they just do that?' They're one or two steps ahead of everyone."
Desjardins said there's still a 'wow' factor for him, like Daniel's slick deflection for the winner in Wednesday's 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers, but it's the intangibles that stick out.
"The moments (for me) are their character and their drive," said the coach. "They're just determined. You have to have a lot of respect for them just in how they approach the game."
Teammates have marvelled at the No. 2 and No. 3 picks in the 1999 draft for years, with veteran winger Brandon Prust among the latest to witness their skills up close on a daily basis for the first time.
"As much as you see highlights or you watch them on TV, to see it in person every day, even some of the stuff they do in practice, it's pretty fun to watch," he said. "They're franchise."
And they're also the main reason a team with next to no secondary scoring at the moment still feels good about itself ahead of a six-game road trip beginning Sunday in Chicago that could go a long way in determining how the rest of the schedule plays out.
"The thing for us is we never panic if things aren't going in," said Daniel. "I think we're pretty good at assessing our own game, not based on points or anything like that. It's more how we play."
Note: Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis underwent surgery for a facial fracture on Friday after taking a slapshot to the face against New York. Desjardins said he will miss at least two months.
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News from © The Canadian Press, 2015