With his Canucks running away with the Northwest Division title, Vancouver's Daniel Sedin talks playoff hopes, brotherly intuition and his favorite Elton John song in this week's installment of the New York Minute with ESPNNewYork.com's Katie Strang.
STRANG: What can you say about the way your team has been playing?
SEDIN: I think we're playing well as a team. We've had a lot of injuries throughout the year and our power play hasn't been working that well, either, but we're just finding ways to win. I think that says a lot about our team. We have a lot of character on our team and our focus is on winning. We're not focused on personal stats or anything like that; it's about winning games.
STRANG: What do you think is most important in terms of gaining momentum heading into the playoffs? Sustaining confidence? Securing home ice?
SEDIN: I think home ice is always important but we're going to have a good chance of getting home ice if we play the right way and focus on doing the little things right. Then, the other things will take care of themselves. That's what we're focused on.
STRANG: Who has been the unsung hero of the Canucks this season?
SEDIN: I think a lot of guys. If you look at Mason Raymond, Jannik Hansen, Chris Higgins. They've been really stepping up and playing really well for us. Those are three guys that you can kind of name, but overall I think everyone has done their job.
STRANG: You've been pretty consistent over the years. What's been the key to sustaining that offensive production?
SEDIN: I think going in with the same mindset every game, trying to do the right things. And [you] just focus every game on creating scoring chances. If you get too caught up in producing and scoring goals and things like that, it's going to be tough on you mentally, I think. I think you have to put that aside and focus on doing things the right way. Then, goals and those sort of things will come over the course of a year. That's been our focus for the last six, seven years.
STRANG: How much of the twin factor or the brotherly intuition actually plays a part in you and Henrik's success on the ice? Does it really play a role or is that a completely media-driven exaggeration?
SEDIN: I think it has [played a role]. We've played together for so long. I think we have a common goal of how to play, what to do out there. I think Jannik, too, when he came onto our line. He's a real ... I don't want to say underrated, but I think he's a top player in this league. And I think Henrik has shown he can play without me, too, And I'm sure I can play without him as well. It helps in the end but I don't think we're too lost without each other, either.
STRANG: Does local media still ask you guys about that stuff a lot? Or has the whole Sedin twins storyline run its course?
SEDIN: I think it's kind of worn off in Vancouver. Media here and fans are maybe a little bit tired of it, too, same as me. When we first came over, it was always "the twins" and "they've done this" and "they've done that," and now it's more "Daniel and Henrik," and that's nice.
STRANG: I heard a funny story recently from former Canuck Jason Strudwick that he used to blast the Elton John song "Daniel" in the locker room back when you guys first came into the league.
SEDIN: [laughing] I still remember that, too. Our first training camp was in Stockholm, Sweden, and that song came on and, you know, that song is Elton John singing, "Daniel, my brother [you are older than me]," then we all the sudden realized it was a funny song to put on. It was being played in our room pretty consistently.
STRANG: I bet Strudwick really got a kick out of that.
SEDIN: He was probably the guy that laughed the most.
STRANG: How have you evolved, as a player and person, since you first came over from Sweden?
SEDIN: We came in pretty quiet guys, just came to the rink and worked hard, just tried do whatever they wanted us to do. The first few years it wasn't always successful. We took some heat in this market, but it was because of teammates ... they believed in us and supported us and it was always fun coming to the rink and being part of the team, and that's what kept us going. After a few years, we realized we can either go home to Sweden or we can get going here. We really worked hard every summer to get stronger and faster on our skates. And I think that type of focus has really paid off the last few years.
STRANG: What do you think about Canucks' playoff chances this year?
SEDIN: I really like our team right now. Like I said, we've had a lot of injuries and things to overcome to win games but now we've got [Ryan] Kesler back; Derek Roy came in the trade here and is fitting in pretty good, too. I really like the depth of our lineup and I think we're in a good spot. We're going to have to keep pushing. There are a lot of great teams in our conference, you look at Chicago and Anaheim with their outstanding seasons, I think those are the teams to beat.