Vancouver Canucks vs. Panthers Blog: Love’ Em & Hate’ Em

Just forget about it…

It felt like the Vancouver Canucks had been playing the Bruins for the past three days, which was one of the reasons Monday’s affair with the Florida Panthers was shocking.

Everyone’s attention was on the outcome of Brad Marchand’s hearing with the league, which made a game with against the Florida Panthers with an afternoon start time somewhat forgotten (Andrew Ebbett probably feels the same).

Still, it was technically a hockey game but the Canucks clearly had very little in the tank for this one after an exhausting weekend.

It was the Panthers first win over the Canucks in about a decade, but to be fair it’s also most likely the first year they make the playoffs in about a decade.

Onto the Love’Em and Hate’Em for the Panthers matchup.

Love’ Em

1. Weiseguy

Dale Weise had the opening goal in this one, converting a nifty 2-on-1 with Manny Malhotra with Erik Gudbranson crashing into the net shortly after like some sort of dog that chases his ball right into the back of a car.

He had a partial breakaway in the same period that was stopped, probably because he was tired from the first one. As I mentioned after the Bruins game, the kid is making a strong case to be trusted as a playoff regular.

Looks like you found a real job Weise.

2. Duco

With Andrew Ebbett out with his broken collarbone, the depth chart spinner landed in Mike Duco to make his debut with the Canucks against the team they acquired him from.

Duco is the type of agitating grinder that would have been at home against Boston, and his hit on Ed Jovanovski in the first created the 2-on-1 that Weise eventually converted on.

Duco joins the Canucks fresh off a hat trick in the AHL this week, so here’s hoping for the best and more importantly here’s hoping he avoids the fourth line injury curse. Don’t touch anything Higgins has touched or walked on at the least.

3. Alain

The silver lining, possibly, is that by losing this game Alain Vigneault doesn’t have to represent the Western Conference at the All-Star Game.

It would have been Claude Julien v Alain Vigneault and John Tortorella, but the Sharks Todd Mclellan instead of AV now. That’s probably a whole can of media worms that both the Canucks and Bruins would love to avoid that weekend.

Canucks Hottie

When we lose...YOU win! Canucks vs. Panthers : Love em & Hate em

Besides, the Canucks two opponents right after the All-Star break are the Blackhawks and Red Wings.

Hate’ Em

1. Sunshine State

Are we sure Florida and Boston play in the same league?

Ragging on Florida fan support isn’t new, but going directly from Boston to Miami on the road sure does underscore it. It felt more like a basketball game.

If the fans aren’t out to see you killed at centre ice, how is a team even supposed to get up for a game these days?

2. Effort

In previous years the Canucks might have conveyed the melancholia into a paint-by-numbers and watch it dry win, but this year the Canucks seem to have a pattern of succumbing to the energy gaps.

It’s probably just another first place problem, but the Canucks losses this year have been flatter than an old 2L bottle of pop. This one had the same shades that that disappointing 3-1 loss to Calgary did right after a fantastic game with the Detroit Red Wings or that 3-0 shutout loss to St Louis near the end of October after three straight wins.

It should be interesting to see what kind of effort the Canucks have against the Lightning.

3. Campbell

The former Blackhawk Brian Campbell was a thorn in the Sedins’ side last night.

Whether it was taking a shot at Henrik that caused a scrum to break out between Maxim Lapierre and a few Panthers or diving to take the puck off Alex Burrows‘ stick in a third period 4-0n-2 that could have tied the game, Soupy was a force on a night when he correctly assumed the Canucks had neither the will or the way to match his energy level.

This was just one of those games that I guarantee you will forget come season’s end.


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About Richard Hodges

A proud Vancouverite with a lifelong passion for the home teams that some would classify as pointless and disturbing. Now realizes that The Linden Tree is not the play you think it would be.
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