Canucks: 3 takeaways from 5-2 loss to the Panthers

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The Vancouver Canucks were looking for redemption against the Florida Panthers, but found none as they fell 5-2 in another lopsided loss in the Sunshine State.

Coming off a lopsided 9-2 loss to the scorching hot Tampa Bay Lightning, the Vancouver Canucks came into Sunrise looking for some redemption.

They did not get off to a good start, as the Florida Panthers scored on their first two shots against backup Thatcher Demko. Brock Boeser did get one back to make it 2-1, but that score didn’t last long as Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Hoffman potted another two goals before the end of the second period.

After having their seven-game winning streak snapped in their last game, the Canucks now look like they could be going in the opposite direction. They have allowed 14 goals already on the road trip, and they’re now on a two-game losing streak — with very little to hang their hats on.

The power play, penalty kill  and even the goaltending have started to show cracks in these past two games. Faceoff efficiency, which is a strong suit of the team so far this season, was also a weak area against the Panthers.

If the reality check was in Tampa Bay, what is this? It is definitely a wake-up call, and with the Pacific Division being as tight as it is, a lengthy losing streak could derail any playoff hopes. Here is what we learned from another disturbing loss in the State of Florida.

Turnovers and shaky defensive play

If you had to sum this game up in one word, the word would be turnovers. The Canucks were guilty of a plethora of them in this game in every zone on the ice. They must think it’s still Christmas, because they were definitely in a giving mood. Someone has to remind them that the holiday season ended two weeks ago. The turnovers led to a lot of goals against and even more high danger chances for Demko to deal with.

The Canucks were also guilty of some shaky defensive play as well, which also carried over from the game in Tampa Bay. Even with Jordie Benn re-inserted into the lineup, the defence did not look any better. On more than one occasion they were guilty of some ill-advised pinches which led to several odd-man rushes against. The Panthers also looked like they were playing rope-a-dope at times in the offensive zone too.

After yet another game with over 40 shots against, the Canucks have to start tightening up defensively or this losing streak will not stop at two games. The goaltending of Demko and Jacob Markstrom can’t always be their saving grace. To win games consistently and convincingly, the defence has got to start limiting shots and chances and maybe give their goaltenders the night off once in a while.

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