Hurt Lu hurts, but Wellwood makes it well

GUTS MCTAVISH, 24 HOURS VANCOUVER

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Every loss the Canucks register over the next several weeks will just add to the mounting evidence that injured goalie Roberto Luongo was a serious Hart trophy candidate this season.

The players are saying all the right things, but we had to know the moment Luongo was helped off the ice 10 days ago in Pittsburgh that it wouldn't be long before the team's confidence would be carried off to join the Canuck captain on the injury list.

With a pull like the one Luongo suffered, it wouldn't surprise me if it took a while for Lu to be able to trust his flexibility again. Thank goodness for the quick start out of the gate because it may be some time before the Canucks play like they did in November.

A playoff spot in the Western Conference is like a drive through Spuzzum; blink and you've missed it.

Memo To Mike: Despite missing a handful of games and suffering through limited ice time, Kyle Wellwood is on pace for 30-plus goals this year. Truth be told, if you go by his 10 goals in 20 games, he's actually on a 41-goal pace. If he continues this, I don't have to remind you, GM Mike Gillis, just how much 30-plus goal scorers get paid on the open market. You need to step up right now while the price is still low and resign him. Toss in a conditioning clause if it makes you feel better but, for God's sake, get those soft hands under contract. Like it or not, Kyle Wellwood has quickly become a real fan favourite around here and it's you, Mike, they have to thank for it.

Plus/Minus: Regarding the recent Mats Sundin coming to Vancouver in the New Year rumours: I've heard everything from Sundin practising in L.A. to get used to Pacific Standard Time to he's waiting for the Canucks to finish most of their road games so he can join them and play mostly home dates.

Wayne Gretzky said if you are ever given the chance to play in New York, do it. That's still where my money is.

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View Guts' V-blog at vancouver.24hrs.ca/gutsmctavish on every game day.


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