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Reverent Daniel Sedin on cusp of passing Naslund

Forward to set all-time leading scorer record in Canucks' history

by Mike G. Morreale @MikeMorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Daniel Sedin doesn't consider himself as good a goal-scorer as fellow Swede Markus Naslund but is humbled to be mentioned with him as one of the best in Vancouver Canucks history.

Sedin needs one goal to reach 347 and pass Naslund to become Vancouver's all-time leading scorer.

Naslund scored his 346 goals in 884 games for Vancouver over 11-plus seasons. Sedin will play his 1,108th game at the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

"The night I matched him (with two goals in a 3-2 overtime win against the Florida Panthers on Jan. 11), I said he will always be the best goal-scorer, in my mind," said Sedin, who the Canucks selected with the second pick in the 1999 NHL Draft. "He did it in less games and had a better shot."

Canucks right wing Alexandre Burrows, who was teammates with Naslund for three seasons and has played with Sedin the past 11, said there are many similarities between the two.

"Their work ethic is unbelievable," Burrows said. "The preparation is the best I've ever seen, the way they each carry themselves off the ice, train in practice, and the way they each get ready for games. They don't take anything for granted, and once on the ice, they may not have the hardest shot, but the shot is so accurate.

"They're really smart at breaking down goalies and knowing their tendencies. I remember Naslund had a great wrist shot and knew how to use it. (Sedin) is the same way. They can find the soft spot to score goals and they're both great at it."

Sedin played with Naslund, who retired in 2009, for seven seasons (2000-2008).

"He was seven years older and I remember watching him play for our hometown team, MODO, in Sweden," Sedin said. "I never really had a chance to meet him, but [he and twin brother Henrik] knew what kind of player he was. When we came over, we got to know him. He was a world-class player and world-class person, and I was very fortunate to play with him."

On Dec. 11, 2010, Naslund became the third Canucks player to have his number retired (No. 19), following fellow captains Stan Smyl and Trevor Linden. Much of his success came alongside Brendan Morrison and Todd Bertuzzi on the "West Coast Express" line.

Naslund, who was Canucks captain for eight seasons, was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round (No. 16) at the 1991 draft. The three-time NHL First All-Star spent three seasons with Pittsburgh before being traded to Vancouver in 1996.

In 1,117 regular-season NHL games, Naslund had 395 goals and 869 points. Known for his accurate wrist shots and tape-to-tape passes, Naslund scored 40 or more goals three times and at least 30 in six seasons. He had 14 goals and 36 points in 52 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Sedin, who was named to the NHL First All-Star team in 2011, when he won the Art Ross Trophy with 104 points, has 25 goals and 71 points in 102 playoff games.

Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said Sedin has become much more than a goal-scorer.

"He's a good playmaker and sees the ice really well," Desjardins said. "He has a good shot and will go to the tough areas. Having [Henrik] to distribute the puck isn't so bad either. Daniel might not be a pure goal-scorer, but his numbers are pretty great numbers, so he's certainly doing a lot right."

Burrows is looking forward to Sedin setting the record.

"It'll be well-deserved," he said. "He's been so good for this organization for so long, and I think it's just a matter of time now. It would be a good spot to do it at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers, so I'm sure he'll try his best and prepare for it like any other game.

"Hopefully, he'll break it sooner than later."

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