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Canucks Need Sedins to Help Create Killer Instinct

Sitting back on one goal leads isn't exactly the best way to go deep into the NHL Playoffs - just ask the Vancouver Canucks who have given up late tying goals in 4 of their last 5 games. Closing out hockey games has not been easy, but they have only have themselves to blame.

Despite the fact that the Predators have been able to battle back and push games to overtime, the Canucks still manage to hold a 2 - 1 series lead with a chance to be heading back home with a stranglehold on this series. Don't kid yourselves though, unless they get their killer instinct issues sorted out, this series and any series moving forward will be a much riskier proposition than most would feel comfortable with.

Ryan Kesler, who's been the best Canuck throughout these playoffs, lead by example in Game 3, but it was once again Henrik and Daniel Sedin that couldn't make a real difference in the hockey game, they need something from the twins, even if it means dominating shifts late in games, recently its been too passive when they've had the lead late. Game 3 saw the Predators top defensive pairing of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter shift over to matching up against Kesler's line, and can you blame them?

Right now, they're the Canucks top line, but look at the positives - if the Sedin's were ever looking for an opportunity to turn things around, it could open itself up tonight, as if Weber and Suter are focused elsewhere, then expect Henrik and Daniel to make a difference offensively.

Although they are twins and are often referred to as one, it's unfair to lump them together in this case. Daniel has come on a bit as of late, with more attempts on goal, better jump in the offensive zone and is skating with more energy as of late. Henrik on the other hand, it is widely speculated that there is an injury that is slowing him down. We won't know right now, but it would be safe to assume that the league's best playmaker has something ailing him, which would provide some clarity as to why his play has dropped off so considerably in the past 10 games. We've said this before, but I can't see them being held off the score sheet for much longer, if they're not out against Weber and Suter all night, look for some Sedin production.

For the Predators, this series is up for grabs. They look at tonight as an opportunity to put all the pressure back onto the Canucks heading to Vancouver. Nashville will again look to keep things close and rely on their superstar goaltender, Pekka Rinne. Although for the Predators, it's really about getting their powerplay going. They are just not getting anything in the way of production, or even momentum from their man advantage, which really hurts their chances against a good 5 on 5 team like the Canucks.

It will be interesting to see how the officiating is handled in Game 4 and the rest of this series, as it's been a point of contention for Predators head coach Barry Trotz, who came out and blasted the Canucks for embellishing calls, especially the Shea Weber penalty in overtime which lead to the eventual game winner. The referees might put their whistles away now, so more of the outcome will be determined 5 on 5, which keeps Nashville in this series.

So far, killer instinct has been the theme of the second round of the NHL Playoffs, with the Tampa Bay Lightning sweeping the Capitals, and the Sharks and Bruins both holding 3 - 0 leads in their respective series. There's no better time than the present for the Sedins to strike tonight and show some killer instinct of their own.

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