Panthers At Canucks Preview: Times They Are Changing

You are a dead man. - Maddie Meyer
Time Tuesday, 7:00 PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series -
Last Meeting
2-1 Panthers, Jan. 9/12
The Enemy Litter Box Cats Scoring Leaders H. Sedin: 4-18-22
Campbell: 3-9-12

PANTHERS
CATEGORY
CANUCKS
5-12-4 SEASON RECORD 11-8-3
14 POINTS 25
15th CONFERENCE POSITION 9th
Won 1
STREAK Lost 4
2-5-3 LAST 10 4-4-2
2-8-1 ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD 4-4-1
2.14 (24)
GOALS PER GAME AVERAGE 2.50 (20)
3.19 (28) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME AVERAGE 2.54 (15)
0.76 (26) 5 ON 5 GF / GA 0.98 (17)
9.5 (30) POWER PLAY % 11.6 (26)
78.7 (25) PENALTY KILL % 89.0 (1)
27.9 (24) SHOTS/GAME AVG 32.6 (3)
47.4 (24) FACEOFF WINS % 51.3 (12)
430 (19) HITS
411 (23)
277 (19) BLOCKED SHOTS 326 (6)
69 (5) MINOR PENALTIES TAKEN 81 (16)
NHL.COM

OK, so now you have to think, if there was ever a better chance to break a scoring drought, it would be against THESE GUYS. The Panthers, statistically, suck. Period. They are one of the weakest teams in the League. All the better chance to lose another game against a shitty team, right Canucks fans? WRONG! This is John Tortorella's team. We work hard. But we have not scored many goals lately. 4 goals scored in 4 straight losses and if you watch the team closely, you can see the guys as a group wavering in the confidence-playmaking category. Their play looks forced sometimes and shaky at other times. We know what they have the ability to do when they are ON IT. The work ethic is there and the goals will come.

Other teams go through stretches like this. If there are those in panic mode out there, you need to relax. Take a deep breath. Have a drink. Take a hit. Whatever it takes. Hell, the almighty Pittsburgh Penguins recently lost 4 of 5 and scored only 4 goals in those losses. It happens. I am not worried one bit and you should not be either.

Dale Weise appears to be ready to play, which means somebody named Jeremy Welsh or Zac Dalpe are likely out.

THE LUONGO (AND BRUINS, AND PANTHERS) FACTOR

Roberto Luongo has been absolutely solid for the Canucks through their 4 straight losses. I tip my hat to the great one. This game, however, will have Luongo story lines all over it (good thing it's not on TSN, right?). First, there is the fact that he wanted to be traded to the Florida Panthers but Mike Gillis could not get the deal done. Secondly, I would assume that Tim Thomas is going to start for the Panthers. So there's not only the "pumping his tires" quote from Luongo from the 2011 Playoffs, but the Canucks as a team need to unleash the goals on Timmah to let him know who is boss. It would feel swell, wouldn't  it? Yea, you don't have that big super Boston D in front of you now, Timmy. Whatchya gonna do, brother? The last time the Canucks faced Timmy, they beat him and the Bruins in an uber-spirited affair of revenge. But they lost their sense of passion after that...until Tortorella came on board.

THE VANCOUVER - FLORIDA BROTHERHOOD

The Canucks have dealt more with the Panthers than any other team in their recent years. The list of trades and acquisitions is obscene. It's like the GM's are drunk buddies.

Current Canucks that were Panthers: Luongo, Higgins, Booth, Santorelli, Garrison. Big names in the past tied to both teams: Jovanovski, Bure, Samuelsson, Sturm, Bernier (ahaha), Hedican, Weaver, Auld, Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen, Ballard, Grabner....Wowza. It's a love affair. So how about you just give us Matthias or Goc? Cool? Maybe Gillis has a deal in place with Dale Talon already: "We'll drop this game 7-1 and give you Booth and Sestito for Goc and Matthias. Cheers!"

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

As for the Panthers....ah geez. It's gotta be all downhill from here, right? I have not been able to follow them at all, so I did a bit of reading at Litter Box Cats, where Kevin Krazcowski did a first quarter report card on the Panthers players. Guys like Nick Bjugstad, Jesse Winchester, Brian Campbell and Timmy Thomas got the best grades. It's worth a look, check it out! Oh, and apparently Kris Versteeg is an ass. What a surprise! F*** Versteeg and f*** the Blackhawks!

PROJECTED PANTHERS ROSTER

Huberdeau - Bjugstad - Fleischmann (FLASH!)

Upshall - Barkov - Boyes

Kopecky - Goc - Hayes

Bergenheim - Matthias - Barch

Campbell - Gilbert

Kulikov - Weaver (I'm a fan of Weaver)

Mottau - Gudbranson

Thomas (oh please please PLEASE let it by the Tool Man!)

That's nice....and sh*t.

Huh. But you have only won 5 GAMES.

That's not impressive. However...at his age......

TRENDS

  • Panthers are 16-43 in their last 59 overall.
  • Panthers are 17-46 in their last 63 road games.
  • Panthers are 7-19 in their last 26 games following a win.
  • Panthers are 1-4 in their last 5 Tuesday games.
  • Panthers are 0-6 in their last 6 games playing on 2 days rest.
  • Canucks are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
  • Canucks are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
  • Canucks are 42-16 in their last 58 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
  • Canucks are 2-5 in their last 7 home games.
  • Canucks are 2-14 in their last 16 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game. (WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT???)
  • More at Covers.com

ZANSTORM'S 3 KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Keep the power play going. It's just seemingly heating up and needs to continue.

2. Shoot high. Pick corners. Too many shots on Lehtonen were along the ice or in his belly.

3. Go to the net. Ryan Kesler was driving the net last game almost in selfish fashion, but when you're slumping you need some of those crash-the-net garbage goals.

SCORE-PREDICTING WIZARDS UPDATE

Passive Voice: 10

gmonk33: 8

Bobby Canuck: 7

Coach Ryan: 6

Geordie Nuck: 6

marcness52: 6

Nathaniel Perlow: 6

Tengeresz: 6

Zanstorm: 6

FormerHab: 5

nucksandpucks: 5

Twitchy2010: 5

jwolf0: 4

Tim Burke: 4

Azzy Mahmood: 3

Nose_Face: 3

westy99: 3

AK_nuk: 2 (the only person to get any points over the past 2 games, I believe)

itsahardknocklife: 2

kiwinuck: 2

Nathan k: 2

Smoboy41: 2

vancitydan: 2

Vancouverguy: 2

Brock: 1

ChuckinNux: 1

Kent Basky: 1

patrik e: 1

seedvt: 1

thesporteditor: 1

VIDEO

The last time these teams met:

Here is what David Booth CAN do:

I guess God lives in Florida....too far? Well He doesn't live in Vancouver!

I hate Thomas. You hate Thomas.

Watch this laughable footage of Luongo getting involved in a scrum in the 2002-03 season:

Now check out some Luongo highlights from that season:

Now just remember that Luongo had to incorporate that "butterfly" style that he plays today. He used to play a more unorthodox old school style. Kind of like Tim Thomas does now, except less crazy. Roberto Luongo still holds the NHL record for the most shots faced in a single NHL season. In fact, he holds the #1 and #2 spot on the all time list. Check it out. I am so glad he plays HERE. End of story.

The title of this game preview post has could have been brought to you by Bob Marley's "Everything's Gonna Be Alright", which is ultimately fitting, but I can't stand Bob Marley. I hate reggae. If I smoked pot and was hangin' with some buds then yes I would appreciate Marley more...but nope. Roll out the Dylan!

GO CANUCKS GO!

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