There they were, standing in the dressing room close together as they have always done so courageously throughout their great careers.

The Sedin twins were there to answer all the questions you might have about the team's inability to win again. They were facing the music just as they did after coming up dry against the Nashville Predators in the run to the Cup final, and again against Zdeno Chara and the Bruins in the final.

Never once did they duck into the medical room, duck a question, or in the case of Henrik, shirk the captain's duties. Often they spoke in tongues or had strange explanations for whatever failures or success they may have achieved — but they were always there just as they were Sunday night. And we in the media have truly appreciated that stand-up nature, the true grit shown by a sensational person borne of their exceptional upbringing.

But this is to tell them that it's okay now. We've loved it and thank you for it, but it's not necessary anymore. Those days when it was as required — as it was admired — have passed, gone the way of this fine team which came so close to the trophy the people in Vancouver long for. You can stand down now, take a night away if you really feel like it because really, those days are over.

This is clearly not to pick on the twins or single them out in any way for Sunday's result. After all it was goaltending, the very thing that got them to third place in the standings to begin these playoffs, was the principle eyesore in this one. Cory Schneider was great for two periods but sprung a leak at the wrong time as everyone saw. And the twins did combine with Alex Burrows for their traditional point to produce the one blessed goal that was scored when it mattered, albeit after the team had fallen down 2-0.

But at least they made something of a statistical contribution. And as always they tried their utmost, but this team is grinding down before our very eyes and the time whereby the brothers were capable of pushing this squad to success by virtue of their beautiful symbiotic play has passed, and they find themselves with so very little youth in support of their tiring legs. So the time whereby they are expected to be present and accounted for any more than Mason Raymond, Jannik Hansen or Chris Higgins is no more, although a quick word about that high-sticking penalty the captain took in frustration as the roof caved in might have required an appearance upon request.

After all there is a new blame taker anyway, another stand-up type who dare we say fingers himself when he screws up the way he did Sunday night, even when the conditions of being rushed back from whatever injury he's been suffering from were perhaps a little unfair, with coach Hunch pulling another lemon on this one. Come to think of it, Schneider thinks it's his fault when it rains as well, but on this night at least he was rightfully beating his breast because it truly poured buckets of softies in the third period. Granted he hasn't messed up often, but at least he got his money's worth for his 'mea maxima culpa' routine on Cinco de Cory playoff day.