Breaking down the matchup against the Florida Panthers: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
5 months ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal discussed Luongo night and tonight’s matchup against the Panthers.
The Canucks celebrate Roberto Luongo Ring of Honour Night tonight at Rogers Arena ahead of their tilt against Florida. Luongo, having played for both clubs in his career, led the Canucks to multiple President’s Trophies, playoff appearances, and the Stanley Cup Finals during his tenure with the team. Vancouver will add Bobby Lu to their Ring of Honour tonight along with a ceremonial puck drop between both clubs’ goaltenders.
Harm added some thoughts on Luongo’s impact in Vancouver: “What stands out about Luongo and that 2011 team is they transcended Canucks’ fandom. When you run into people in the city today who aren’t Canucks’ fans, it’s not Pettersson, Boeser, Hughes that come to mind, It’s still Luongo and the Sedins. People’s eyes light up when they remember that era. That happened over a decade ago now, the fact that casual Vancouverites still remember the impact those guys, Kesler, Burrows, and the entire 2011 core had speaks volumes.”
The guys then looked ahead to tonight’s game, with Florida coming to Rogers Arena after suffering a 4-0 loss to the Kraken on Tuesday. Pius Suter will suit up for the first time after experiencing a lower-body injury on Nov. 12, to center the 4th line between Kuzmenko and Di Giuseppe. Vancouver last played the Panthers in Florida on October 21st, leaving The Sunshine State with a 5-3 win.
Quads mentioned how different this Panthers team looks compared to the last time these two teams faced off, with their top defencemen making their way back from injury: “This team withstood their injury-filled start to the year, and they’re starting to look once again like a team that could go to the Stanley Cup Finals. Sam Reinhart is absolutely lighting it up this season; he’s going to be a player to watch tonight.
Under Paul Maurice, Florida forechecks so fast, so aggressively and they’re heavy,” Harm added. “This is going to be one of those games for the Canucks where Tocchet’s ‘staples’ are especially important. This is a Panthers team that if you’re not able to match their intensity, they’re going to win a lot of battles. They love to have their defenceman pinch up the walls; [Canucks’] wingers are going to have to be quick and sturdy making decisions. If they can do that, they’re going to open up space offensively.”
“The last time these teams met, Florida was able to dictate things in the first period,” continued Harm. “The last two periods, the Canucks were able to up their intensity and competitiveness, were moving the puck a lot quicker and that’s when they were able to take over. From a matchup perspective, I’m intrigued to see how the Canucks slow down the Reinhart-Barkov line tonight.” Harm noted that with the Barkov line on the ice, the Panthers have outscored opponents 23-5 this season.
“This is going to be a significant top-six test for both the Miller and Pettersson lines. It’s the right time for them to have a test like this, coming off the Carolina and Tampa Bay wins, two of their most complete even-strength performances; the Canucks are probably feeling good about their game right now.”
“You highlighted the heavy forecheck that Florida brings,” Quads responded. “I think the key to that is short shifts for the defencemen and limiting the mismatches if you can avoid them.”
You can watch the full segment in the video below:

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