Career highs mean nothing without D

GUTS MCTAVISH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

One third of the season has just passed and several Canucks players are on pace for what are amounting to be career offensive years.

Henrik Sedin is on a 40-goal pace and has an honest shot at joining the 100-point club.

Alex Burrows, despite a major slump is headed for 24 goals and a career-high 57 points.

Ryan Kesler, who's had a tough time finding the net the past month, is still on pace for 73 points, shattering his career high total of 59.

In Detroit, Mikael Samuelsson's career high was 23 goals. He's now pushing the 30-goal pace.

Mason Raymond and Steve Bernier are also headed for personal bests with 25- and 23-goal paces respectively.

Toss in Alex Edler's career-high 57-point pace along with Christian Erhoff who has a legitimate shot at becoming the first Canucks blueliner in over a decade (Adrian Aucoin, 23 goals in '98/'99) to score 20 goals. His previous high in San Jose was just 10.

The team's offence and power play are both in the upper echelon of the NHL so it's not rocket science to figure out the real reason the Canucks are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in: Defence.

The Hurricanes game on Saturday was a movie I've seen all too often this year. It was the Canucks' version of giving back to the needy. That afternoon the entire Canucks D-line made like Oprah: "You get a puck, you get a puck and you get a puck."

The team's top shut-down pair of Willie Mitchell and Kevin Bieksa at times have shown all the chemistry of a meth lab.

Sami Salo's been invisible, Edler mailed in the first 20 games and Shane O'Brien and Mathieu Schneider have both warranted their healthy scratch status.

The real pace that should worry Canucks fans is the 90-points the team is headed for.

Reality: No team makes the post season now with a paltry 90 points. Time to pick up the pace!

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