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Sedins reaching twin peaks for Canucks

With two more points from Daniel, he and Henrik will become first brothers to each score 1,000 in NHL

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

The moment summed up what Henrik Sedin has meant to his city, his team and the NHL, and what they have meant to him.

On Jan. 20, he took a pass on the rush from his brother, Daniel. He deked and scored for the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena, recording his 1,000th NHL point. The horn sounded. The fans roared. The music played. His teammates mobbed him.

As he skated back to the bench, the goaltender he had beaten -- Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers, a former teammate -- congratulated him. He gave Luongo a friendly face wash. He waved to the fans and applauded them, thanking them as they thanked him.

Soon it will be Daniel Sedin's turn. He's two points from 1,000 entering the Canucks' game against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, SNP, NHL.TV). It won't matter how, where or when he does it as much as with whom and for whom.

"I mean, we've been through tough times, good times, everything," Daniel said, referring to his brother. "If I'm able to reach it with him on the ice, that would mean a lot."

Video: Sedin brothers' hockey heroes roots are right at home

This will be an occasion to appreciate what Daniel has meant as an individual, just as the milestone was for Henrik. He deserves his own moment, just as Henrik did.

Daniel will become the 87th player to reach 1,000 points in a league that celebrated its 100th anniversary Sunday and has had more than 7,600 players in its history. He will be the 39th to do it with one franchise, the second with the Canucks.

This is a player who won the Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion and was runner-up for the Hart Trophy as most valuable player in 2010-11, one season after his brother won both. He has scored as many as 41 goals in a season and at least 20 goals 10 times.

But this will be an occasion to appreciate what the Sedins have meant to each other and as a tandem too, especially important considering this could be their last season in the NHL.

Never before has the NHL had two brothers reach 1,000 points each, let alone two on the same team at the same time, let alone identical twins on the same line most of the time.

The closest comparison is Maurice and Henri Richard, the other pair of brothers with 900 points each. Each spent his entire career with the Montreal Canadiens, but they overlapped by five seasons. Maurice had 966 points from 1942-60. Henri had 1,046 from 1955-1975.

The Sedins' success has been intertwined tightly. After maneuvering by Canucks general manager Brian Burke at the 1999 NHL Draft, they were selected back to back: Daniel No. 2, Henrik No. 3. They came to North America from Sweden together in 2000-01. They have factored into the same Canucks goal 715 times. They have assisted on each other's goals 414 times; Henrik on 267 goals by Daniel, Daniel on 147 goals by Henrik.

"When I reached 1,000, I didn't think it was going to be an enormous deal," Henrik said. "But when it happened, it really meant a lot, just the way the teammates treated it, coming on the ice; obviously people around you, how much they enjoyed it as well. It's going to mean a lot."

The Sedins aren't the same players they once were, but they're the same people -- humble, polite, loyal.

They're 37, and the Canucks have a new coach in Travis Green, young players like Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat, and a faster style. Henrik's average ice time has dropped from 19:02 last season to 14:16 this season, Daniel's from 18:23 to 14:12. They expected it. They've accepted it.

Video: VAN@NJD: D. Sedin banks puck in from below goal line

"I've seen it before with guys that are elite players where their ice time does get diminished, and some guys have a hard time accepting that," Green said. "These guys are Hall of Fame players not just on the ice. Their character is Hall of Fame quality."

Their biggest disappointment is obvious: They've never won the Stanley Cup. They came within a win in 2011, only to lose Games 6 and 7 of the Final to the Boston Bruins. Each is in the last season of his contract, but neither wants to go anywhere else to chase the Cup.

"Because this city means so much to us, and we know back in the day management, coaches believed in us, even though it would have been so easy to trade us away and get rid of us because we weren't playing up to what everyone believed we could do," Daniel said. "That meant a lot to us."

Said Henrik: "Just for us to be here for this long and then leave for a month and a half or two months and maybe get a chance of winning it, it would have been great, but it would not be the same as winning it for the Canucks. To be a part of something that you built up for a lot of years … for us it would not be the same."

They will finish this season with the Canucks and evaluate their future. Whenever they leave the NHL, wherever they end up on the scoring list, it will not be the same.

"They've been a blessing to the city of Vancouver," said Burke, the Calgary Flames president of hockey operations. "They've been a blessing to the National Hockey League. And it will be a poorer day for our league when they're both done."

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