Coolin' Canucks

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:38 AM ET

The Vancouver Canucks enjoyed a lazy Sunday after returning from a 1-3 road trip.

The Canucks' only highlight was defeating the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks thanks to the first NHL goals by rookies Jason Jaffray and Mason Raymond last Wednesday.

That win, coupled with the charity point from Saturday's shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers, gave the Canucks three of a possible eight points. Suddenly, one of the league's hottest November teams has cooled down in December. The Canucks were 9-4 last month, but have won just three of eight games this month. The slowdown can be attributed to team-wide fatigue and wear and tear injuries to key players like Roberto Luongo (ribs) and Brendan Morrison (right wrist).

Luongo is officially described as "day-to-day." He saw no action during the four-game road trip, but it's hoped he could return as soon as tomorrow to face Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils at GM Place (7 p.m. Team 1040/Sportsnet).

Morrison isn't so lucky. His league-leading 542-game ironman streak ended when he was sent back to Vancouver to undergo surgery. It could be announced today or tomorrow how long the Canucks expect to be without the Pitt Meadows veteran centre.

After playing seven of their first eight December games on the road, the Canucks will be home for four of their last seven matches on the 2007 calendar. They'll host the Dallas Stars on Thursday for the first time since eliminating them from the playoffs' first round last spring. The Canucks will also face the Calgary Flames twice, including a New Year's Eve visit to Cowtown.


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