Canucks Army GDT #44 – Canucks @ Panthers

Just when it looked like the season was beginning to go in the toilet, the Vancovuer Canucks have reeled off two straight wins, outscoring their opponents 7-0 in the process. After a two-day layoff, they’re back in action this afternoon as they continue their five-game road trip in Sunrise, Florida. For the second time this month, they’ll have to face Roberto Luongo and the Florida Panthers, as the Cats look to avoid a four-game losing streak while the Canucks look to win their 3rd game in a row. It’ll be a tightly contested game, as both teams look to solidify a playoff position heading in to the stretch drive.

Read past the jump for a preview.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 4:30 PM PST

TV: Sportsnet

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

Defensive Pairings
Alexander Edler 
Alexander Edler
Chris Tanev 
Chris Tanev
Ryan Stanton 
Ryan Stanton
Kevin Bieksa 
Kevin Bieksa
Dan Hamhuis 
Dan Hamhuis
Frank Corrado 
Frank Corrado

Brad Richardson is questionable with a lower body injury. Zack Kassian will return to the lineup should Richardson be unable to play. Luca Sbisa will probably draw in for Frank Corrado. Ryan Miller will start in goal.

Defensive Pairings
Brian Campbell 
Brian Campbell
Aaron Ekblad 
Aaron Ekblad
Willie Mitchell 
Willie Mitchell
Dmitry Kulikov 
Dmitry Kulikov
Erik Gudbranson  
Erik Gudbranson
Dylan Olsen 
Dylan Olsen

Scottie Upshall and fancystats darling Sean Bergenheim will sit out tonight as healthy scratches. Roberto Luongo will get the start in goal.

Head to Head

G44 @ FLA

Storylines

  • Lu Part Two – The Canucks will face their former franchise goalie and former not-technically-but-he-totally-is captain for the second time this season, as Roberto Luongo looks to thwart his former franchise for a once more. The last time these two teams met just a few short days ago, the Canucks laid an egg, falling to the Panthers 3-1 on home ice. Luongo stopped 32 of 33 pucks fired his way, en route to first star honours. He’ll look to have another solid outing tonight to help his team snap a three-game losing skid. Luongo is 8th among goalies with 20 games played on the year with a 0.934 save percentage at even strength.
  • Reversal of Fortunes – After losing to the Panthers on January 8th, Vancouver proceeded to drop their next two outings as well by a combined 6-1 score, mustering no goals at even strength. In the two games since, Ryan Miller has pitched two shutouts, his 4th and 5th of the season which tied him for second in the NHL, and the Canucks have won both games while outscoring their opponents by a score of 7-0 in the process. They’ll look to continue putting the puck in the net tonight against a Panthers team that’s dropped three games in a row.
  • Miller Time – Ryan Miller is playing his best hockey as a Vancouver Canuck right now with shutouts in back-to-back games, bringing his save percentage up to 0.918 on the year, good for 17th in the NHL. Miller’s season can best be described as “up-and-down” as he’s struggled enormously at times and been lights-out stellar at others. The Canucks can’t reasonably ask for any more out of Miller than what’s he’s giving them, so it’ll be up to the team in front of him to keep scoring goals, begin outshooting their opponents more often, and pull their possession numbers out of the bottom-10 teams in the NHL.

Gameday Reading

  • WTF

    Nucks have had a couple of days off so they need to jump all over the Panthers from the start. Having hames in hand only helps if the team cashes in.

    Interesting how Willie is playing Hammer back into game shape. He should have a positive impact on Sbisa. Hammer will bring a calm presence to the chaotic game Sbisa plays. The guy can shoot hit and skate well, but he can’t seem to do it without losing focus and having pucks caught in his skates or juicy passes through the middle of the ice.

    Wonder if Willie is trying to spread out the minutes for Bieska and Hammer, then closer to the playoff push pair them up for big minutes w Tanev/Edler?

  • Chungus

    Luuuing was fun when he came back home and I forgive the Canucks for the loss on that occasion.

    Now there is no excuse, and I hope the Nucks continue their streak with their 4th pulled goalie in a row this game.