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.
Florida Panthers vs. Anaheim Ducks
|Panthers ||Ducks |
|Record ||26-37-8 ||45-18-7 |
|Points ||60 ||97 |
|Place ||7th in Atlantic ||2nd in Pacific |
The Panthers wrap up their west coast road trip tonight at 8 p.m. when they take on the Anaheim Ducks. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly harmless mascot, these Ducks have teeth. With 97 points, Anaheim occupies the second spot in the Pacific Division, trailing the San Jose Sharks by just two.
Tonight’s clash is the second half of a back-to-back that started yesterday when the Panthers received the not-so-royal treatment in a 4-0 loss to the Kings. After they play Anaheim, Florida will have faced the top four Pacific Division teams on their four-game west coast journey (Sharks (1st), Coyotes (4th), Kings (3rd), and Ducks (2nd)). A schedule of that magnitude does not leave much time for soaking up that California sunshine.
About Last Night
The Cats ran into a Jonathan Quick powered buzz saw yesterday when they fell 4-0 to the Los Angeles Kings. After watching LA in action, I must admit, I was extremely impressed by the depth of the Kings lineup. Despite their position in the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff picture (which is beginning to seem like a yearly tradition), expect them to make a deep run in the NHL’s second season.... especially if Quick continues to make saves like this:
In the battle of Quick vs. Flash, it was Quick that snagged victory out of thin air.
Post-Game Tweet of the Day
The T Stands For “Turnt Up!!”
Vincent Trocheck continues to play well with the Panthers since his early March call up. While he did not record any points yesterday against the Kings (who did?), Vinnie T was ‘turnt up’ in the face-off dot winning nine of 17 draws (53%) against the best face-off team in the league.
Turn down for what?
Cam America Grounded
Anaheim received some bad news on Wednesday when the team learned that defenseman Cam Fowler will miss three to five weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
In honor of it being an Olympic year I am going to honor the treasured tradition of blaming NHL players’ participation in the Olympics for players getting hurt down the stretch. No, I am not suggesting that Fowler’s injury has anything to do with playing with Team USA in Sochi, I am suggesting the injury is due to the extra stress his knee incurred during the making of this video:
I trying to think of the last hockey playing cowboy that I saw….Oh yeah it was the legendary Dwayne Robertson.
With LA in the rearview mirror, the Panthers make the grueling 30-mile trip to Anaheim to take on the Ducks at Honda Center or colloquially ‘The Pond’. The Cats have already played at the ‘Shark Tank’ on their road-trip and in comparison ‘The Pond’ sounds way less intimidating and actually somewhat relaxing.
The Panthers however would be remiss in thinking their trip to ‘The Pond’ will be all fun in the sun. The Ducks are an offensive juggernaut led by the two-headed-drake that is Ryan Getzlaf (29-47-76) and Corey Perry (36-33-69). In order to walk away with two points the Cats will need to bare their claws on offense and make sure they keep their ‘ducks in a row’ on the defensive end.
Sweeping the Series
After whipping up some duck confit in the two teams’ previous meeting back in November, the Panthers have a chance to sweep the season series against the Ducks. The first matchup, held in South Florida, resulted in a 3-2 victory for the good guys. Here are some highlights from the victory to get you jacked up for tonight.
Enjoy the game! Go Panthers!