THE LOWDOWN is a gameday preview produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. The contents of THE LOWDOWN and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read the LOWDOWN, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.
It’s ‘Roberto Luongo Reunion Weekend’ here at BB&T Center as the Panthers, who took care of Corey Schneider and the New Jersey Devils 5-3 on Friday night, are gearing up to take on the Vancouver Canucks at 3 p.m. this afternoon. The battle against the Canucks comes just 12 days after the Panthers brought Lu back to South Florida in a trade with Vancouver.
Here is your weekend roundup:
Numbers on the Board
3: The number of wins this season for Roberto Luongo against former Vancouver battery mate Corey Schneider.
2: Goals for Quinton Howden in his first two games with the Panthers this season. The pair of goals are the first two of his young career.
1: Total career NHL goals for 20-year-old Vincent Trocheck. The Panthers’ center got his first career goal on Friday night scoring on an empty net to ice the game for the Cats.
Props to Scottie Upshall and Nick Bjugstad applying the pressure and forcing the turnover, and you know Brad Boyes ain’t gonna miss from there.
Soup du jour
Tweet of the game
Florida Panthers vs. Vancouver Canucks
|Panthers ||Canucks |
|Record ||25-35-7 ||30-29-10 |
|Points ||57 ||70 |
|Place ||7th in Atlantic ||5th in Pacific |
L(u)ong Time No See
The Panthers and the Canucks only play twice this season so it worked out kind of perfectly that they would be coming to South Florida less than two weeks after completing the massive trade that sent Lu to the Cats.
The Luongo-Vancouver connection is one of many between these two teams:
G Roberto Luongo: Lu sandwiched in 8 seasons with the Canucks between his two stints with the Panthers. Vancouver Stats: 252 W, 137 L, 88 OTL
D Ed Jovanovski: The Panthers’ captain played with the Canucks from 1999-2006. Vancouver Stats: 434 GP, 57 G, 177 A, 234 Pts.
F David Booth: Played with the Cats from 2006-2011. Career Panthers’ stats: 309 GP, 87 G, 80 A, 167 Pts.
F Chris Higgins: Played in 48 games with Florida during the 2010-11 season. Cat Stats: 48 GP, 11 G, 12 A, 23 Pts.
F Shawn Matthias: Acquired by Vancouver in the Luongo trade. Cat Stats: 312 GP, 48 G, 49 A, 97 Pts.
F Mike Santorelli: Played in parts of three seasons with Florida. Cat Stats: 166 GP, 31 G, 24 A, 55 Pts.
D Jason Garrison: Was a big part of the Cats’ 2011-12 playoff run. Cat Stats: 190 GP, 23 G, 36 A, 59 Pts.
G Jacob Markstrom: Acquired by Vancouver in the Luongo trade. Cat Stats: 11 W, 25 L, 5 OTL
The Canucks are currently five points out of the playoff picture and trailing the Dallas Stars for the last Western Conference wild card spot. Things have been a bit turbulent over in British Columbia with the shocking export of Luongo and the teams slide down the standings. I would say something about head coach John Tortorella but I am afraid Torts might come track me down at the stadium and try to beat me up or something…
Anyway the Panthers are in a perfect spot to play spoiler tonight against the Canucks. They already poked a hole in the Devils’ playoff balloon and tonight against Vancouver is another great opportunity to ruin some dreams.
Sunday Bonus Video
On that note, enjoy the game tonight! Let’s go Panthers!