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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks @ Florida- Dec 8/16

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After a pretty shocking win in Tampa, the Canucks continue their tour of Florida with a game against Canucks Army the Panthers and our old pal, Roberto Luongo.

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Vancouver Canucks vs. Florida Panthers

4:00 PM PT - BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL

TV: SN  - Radio: TSN 1040

It's been a pretty interesting 48 hours, hasn't it? An impressive 5-1 win, with the most impressive thing of all not just the guys who scored these goals, but this one in particular


Ridiculous. Oh, and did you hear? Guess who's back? Hansen's back. While he probably won't play tonight, it's a good thing to see Beaker back after that broken rib. And, a glimpse to a potentially brighter future, as the Canucks have recalled Thatcher Demko this morning. While we may not see him in action, it is a nice reward for the kid who has been lights freakin' out for the Utica Comets over the few weeks. Much like the danger the Tampa Bay Lightning found themselves in facing the Canucks Thursday, our boys must be wary of a Florida team that's really struggling right now.

Canucks
CATEGORY
Panthers
12-13-2 SEASON RECORD 12-12-4
26 Points 28
6th Division Position 6th
Won 1
Streak Lost 1
2.30 (26)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.29 (27)
2.89 (24)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.61 (13)
14.1 (26) Power Play % 13.5 (29)
84.9 (7) Penalty Kill % 85.0 (6)
51.0 (11) Faceoff Win % 48.5 (24)
7.8 (24)
Shooting % 7.4 (28)
49.6 (18)
Corsi For % 53.8 (3)
98.2 (29)
PDO 98.7 (25)

Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com

THE OPPOSITION

Another game against a comparable for the Canucks, and certainly one with a lot of meaning. You have the obvious tie-ins: Roberto Luongo and Jacob Markstrom, Jack Skille, Jared McCann and Eric Gudbranson playing against their former teams, plus the spirited affair these teams had last year which led to Denis Potvin making a colossal ass of himself trying to besmirch the character of Daniel Sedin.

Will things get this testy again? I wouldn't rule it out, as this Panthers team has won just 3 in their last 10 and as they are trying to get themselves back on solid ground after the firing of coach Gerard Gallant, they just might want to send a message to their fan base and use the Canucks as the chalk board for it.

It is always fun to play against this team not just because Luongo will always be in our hearts, but also because it could be one of the last opportunities to catch Jaromir Jagr play. And even though he's one of the guys totally sinking my pool this year, he is and will always be a joy to watch.

Since the coaching change that awkward night in Carolina, the Panthers have won just 1 of 6 for new interim coach Tom Rowe, and you have to think that there's a bit of pressure mounting for the team to start turning things around. It is early, and there's lots of hockey to be played, but it certainly is looking like the team that set a franchise record for wins and points last season is taking a step back, and that makes you wonder if the tinkering they did in the off-season was warranted, given the results so far.

THE CANUCKS

Jannik Hansen worked out with the team and should be good to go for Sunday against Washington, and the thought of getting him back with the Sedins now that the Canucks are getting a healthy dose of secondary scoring is a pleasant one. What is troubling though is Ryan Miller once again on the limp during a trip to Florida. He's still with the team, but whatever's happened to him is enough to keep him off the ice, thus the Demko call up. I would say barring a 40+ shot night for Markstrom, we'll not see Demko make his NHL debut against the Capitals, though it would be great to see the kid get his shot.

The Panthers are planning a video tribute to Eric Gudbranson during the game, which is equal parts odd and funny, I suppose. I would probably poke fun at it a little more, but given the big lug actually scored last game he gets a pass (although that goal really was the Gudbransonest, wasn't it?).


And a sad note, a member of the 1945/46 Vancouver Canucks, Andy Clovechok has died at age 93. Clovechok, a fixture in Kamloops at Blazers games, was a huge part of the Canucks PCHL Championship, and is a member of the BC Sports Hall Of Fame. 'Handy' Andy also won an Allan Cup with the Edmonton Flyers, and played with the Kamloops Elks and Nanaimo Clippers.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Today some metal covers of some decidedly non-metal covers. Some are pretty fun, some funny, and some absolutely cringe-worthy. That's part of the beauty of covers, right? Here we go....