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THE ROUNDUP: An Old Friend Pops ‘Round For A Visit, Canada & USA Prepare For Showdown & Upsets Galore

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Bobby Lu’s back in town, the Canadian women prepare for their biggest test, and a couple Men’s Hockey shockers

Florida Panthers v Vancouver Canucks

Canucks News: It’s their first game back after a pretty crappy roadtrip, despite the glorious finish in Dallas Sunday afternoon, and while there’s not really any games that mean anything for this team right now, this one’s always gonna be important. Roberto Luongo should be good to go tonight for the Florida Panthers as they visit Rogers Arena tonight, and the Canucks have once again been forced to make changes thanks to injuries, as you can see...

It’s a good thing that Philip Holm’s been called up. He’s been outstanding for the Comets this season at both ends of the ice, and a big part of why they’ve been charging their way up the AHL standings since Christmas. And I agree with JPat, it is a little strange we don’t see Goldobin’s name here. Let’s hope that Holm isn’t here just to fill a spot in the press box but actually audition for a role in this team’s top 6 D for next season.

While it hasn’t been confirmed yet, Luongo’s been hinting he’ll get the start tonight for the Panthers, which could serve as some motivation for the Canucks to put forth a better effort than we saw last week where they got stymied by some dude named Harri Satari. It was one of the worst games of the season from the Canucks (and that’s saying something), so we should hope to see more of the team from Sunday in Dallas than the one from the rest of the trip. As far as looking to history for a sign that tonight will go swimmingly for the Canucks, well...

The Panthers are coming off a crazy 7-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers Monday night, led by a hat trick from Vincent Trocheck and a pair from Evgenii Dadonov in the victory as they continue their battle to try and make up a 9 point deficit for the last wild card spot in the East.

Around the League: As far as shocking trades go, this one was massive. Ottawa and LA pulling off a 4 player swap that doesn’t really seem to make sense for either team. The Senators sent Dion Phaneuf and Nate Thompson to the Kings for Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore. The Sens are also retaining 25% of Phaneuf’s salary. While getting rid of Phaneuf’s contract was a priority for the Sens, they had to take on Gaborik’s to accomplish this. Either way, it’s a wash at the outset... The Kings have brought Phaneuf in presumably to shore up their defense (stop laughing, they really believe this) as they continue to battle their way back into a wild card spot. The Kings crapped the bed in Carolina last night, getting their collective asses handed to them in a 7-3 loss to the Hurricanes, who got a hat trick from Justin Faulk. They did get some help from the Bruins last night, who knocked off the Calgary Flames 5-2. The Flames better hope they get Mike Smith back soon, as they don’t seem to be able to win without him (and that’s a depressing enough thought if you’re a Flames fan. I’m not, so hahahahahahaha)... The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Buffalo Sabres last night. If I’m a Tampa fan, it’s a bit of a worrisome sign that they dropped a game to the Jack Eichel-less Sabres, who aren’t just bad, but one of the worst teams in the past decade bad... Winnipeg continued their roll as they took down the Capitals 4-3 in OT. Mark Scheifele tied the game with a SHG coming with just 15 seconds left in the 3rd before setting up Tyler Myers for the OT winner. Scheifele finished the game with 2G and 1A. The Caps had led 3-1 in the 3rd before the Jets mounted their comeback... The hilarious downfall of the Chicago Blackhawks continues as they lost again, this time falling 5-2 to Vegas. The Golden Knights continued their historic season as they tied for the most home wins in a season by an inaugural franchise, sharing it with the 79/80 Hartford Whalers and 67/68 Kings. The Blackhawks entered the 3rd with a 2-1 lead before giving up 4 in the 3rd. Glorious... And for those of you hoping for a basement finish and better odds at getting that coveted top pick in this summer’s Entry Draft, it was a decent night for the Canucks. The Senators lost, but the other 2 teams below them, Buffalo and Arizona both picked up wins. Arizona holds a 10 point cushion for last place right now, but have won 2 straight...

Olympic Hockey: The Canadian Women moved to 2-0 in the Group A standings with a 4-1 over the Finns, while the US blanked the OAR squad 5-0, setting up the much anticipated clash between the perennial powerhouses. The Americans are favored by many to win gold in PyeongChang, and the Canadians are more than happy to wear the underdog role. That game goes tonight at 7:10 PST on CBC. The Men’s tournament kicked off today with two massive upsets. The team from Slovenia battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie it late in the 3rd, before Jan Mursak, the only Slovenian with any NHL experience scored both the tying goal and OT winner for a historic win. But that was nothing compared to seeing Slovakia roar back against the highly favored OAR team, erasing a 2-0 lead and getting the eventual winner halfway through the 3rd from Peter Ceresnak, handing the Russians a stunning opening round loss. The Russians face the upstart Slovenians next, while the US has the Slovakians. Canada’s first match will be a nerve-wracking one as they take on a team they always struggle with: Switzerland. Canada was 4-0 in the pre-tournament games, but will be facing much tougher opposition in this contest. They follow it up Friday with another tough one against the Czech Republic. Their final preliminary round contest is Sunday morning against South Korea.