He isn’t worried as much about catching Markus Naslund as catching fire. Henrik Sedin moved towards both on Saturday night.
The Vancouver Canuck captain and his brother Daniel – former National Hockey League scoring champions who had combined for just 14 points in their team’s first 10 games – each recorded two assists in the 5-1 victory against the Calgary Flames.
The double nudged Henrik Sedin within a point of Naslund’s career scoring record of 756 points for the franchise.
Sedin could break the record on Tuesday when the Canucks play the Minnesota Wild at Rogers Arena.
“I don’t want to take anything for granted,” Henrik said. “It’s just one of those things, you try to focus on getting better and everything will take care of itself.”
Sedin has been noticeably abrupt the last few days when asked about the career scoring record, suggesting it means simply that he and his brother have been here a long time (12 years), surrounded by talented players on good teams.
But prodded on Saturday, he admitted the record is special because they grew up watching Naslund in their Swedish hometown of Ornskoldsvik and were later his teammate in Vancouver. Henrik inherited the captaincy when Naslund left the Canucks in 2008.
“We’ve been through the same journey,” Sedin said. “Coming from an outdoor rink in our hometown, playing for MoDo, then coming over here and having a tough couple of first years, and then battling through it. Of course, it means a lot.”
Sedin said he believes his line has been much better the last four games, and Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault credited its play in the second period for turning around the game against Calgary.
Even with the twins’ scoring problems, the injury to second-line centre Ryan Kesler and the lousy standing of its special teams, the Canucks are 7-2-2 through 11 games.
“It’s crazy when you think about it,” Henrik said. “This league is about special teams. But we’ve got the same team we’ve had for a few years and we all play the system really well. Even on bad nights when we’re not playing our best game, we’re limiting the other team on scoring chances. I think we’ve been fortunate so far to have this record because I don’t think we’ve been playing close to our best.”
So is he optimistic about what will happen when the team plays better or concerned that the winning record is masquerading the Canucks’ deficiencies?
“I’m excited,” he said.