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Grandlund brothers face off in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Through their own different paths, the careers of the Grandlund Brothers, Markus and Mikael, have arrived at the same point in the National Hockey League.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Through their own different paths, the careers of the Grandlund Brothers, Markus and Mikael, have arrived at the same point in the National Hockey League.

It's likely not the most verbose of sibling rivalries. Any trash talk on the ice between the two? No, says Markus, the younger of the two. So, we can forget about a juicy story line when the Wild visit the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Tuesday.

This isn't the first time the Granlund brothers have faced each other in the NHL, and judging by their comments Monday, this latest meeting doesn't hold any personal significance to either of them. For both, it's an ordinary game.

Their parents, Vesa and Minna, might not see it the same way. Both will be in attendance Tuesday to see, it's believed for the first time, their sons play against each other in an NHL game.

"I think they're going to root for both of us," said Mikael.

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It's worth noting that Markus, 23, seems to have established himself as a regular in the Canucks' lineup - gaining the trust of coach Willie Desjardins as a versatile forward who can play on both the power play and penalty kill - after joining the team last season before the trade deadline.

Becoming an everyday player didn't happen quickly for Markus.

Before the Canucks acquired him in a deal for prospect forward Hunter Shinkaruk, Markus was still, as of last season, splitting time between the Calgary Flames and their minor league affiliate in Stockton, Calif.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning took flack from fans and media over the trade, but that deal may prove to be shrewd.

Meanwhile, older brother Mikael was Minnesota's ninth overall pick in 2010 and had already established himself in the big leagues. Mikael, 24, set career highs in goals (13) and points (44) with the Wild last season, and he is on pace to improve upon that in 2016-17.

The brothers will talk throughout the season, usually a couple of times a week, says Markus. But hockey rarely is the focus.

"I don't really think about it," said Markus, when asked about playing against his brother. "Of course, it was cool to play against him in the NHL, but it's still just a game. You play against your brother or somebody else, it doesn't matter."

Markus, like the entire Canucks team, struggled offensively at the start of the season but has found a groove lately, with six points in his past 10 games.

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Mikael has five points in his past four games. Wild coach Bruce Boudreau has given Granlund nearly 20 minutes of ice time per game while consistently trotting him out on the penalty kill and power play.

"It's hard to beat players that know the game," said Boudreau.

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