Vancouver Canucks Need Markus Naslund and the Sedins to Step It Up

Joe SakicContributor IMarch 24, 2008

The Vancouver Canucks have been very unpredictable this season. They have been streaky at best and just can't seem to find the back of the net.

They have also suffered numerous injuries on the back end, making Roberto Luongo's job that much harder.

Currently the Canucks are in seventh place in the conference, sitting three points behind the division-leading Wild with a game in hand. If they were able to win the division and get home ice advantage it would probably be best.

If Vancouver has proven anything this year, and even last year, it's that they cannot beat the big contenders (San Jose, Anaheim, etc.).

It's hard to believe that the Canucks, who just a few years ago had arguably the best offense in the world, are now a team that just can't seem to score.

If they are going to go deep in the playoffs, they are going to have to get some offensive output from somebody. The likely choice: the Sedin twins.

The Sedin twins haven’t been playing great lately. The big question is whether or not they can withstand the physicality of the NHL playoffs. They are certainly not big guys, and their cycle game has been known to collapse completely when they are knocked around.

There is also the matter of the team's captain and all-time leading scorer Markus Naslund.

Nobody is asking him to repeat his 104-point campaign from four seasons ago. But if he could really step it up and perform at the level he is capable of, well, it could be exactly what this team needs.

If the Vancouver Canucks can stay healthy, get some solid scoring from the Sedin twins and Naslund, and get world class goaltending from Luongo they will be a force with which to be reckoned.

However if the Sedin twins disappear, or if the Captain can't get it done, well I don’t care how good the back end is. This team will be out in the first round.