Vancouver Canucks: Can the Sedins Shed the 'Too Soft to Win' Tag?

Riley KuftaContributor IIIMarch 5, 2012

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 04:  Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks and Daniel Sedin #22 of the Vancouver Canucks warm up prior to facing the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on February 4, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

With the last two Art Ross Trophies, there's no denying the Sedin twins are among the most dominant players in the league.  

Last year, they led the Canucks to a Presidents' Trophy, and are on pace to do so again.  

One criticism they've had in recent years is their inability to perform in the playoffs. Each of the past three seasons, the Sedins finished the postseason with a lower or equal point/game ratio than that of the regular season.  

Although leading the team within one game of the Stanley Cup last season, the Sedins yet again struggled in the point department and posted a minus-20 rating combined.  

One thing that has been attributed to these disappointing numbers is the "soft" style with which they play.  

The twins are in no way known for dropping the mitts, or even the slightest bit of physicality. In a seven-game series, the opponents figure out how to play against this. They get under the Sedins' skin and throw them off their game.  

While the Canucks' success last season somewhat silenced critics, the underlying issue is still there: the Sedins need to play a tougher game, or add someone to the line who can.  

When players around the league see things like Brad Marchand feeding Daniel Sedin jabs or Joe Thornton sticking his finger in Henrik's face and nothing being done about it, they do the same; and it wears the Canuck stars down.  

Since Zack Kassian joined the Canucks one week ago, coach Alain Vigneault has experimented with him on numerous lines, including with the Sedins.  

If that ends up being the combination that sticks, Kassian's size and toughness will benefit the Sedins greatly down the stretch.  

If not, the twins will have to toughen up a bit if they plan on going all the way.  

Perhaps they should consider taking some fighting lessons from Kevin Bieksa or Byron Bitz.