Florida Panthers vs. Vancouver Canucks - 3/16/14
Vancouver Canucks (30-29-10) at Florida Panthers (25-35-7)
NHL Hockey: Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm (BB&T Center)
The Line: Florida Panthers +105 / Vancouver Canucks -116 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
Roberto Luongo will face some familiar company on Sunday as he takes to the crease to face off against his former teammates from Vancouver.
The Canucks have been an utter disaster since returning from the Olympic break as they are spiralling out of control on the ice and their off ice moves including the Luongo trade has been an absolute tire fire. Despite only locking up three wins in their last 10 contests the Canucks are still in the playoff picture as they’re just five points back of the eighth and final spot but the way they have lost games of late indicates they aren’t in the right mindset to be making a playoff push. Eddie Lack who has been thrown into the starter’s role since the Luongo deal will have to be on his A-game here against the Panthers who despite sitting well out of a playoff spot have played better of late and will certainly be playing their best for their new teammate.
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The Panthers have been a scrappy bunch since they came back from the Olympics and while they were involved in a franchise altering deal to acquire Luongo I think they’re still a season or two away from getting back to the playoffs. Florida does have a lot of young talent and a great General Manager in Dale Tallon but with the holes still present at both ends of the rink the Cats could use another top end forward via the draft or free agency. Luongo has come out and said that this will be just another game and that he doesn’t hold any hard feelings towards his former team but I’m not sure the same can be said the other way. Luongo was critical of his former teammates indirectly in what was a Twitter joke that was misinterpreted but everyone heard it loud and clear and I bet the Canucks players would love to skate into Florida and leave with two huge points. While I am often someone who will lean towards a player getting back at his former club I am going the opposite way here as I think the Canucks players will be revved up and they’re the more desperate team in this contest.