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Sedin twins dish the dirt on playoffs' top seed

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Sedin twins dish the dirt on playoffs' top seed
If you want to find out the answers, you've got to go right to the source. Or, in the case of the NHL's top team heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, you go directly to two sources.
If you want to find out the answers, you've got to go right to the source. Or, in the case of figuring out what is going on with the team that finished the regular season with top-billing in the National Hockey League standings, you go directly to two sources.

Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin.

The identical twins had identically stellar seasons, but they were just two of several key cogs that turned the Vancouver Canucks into Presidents' Trophy winners.

Vancouver enters its first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks fresh off a franchise-best 117-point regular season. Daniel finished first in the League with 104 points and Henrik was fourth with 94. Ryan Kesler had a breakout offensive season with 41 goals, which tied him with Daniel for first on the Canucks and fourth in the NHL.

"We have two good goalies that are both playing extremely well," Daniel told NHL.com earlier in the season, referring to Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. "I think we've become a better defensive team, too. We don't give up as many chances, and we still have that offensive mindset when we get the puck. We have a lot of good offensive players both on the back end and up front. I think that's what makes us good. We can play well in all areas of the game."

All true. No quibbling from the peanut gallery.

However, there's so much more to this team than just names and numbers. For instance, Daniel told us three things we didn't know about coach Alain Vigneault.

"He doesn't like morning skates. That's one thing," Daniel said. "He doesn't scream a lot. He's pretty quiet. And he watches a lot of video. Our coaches are very well prepared."

Prepared and lucky that they have guys like the Sedin twins, Kesler and Luongo answering the bell nightly. We're talking world-class players here.

Again, though, the Canucks are more about names and numbers.

Henrik offered us three guys who he believes Vancouver can't win without.

"Tanner Glass, because the past couple of years teams have gone from having the heavyweight guys that fight to realizing that you need guys that can play hockey, and he's a guy that can fight, can score, can play PK for us. He does it all for us," Henrik said. "I would also say Kevin Bieksa. He had a really good couple of first years and he's had some tough years with injury, but he's been really solid for us this year with the way he plays defensive and he chips in offensively.

"The third guy would be Cory Schneider, our backup goalie. He works extremely hard and I think he pushes Roberto to become even better."

The twins credit Mikael Samuelsson and Alexandre Burrows for providing some levity through the NHL grind.

Daniel said Samuelsson is the funniest guy in the Canucks' dressing room.

"He likes to chirp guys," he said. "He's not afraid to say things in both Swedish and English. And he can take it, too. A lot of guys go right back at him, but he loves that. He always has an answer. He flies under the radar."

Henrik labeled Burrows as the biggest prankster on the team, a title he's earned in the absence of former Canuck Darcy Hordichuk.

"I don't think he's going to admit anything of what I say, so if this gets printed I might get in trouble here," he said laughing. "He's just done a few things. He nailed Hordichuk's shoes to the floor of the changing area in Denver last year. That's the one thing that sticks out."

When the Canucks win -- and that's often -- Daniel said Kesler and Luongo usually take turns as the dressing room D.J.

"It's usually pretty bad music," he said. "It's loud. It's rap, I would say. It's not for me."

When they lose -- only 19 times in regulation this season -- Henrik said they're good at discussing the reasons why it happened and quickly moving on.

No one stews.

"I don't think we have anyone that you're like, 'Oh wow, he takes it really hard,' " Henrik said. "It's one thing if you make a mistake in overtime that costs you to lose the game, but other than that I think we're pretty focused on moving on."

It's because they're confident, maybe moreso than ever.

The twins understand that the real test has yet to begin -- it starts Wednesday at Rogers Centre. Vancouver has been knocked out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Blackhawks two years in a row.

They're hungry for success. Could this be the year they finally feast?

"I think we can do it all this year," Henrik said.

That's all you really need to know.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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