Waiting for Mats

Here’s what we know about Mats Sundin …

He’s going to be 38 in just over a month.

He’s rusty after playing one NHL game since April.

He’s also the Vancouver Canucks’ biggest hope of making a bigger splash in the postseason.

As Sundin gets ready to make his home debut on Thursday night against St. Louis, his next game has to better than his return to NHL action.

The former Toronto captain played just over 15 minutes on Wednesday night in a 4-2 win over Edmonton. The Maple Leafs’ all-time leading scorer didn’t register a point, much less a shot on goal.

“It’s timing, where you come in and shoot, you jam yourself a little bit. And when you’re trying to make a pass (it goes) over a stick,” the Swede said after the game. “It felt exactly like where you are at the start of a season, where you’re trying to get it back, but the only way to get it back is to play games.”

Following practice on Thursday, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said he’s seeing positive signs from Sundin, who signed a prorated one-year deal on Dec. 18.

“You can see every day he’s getting more fluid, the hands are getting a little bit quicker, softer,” Vigneault told the Canadian Press. “He’s on the right track.”

Vancouver will need everything Sundin can give them. Since losing in the Stanley Cup finals to the New York Rangers in 1994, the Canucks have reached the postseason seven times, but haven’t made it past the second round.

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