Its also hard to believe two Swedish twins have led the way in the Western Conference finals after being noticeable for all the wrong reasons the series prior.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin have accounted for seven points combined in the first two games, both wins, in the Western Conference finals, against the San Jose Sharks. They now look to continue their strong play as the series now shifts to San Jose for Game 3 and Game 4 .
The Twins from Ornskoldsvik, Sweden will be able to add a new chapter in their now memorable hockey careers, if they manage to take the Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup finals. If they continue to play at the level they're capable of for the duration of this series, the Canucks should have no problem getting there.
Now, getting to the Stanley Cup finals has always been in the dreams of all Vancouver fans across the province. With that being said, having the Swedish Sisters lead the way was not always in the picture.
When then general manager, Brian Burke, pulled the switch to be able to pick No. 2 and No. 3 in the 1999 NHL entry draft in Boston, it became very evident that Vancouver was about to have both twins dawning the Orca. That became even more clear when the Atlanta Thrashers picked, the now captain of "Team who?", Patrik Stefan as the first overall pick.
Vancouverites were very hopeful and optimistic that Henrik and Daniel could help all Canuck fans forget the late-90s.
In the early stages of the Sedin twin's careers, Vancouver began to win, but Henrik and Daniel played a very small role in the team's success. Such a small role that the twins actually considered moving back to Sweden and playing for Modo. With the leadership of then-captain Markus Naslund and Mr. Canuck Trevor Linden, the Sedins stuck it out in North America, hoping to find their way in the NHL.
After years of playing in the shadows of the "West Coast Express", arguably the best line in hockey, of Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison and Todd Bertuzzi, people across Vancouver were beginning to lose faith in the Sedins. The lack of secondary scoring brought by the Sedins became a huge part of why the Canucks could never take the next step.
Then came the 05-06 NHL campaign, better known as the post-lockout year. Which is best known in Vancouver as the last stop for the West Coast Express and a coming out party for the Sedins, which for most, was six years late.
The Sedins managed to be just less then a point per game players, taking over the Canucks top forward group. Henrik racked up 75 points and Daniel followed up with 71. They also became Olympic Gold Medalists by helping Team Sweden capture gold in the 2006 Olympic games.
They followed up the next three seasons with point per game numbers and were quietly making a name for themselves in the NHL. Most were sold that the Sedins were able to put up these numbers, but nothing more. Well, the critics were wrong and in the 09-10 campaign , the Sedins hosted another coming out party.
The Canucks were led by Henrik Sedin, who played most of the first half of the season without brother Daniel, due to a foot injury. The Sedins took the league by storm and nobody saw it coming. They twins combined for over 195 points . Henrik lead the NHL in points, with 112, and in assists, with a staggering 83. Daniel followed up with an outstanding 85 points in 63 games.
Henrik was later awarded with the Hart Trophy, given to the MVP of the NHL, a feat that was never won by a Vancouver Canuck before.
The Canucks fell short in the playoffs, but many fans were delighted with the way the team and the Sedins played during the season. It brought a sense of relief and the thought of playoff success the following season.
Critics were second guessing the Sedin's abilities and weren't really sure if the Sedins could perform an encore. Henrik was named team captain at the beginning of the 2010-2011 season, putting even more pressure on the Sedins.
They pushed the pressure aside and delivered an even better performance. They both found themselves in the top five in scoring, with Daniel leading the league with 102 points. Daniel and Henrik also helped the Vancouver Canucks climb to the top of the NHL standings. Vancouver won the President's Trophy for the first time in team history; a trophy that seemed to have very little influence on the Canucks.
They had one trophy in mind, the Stanley Cup. Vancouver's chance to win the cup has never been so good.
After an emotional Game 7 win in Round 1 against the dreaded Chicago Blackhawks, they followed it up with a six-game series win over the Predators. The Canucks find themselves facing the always dangerous Sharks.
The Sedin brothers have been criticized for their play in the playoffs their whole careers. However, in Game 1 and Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, the Sedins have been the catalyst for the Canucks, helping the team jump off to a 2-0 series lead.
If Vancouver wishes to win this series, the Sedins will have to continue their stellar play. If they do so, Henrik, Daniel and the Canucks will play for the Stanley Cup.
Henrik and Daniel have come a very long way throughout their careers in the NHL. Yet, now, they seem to have caught not only Vancouver's attention, but rather the whole league's attention and they've earned every bit of it.