VANCOUVER – It was a short summer for training, but a long few months for Daniel Sedin to deal with the pain and frustration of losing in the Stanley Cup final.
The Vancouver Canuck forward says it still hurts to think about his team’s 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL final.
“For a couple of weeks afterwards you think about it every day,” Sedin said Wednesday after skating with several other players at a local arena. “You try to think what went wrong.
“It was a tough time. You get stronger from that too. If we learned a few lessons, I think we will be ready for this year.”
Sedin said he was both physically and mentally drained by the marathon playoff run.
“The days after it was tough to get out of bed,” he said. “It’s a weird feeling.
“You have to do it. You can’t really take any time off.”
Like the rest of his teammates, Sedin didn’t have much time to lick his wounds. He started training again for the upcoming season just two weeks after the playoffs ended on June 15.
Normally Sedin would take more than three weeks off. The last few Canuck seasons have ended in May.
“You are used to working out for a longer period of time,” he said.
“I liked it. It was short and hard. I think everyone is eager to get back.”
Other Canucks at the workout were defenceman Alex Edler and forward Marco Sturm, who was signed as a free agent. Sedin’s twin brother Henrik is expected to arrive in Vancouver Friday.
The Canucks, who have never won a Stanley Cup, enjoyed the best regular season in franchise history last season.
Vancouver won the Presidents’ Trophy for the first time for having the best regular-season record in the NHL. The Canucks set franchise records with 117 points, 54 wins and 27 road wins.
Vancouver scored 262 goals, more than any team in the league, and the 185 goals allowed was the least.
It was the first time in 17 years Vancouver had advanced to the Stanley Cup final.
Sedin knows it will be a hard act to repeat.
“I realize just getting to the playoffs is hard enough,” he said. “If we take 15 games off, we’re out of it. That’s how tight this league is.
“We won the Presidents’ Trophy last year, but we could easily miss the playoffs this year if we don’t play our best 82 games.”
Last year was also a banner season for Sedin.
He followed in his brother’s foot steps and won the league scoring title with 41 goals and 104 points. He also received the Ted Lindsay Award for being the NHL’s most outstanding player as voted by member of the players’ association.
The twins struggled in the final. Daniel had one goal and three assists in seven games. Henrik, the Canucks’ captain, led the playoffs with 19 assists but didn’t manage one against the Bruins.
Daniel Sedin said he knows that will give the brother’s critics more ammunition.
“We didn’t produce the way we wanted to produce,” he said. “Our only chance is to produce.
“If we don’t do that, we’re losers. That’s the way it is.”
Sedin still remains a hero to his fans. After a 90-minute workout he stopped to sign autographs and have his picture taken with several people at the arena.
Injuries could affect the Canucks at the start of the season.
Forward Ryan Kesler had hip surgery during the summer and will likely miss training camp. Mason Raymond isn’t expected back until November after suffering a vertebrae compression fracture in Game 6 of the final.
“We had a lot of injuries last year too,” said Sedin. “Good teams fight through those kinds of things.
“It’s opens up opportunities for young guys. It’s going to be an even more exciting camp. Guys are going to fight to win those spots.”
Vancouver lost five players over the summer, including defenceman Christian Ehrhoff and forwards Raffi Torres, Jeff Tambellini and Tanner Glass.
Sedin said the Canucks still have plenty of depth.
“Our back end is still really good,” he said. “We had a lot of guys that should have played last year but didn’t get a chance.
“We have a few injuries now, but when they get back and (are) healthy, we are going to have a really good team.”