Slumping squad makes Wild welcome

BOB MACKIN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

Will the Vancouver Canucks give birth to octuplets on Saturday when they host the Minnesota Wild? (7 p.m. Team 1040/CBC HD).

The slumping Canucks are seeking to end January on a winning note. They have seven consecutive losses. One more would make eight. They already have eight consecutive home ice defeats in the club's worst slide in a decade. Their Garage win over the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 28, 2008 was the most recent at home. The club is 2-9 in 2009, including four tiebreak losses.

In eight games, Swedish rental centre Mats Sundin has two goals and an assist. He has watched the losing goal get scored while in the penalty box three times. On Wednesday, the part-time poker promoter was in the sin bin when the Nashville Predators tied the game en route to a 5-3 win.

Sundin skated alongside Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows, a trio that got some playing time during the 5-3 loss to Nashville Wednesday night. Whether or not these three will stay intact will depend on the coach.

Pavol Demitra could make his return on Saturday, and according to Vigneault, the Canucks would not have to move anyone to make room for Demitra since defencemen Lawrence Nycholat was placed on IR Wednesday with a groin injury

The Wild returned from the All-Star Break and went, for lack of a better word, wild on the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday. They beat the Buds 6-1. Pierre-Marc Bouchard had a pair of goals and an assist. Ex-Leaf Owen Nolan, who was drafted in 1990 at B.C. Place Stadium, had a goal and an assist. Niklas Backstrom backstopped Minny with a 27-save performance. The Wild comes to Vancouver with no rest. They face the Oilers in Edmonton on Friday night.


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