Stanley Cup Finals 2011: Have the Sedins Really Shed the Playoff Choker Label?

Bobby Brooks@BrooksBetsAnalyst IIIJune 7, 2011

VANCOUVER, BC - JUNE 01:  Henrik Sedin (L) #33 and Daniel Sedin (R) #22 of the Vancouver Canucks stand on the ice prior to game one against the Boston Bruins in the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Rogers Arena on June 1, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

By their own admissions, the Sedin brothers have gone on the record to say that they needed to work harder after their first few years in the league.  Not a soul in the league ever thought either of them would be playoff performers, let alone Hart Trophy winners/candidates.

That has all changed.

Or has it?

Dominating the regular season is one thing, but leading your team to championships is a whole other story.

Just ask Jaromir Jagr.

Jagr was clear and above the best offensive player in the league for a number of years, but when it came down to pressure-hockey in the postseason, he got shut down and couldn't come through.

Not without Mario at least.

Henrik and Daniel are facing the same kind of situation.

Last year they made strides, but ultimately came up short.  When the entire Canucks fan base and the rest of the hockey world were focused on Luongo, the Sedins were busy slipping out the back door.

Sooner or later they would need to show us the same kind of wizardry in the playoffs that they showed in the regular season.

This postseason they started off OK. The Canucks were on cruise-control in the first half of the Chicago series, but when the Hawks fought back the Sedins disappeared. 

Who rose to the rescue?  Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, and Roberto Luongo.

The Nashville series brought even more questions for the Swedish twins.  Many pointed to an undisclosed injury to Henrik Sedin during round two as an excuse for his lack of production.

Is he the only one that is allowed a free pass due to injury in the playoffs?  Certainly the players won't make that excuse.  They have too much pride and passion for the Cup to start throwing around excuses. 

And how serious was this mysterious injury if it only took him a couple days off to regain his full strength?

Despite the inconsistent play, no one was about to write them off heading into the San Jose series.  They have too much talent to simply discard to the recycling bin.

And that's exactly what Henrik and Daniel did in Round 3—they shut their critics up.

Henrik took over the lead in playoff points and the pair of them looked every bit the dynamic duo they were in the regular season.

Game, set, match. 

Right?

Not so fast my friends.

So far in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals the Sedin twins have once again been invisible, yet lead the series 2-1 and still hold home ice advantage.

At what point should we expect them to start producing? 

Yes, I expect a barrage of comments from writers and fans about their point totals, but Jaromir Jagr put points on the board too and where is his legacy now? 

What is important is that big players play big in big games.  Outside of the San Jose series, have either of them changed the course of a game or series thus far?

Is it possible that when the going gets rough the Sedins become after-thoughts?  They couldn't handle Chicago's punch, Nashville's relentlessness, and now Boston's old school hockey.

So what are we to make of the Sedin brothers?

Are they complimentary players that can only succeed with a load of quality depth behind them or is this much ado about nothing?

They have at least two more games to show us what they got.

If not, we could be looking at a six or seven game series.

And we all know how well they played in Game 7 versus Chicago...

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