Daniel and Henrik Sedin delivered their usual response to petty taunts by helping the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-3 win over the slumping Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Earlier in the week, Chicago Blackhawks agitator Dave Bolland in a radio interview referred to the Swedish twins as the Sedin “sisters”, prompting an angry retort from Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault.
The Sedins had little to say.
The barbs are nothing new for the identical twins and they responded way they always have -- Daniel scoring late in the second period to give the Canucks a lead they would not surrender and Henrik setting up Alex Burrows third period game winner.
“We’re 3-1-1, that’s a pretty good road trip, we’re really happy with that,” Daniel told reporters after notching his 13th goals of the season.
“We are a good road team and we showed that. It doesn’t matter what the score is we play the same way, if we are down or we are up.
“We keep things going, we try to make them break and they did tonight.”
The Leafs have no particular beef with the Sedins other than being unable to beat the Canucks, who have now won 10 straight over Toronto going back to November 2003.
Swedes have been derided as a “pacifists” and “chicken Swedes” by North American hockey fans since 1965, when trailblazer Ulf Sterner first played for the New York Rangers.
Like Detroit Red Wings defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom and other Swedes since, however, the Sedins have long ago proven that they can excel in the rough and tumble NHL.
Both have won Art Ross trophies as the NHL’s leading scorer, Henrik in 2010 and Daniel in 2011.
Henrik was also awarded the Hart trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 2010 while Daniel was a finalist last year.
The twins came into Saturday’s game in the top 10 of league scoring and added to their totals against the falling Leafs, who have now lost four of their last five.
The Canucks were out of the gate quickly, Chris Higgins flipping a backhand over Toronto’s Swedish netminder Jonas Gustavsson just 62 seconds after the opening faceoff but the Leafs answered with a powerplay goal from Joffrey Lupul.
Vancouver struck early again in the second, Mason Raymond pounding home a rebound 49 seconds into the period but Toronto hit back with a goal from Tyler Bozak.
With 44 seconds remaining in the period, Daniel Sedin put the Canucks ahead to stay taking a perfect feed from Burrows and redirecting it over a helpless Gustavsson’s shoulder.
Burrows then added an insurance marker late in the final period by ricocheting a shot off the post to put the visitors up 4-2.
Toronto kept it interesting with Phil Kessel notching his 19th of the season before Jannik Hansen ended any hope of comeback with nice solo effort with just over a minute to play.
“Ever since I came into the league the Leafs are a team I hated as a kid,” said Burrows. “I grew up in Montreal and when you are a Habs fan it seems it is just in your blood (to hate the Leafs).
“I know a lot of fans in Vancouver don’t like this team it just makes it extra-special (to get a win).”