Don't get too excited, 'Nucks fans

GUTS MCTAVISH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

Regardless of how February ends, this has been a banner month for the Canucks and it couldn't have come at a more important time in the season.

During the January losing streak, it was easy to spot how upbeat the opposition looked in the warmup. They knew there would be very few repercussions for going into those normally tough areas. Their offensive confidence must have been oozing based on the play of Roberto Luongo. It was the perfect storm of ineptitude and lesser visitors pounced on it.

The latest streak, which has seen the Canucks win eight of their last nine going into the Habs game last night, has not exactly been the kind of streak we're used to seeing from the likes of the Sharks and Red Wings. The great teams own you from the drop of the puck and lead early and often.

As for the Canucks, well, everyone loves a comeback. We've heard a hundred times this past few weeks how these last-minute heroics build character. Trouble is, when you face a top-calibre team in a best-of-seven series, it may be a tad harder to continue that character building. The teams who finish with 110-plus points do not give up leads.

If this team can stay healthy, they have an opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the teams chasing them. Starting with the Lightning game on the 27th, during a 14-game span the Canucks will face just one team - the Sharks - that has a better record than they do.

Danger, Will Robinson. Those games are packed with teams that have notoriously given the Canucks fits.

They will see L.A., St. Louis and Colorado twice in March. It's mandatory they answer the bell against this lot.

Heading into the post-season fight, I'd like to see more 7-3-style games like the blowout versus the 'Hawks than the shootout win over the Leafs last Saturday, a game they really had no business winning.

If we see the team that played Chicago emerge, then the sky is the limit. That is, until they face the Sharks.


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