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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs Florida- Jan 20/17

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It's funny, but the Canucks are exactly where they were last season at this point. Same amount of points. Same GF and GA. And yet somehow, we're supposed to buy into this team having the ability to sneak into the playoffs?

yes please
yes please
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks vs. Florida Panthers

7:00 PM PT - Rogers Arena- Vancouver, BC

TV: SNP - Radio: TSN 1040

Even if they somehow were to start rattling off wins like that 6 game stretch a couple weeks back, you know the injuries will come. It's as predictable as the PP. The history of this team is filled with disappointment and setbacks, why would things be any different now? Instead, we'll take our moral victories as the team inches closer to that 65 point prediction, for it's as close as some type of accomplishment as they're going to manage, folks...

Canucks
CATEGORY
Panthers
21-19-6 SEASON RECORD 20-18-9
48 Points 49
6th Division Position 5th
Won 1
Streak OT1
2.35 (25)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.30 (27)
2.78 (18)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.68 (14)
13.3 (28) Power Play % 15.0 (24)
80.0 (22) Penalty Kill % 83.9 (7)
52.3 (5) Faceoff Win % 48.2 (23)
8.4 (23)
Shooting % 7.3 (28)
48.7 (22)
Corsi For % 52.0 (5)
99.3 (20)
PDO 98.8 (25)

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

THE OPPOSITION

The Canucks may have entered the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres, but there's no team that they seem to have a closer relationship with than the Florida Panthers. From constant trading partner to the pipeline of analytics experts from Vancouver, there's a connection here that runs deep. Hell, it's hard to get worked up about games against the Panthers because a) who doesn't love Roberto Luongo and b) who doesn't love Jaromir Jagr? If there's one team in the East I would love to see succeed, it's the Panthers.

That being said, this game is a big one for both teams as they struggle to keep pace with the teams holding the Wild Card spots in their respective conferences. And it's not going to be easy for Florida, a team that's won just 9 road games all season, coming in against a Canucks team that is one of the best in the NHL on home ice. Add in losing Aleksander Barkov for possibly the rest of the season, joining Nick Bjugstad, Jonathan Huberdeau and Alex Petrovic on the injured list, and James Reimer leaving the team for the impending birth of his child, Florida is struggling to get things back on track on this trip.

THE CANUCKS

A lot of excitement around this game tonight, isn't there? From the return of our pal Lu, to what could be Henrik Sedin's milestone night, and (dear god he better be in the lineup) the long awaited debut of Jordan Subban, it is nice to actually have some positive things to look at, even when overall, the future is looking pretty grim for this team.

The Canucks injured list is still a long one, with the recent addition of Ben Hutton with the wrist fracture and Jayson Megna battling the flu. No announcement yet on the lineup, though we do know that Ryan Miller will be starting again for the Canucks. Miller was lights out again against Nashville, and has shutouts in 2 of his last 3 at home.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Refuse. Resist.