Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers

Canucks Game Day 5: The Basics, The Dangerous Cats

Canucks Game Facts

Tonight: Vancouver Canucks at Florida Panthers

Where: FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida

When: 4 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Sportsnet / AM-650

Key Factors:

Starting goalkeepers: Casey DeSmith for Vancouver, Sergei Bobrovsky expected for Florida.

The Canucks will have quick, Russian winger Ilya Mikheyev inserted into the line-up for the first time this season.

“I’ve got to manage his minutes, I’ve got to be careful with him too,” Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said Saturday morning in reference to Mikheyev recovering from a knee injury. “I don’t think it’s prudent for him to be playing a ton tonight with “Petey” (Elias Pettersson), so I might throw some guys in there with him to relieve “Mick”, but he’s anxious to go. We’re in it for the long haul, I don’t want to burn this guy out.”

“Feels good, ready, and excited,” Mikheyev said Saturday.

Other than the productive Phil Di Giuseppe, J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser unit, expect Tocchet to mix and match his lines heading into this one and throughout the game if necessary.

Jack Studnicka will move to a center position in the bottom six.

Defenceman Carson Soucy returned for his first game of the season in Philadelphia and played 15:53 and then followed it up with 17:29 of ice time in Tampa. He sees time on the penalty kill.

Special Teams

The Canucks are ranked number-seven in the NHL at 30.8% on the man advantage, going 4-for-13 thus far, but they haven’t scored a power play goal since they played the Edmonton Oilers twice.

The Canucks penalty kill has also slipped after a strong start. They’ve now given up five goals on 18 opposing opportunities. That’s a 72.2% number.

The Panthers PK is slightly worse than that, giving up goals six times on 20 chances. (70%). Their power play is an abysmal 11.1%, going just 2-for-18 thus far this season.

Coming In:

Canucks: 2-and-2. In their last game, they lost to the Lightning 4-3 in Tampa.

Panthers: 2-and-2. They beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 in Sunrise on Thursday.

The Cats swept the season series from Vancouver in 2022-’23, winning 5-1 at Rogers Arena on December 1st and then 4-3 in south Florida on January 14th.

The Panthers were the Eastern Conference representatives in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final, losing to the Vegas Golden Knights in five games.


— Canucks Unload Jack Rathbone; Pittsburgh Penguins Pipeline

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.