With one week left in the regular season and the Art Ross Trophy well within reach, Henrik Sedin says he isn’t concerned about chasing the first major award of his NHL career.
The Vancouver Canucks forward has a two-point lead over Alex Ovechkin in the scoring race, with Sidney Crosby in third, nine points back.
Sedin isn’t concerned about holding off the league’s two biggest superstars over the final three games of the season.
“I haven’t really put a lot of focus on it,” Sedin said Monday on a conference call. “I think I passed Ovechkin in January. I mean, I was up there (and) I knew I had a small chance. But it’s not all up to me.
“I can only go out and do my best, and then it’s Ovechkin or someone else puts up 10, 12 points the last four games, then I still haven’t won it.”
Sedin has a chance to become the first Canadian-based player to lead the NHL in scoring since Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla in 2002. He would also be the eighth different player to win the scoring title in as many seasons.
The 29-year-old has taken his game to another level this season, racking up 24 more points than the career-best 82 he had in 2008-09. He’s not sure exactly what prompted the surge.
“I can’t really put a finger on it,” said Sedin. “There’s a lot of different things that come together. (Linemate Alex) Burrows is having a career year; (twin brother and linemate Daniel Sedin) is playing better than ever too. We always try to get better every year.
“I think it’s a process over a long period of time where we’ve worked harder every summer. It’s just nice that the hard work has paid off this year.”
The Sedin twins signed matching US$30.5-million, six-year contract extensions prior to becoming unrestricted free agents in July. They have spent their entire careers in Vancouver and are focused on getting the Canucks over the top.
With the playoffs looming, Henrik Sedin believes the offensive capabilities of this year’s team sets it apart from previous editions.
“I think a lot of people see we can score goals,” he said. “That hasn’t been the case maybe in the years past. So I think we still have to focus on cutting down other teams chances because we know we can put up goals. We are up there with Washington and San Jose, those teams.
“I don’t think we’re going to have a problem.”