Saturday, February 02, 2008

Losing becoming an unwanted companion for Vancouver

Roberto Luongo's homecoming wasn't particularly wecloming on Friday night.

The Vancouver Canuck goaltender returned to south Florida on Friday, leading his Vancouver team mates into what had previously been a pretty successful hunting ground for the Canucks.

Friday, they gave back some of that success as the Panthers defeated the Nucks for the first time in eight years, Florida took the victory in a 4-3 shoot out win and added to the Canucks losing ways.

In their last ten games the Canucks have tumbled down the Northwest standings with a 2-8-1 record, leaving their fans to wonder what is wrong, and more importantly if Dave Nonis knows how to fix it.

Vancouver gained the lead less than two minutes into the third period, only to allow the Panthers back into the game at 13:46 when they tied things up at 3-3.

Overtime brought a bit of excitement as Markus Naslund was awarded a penalty shot, but as his struggles have shown this season, a timely and much needed goal wasn't in the cards for the Canucks' captain. With a chance to put the game away with but 46 seconds to go in the OT, Tomas Vokoun blocked out Naslund's attempt to score.

From there it was on to the shoot out, which Florida found success in as Nathan Horton scored the only goal during the extra shots, sending the Canucks off to prepare for the added scrutiny of the travelling Canucks' media.

Fortunately they wouldn't have to listen to the post game shows back in Vancouver, where the Canuck faithful once again expressed their dismay and concern at the stagnating state of their local heroes.

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