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Sweden men's ice hockey player Daniel Sedin skates during a team practice at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 22, 2014, ahead of their gold medal game against Canada on February 23. (BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)
Sweden men's ice hockey player Daniel Sedin skates during a team practice at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 22, 2014, ahead of their gold medal game against Canada on February 23. (BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)

Sedin enjoys special atmosphere of Olympics but nothing beats run for the Cup Add to ...

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That Daniel Sedin is steeped in the North American tradition of professional hockey probably isn’t surprising. He and his brother Henrik have been with the Vancouver Canucks since 2000 and though Henrik wanted to play in the Olympics, his priority is to be healthy for the stretch drive of the NHL season. The two Sedins have talked a few times and on Saturday, prior to Sweden’s gold-medal match against Canada, Daniel made a surprising distinction between this competition and what will follow upon the resumption of NHL play.

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“It’s a special atmosphere with the Olympics, being with all the other athletes, it’s a lot of fun seeing that and that makes it special,” said Sedin.

“But if you compare the Stanley Cup to the Olympics, I’ll take the Stanley Cup by far for sure. It’s a tougher tournament to win. You have to go through a hundred games to win it. Here, hot goalie, good power play, that’s all it takes. It’s different.”

Life with his brother Henrik has gone well enough for Daneil Sedin, who has scored five points in five games, second on the team behind teammate Erik Karlsson. Without Henrik Sedin, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen, the Swedes have been playing primarily a defensive style in this tournament.

All that criticism directed towards the Canadian for not lighting up opponents so far in the tournament? The Swedes are hearing it too, back home.

“It’s the same with us,” said Sedin. “It’s no different. International hockey, it’s always tough games. I don’t think you’ve seen a blowout game this tournament. I mean, Canada beats Austria 6-0. That’s kind of it. Otherwise, it’s been 4-2, 3-2, 2-1.

“The hockey’s getting more competitive. There are no easy games anymore, which makes it a lot of fun for the good teams, because we know we’re in for a challenge every night. We’ve been getting better each and every game. We know Canada hasn’t scored much, but they’re a dangerous team. If you give them the chances, they’re going to capitalize.”