Toronto, Canada – By Steve Keating
VANCOUVER (Reuters) - If current form holds, the NHL's leading scorer going into next month's 2010 Vancouver Olympics will not be a Russian sniper or a Canadian playmaker but an unassuming Swede who can do a little of both.
Henrik, with the help of his identical twin brother and line mate Daniel, rocketed up the scoring chart in December and, with three assists in Thursday's 4-0 shutout win over the Phoenix Coyotes, tops the table with 61 points (20 goals, 41 assists).
The Sedins, along with the third member of their line, Alex Burrows, have been the NHL's hottest trio for the past month.
Henrik (5 goals, 20 assists) and Daniel (9 goals, 13 assists) finished December as the NHL's top two scorers for the month while Burrows has registered back-to-back hat-tricks in his last two games.
The last time two brothers led the league in scoring for a calendar month was Henri and Maurice Richard in October 1957.
"It's fun coming to the rink when you have line mates like this we like playing with each other and they deserve a lot of credit as well," Henrik told reporters. "Luck comes through hard work. That's the bottom line.
"But I think we should talk about our team and the wins we have put together, that's the main focus."
Henrik Sedin would seem an unlikely name to be added to that elite list.
The Swedish twins, taken by Vancouver with the second and third overall picks in the 1999 NHL draft, are in their 10th NHL season.
While Henrik has made solid offensive contributions to the Canucks cause throughout his career (129 goals, 392 assists in 690 games), he did not -- until this season -- flash any Art Ross credentials.
The Sedins's scoring exploits have not gone unnoticed back home in Sweden as the country prepares to defend the gold medal they won at the 2006 Turin Olympics.
"A little bit," said Henrik, when asked if his scoring feats were having an impact in Sweden. "They follow the NHL a lot, especially before the Olympics, but we are on the west coast (of Canada) and the news barely makes to the east coast.
"We like playing with each other, Daniel and Burrows are having a lot of fun.
"Both Daniel and Alex make it easy for myself."
(Editing by Nick Mulvenney)