Game of Pucks

Game of Pucks

In honor of tonight’s finale of HBO’s most critically acclaimed drama, “Game of Thrones”, this compare and contrast between the show’s personalities and your Florida Panthers was made to be light-hearted and fun. I can’t stress enough this disclaimer and wanted to get that out there first because diehards on both sides may get, well, offended.

What’s listed below is purely my opinion with a little help from my wife, who’s a diehard GOT fan (and answered my questions when I asked who’s who). In essence, I dedicate this mockery of apex cinema to her while also dedicating it to Roberto Luongo (a well-known GOT fan on the team). Beyond that, I can’t say much because I’ve only truly seen about a third+ of the show and multiple scenes post season 3 as I walk by the TV while she’s watching. So again, go easy on me readers!

As we sail this novella into the night, let it be known that this is not a slight on your personal allegiance brethren. Alas, this is a kind acknowledgement of the deluge that has infested our modern culture as House Panther prepares to take the iron throne at BB&T’s Landing in 2019-20! Let’s meet our cast as we push onward my brothers and sisters:

Jaime Lannister – Vincent Trocheck

Jaime is an interesting character on the show that reminded me of Trocheck after much thought. As king’s guard, Jaime flashes his beautiful armor everywhere while snapping arrogant remarks at almost anyone in his path. He’s also an extremely talented fighter. He’s never the same after he loses his hand which is eerily similar to Trocheck’s performance this year post injury, leaving most wondering if he’s just being careful or has actually lost that spark, we all know and love. All throughout his career, flashes of brilliant skill laced with confident post-game interviews remind me of Jaime’s candor. For our sake, hopefully Trocheck gets back to his prior self.

Jon Snow – Aleksander Barkov

This one’s pretty much a no brainer. At first, I wanted to place Trocheck or Ekblad in this spot but after much though I felt Barkov was much more deserving. The soft-spoken Jon Snow has been fighting his way through the show for years, always leading by example. Who else but our fearless leader AND captain fits those exact traits? Barkov is not as vocal as some would like, but with a franchise record setting performance last year he’s proven that he’s the one true leader of this franchise. His attitude is almost like a, “shut up and skate” mentality that all the players get behind.

Tywin Lannister – Joel Quenneville

I’m sorry, but is anyone over this yet? I still feel like I’m dreaming that this guy is our new coach. It’s like I went to sleep and woke up in a Marvel Avengers alternate reality where things are actually going our way for once in SoFla. The similarities are striking in two key points for me between ‘stache and Tywin: Both are brilliant strategist and both scare the living **** out of me. I stopped Dale Tallon a few years back in the arena and asked him to take a picture with me. I was star-struck and intimidated by his 6’1” frame (which looks like 7’1” in person). He scowled at me and said something along the lines of, “c’mon, I’ve got to…ugh alright.” It took every ounce of bravery of me to chase him down and ask him for that picture. With Joel, I’m afraid to be in the same building as him when I attend my first game next year. Tywin gives me the same feel. No nonsense, cutthroat, winner.

Ser Davos – Roberto Luongo

This one’s on the back and forth I had with my wife. I said, “if there’s anyone that deserves a spot on this crazy list I’m making, it has to be Luongo.” I walked in front of his silent auction basket on the last game of the year against NJ and right on top of it was the box collection of GOT. He’s also been very vocal about how much he enjoys the show, so Lu, this one’s for you. She keyed me in on how old-man Davos is a good man with a good heart. After the tragedy at MSD, we saw Luongo step up and talk to us about how he felt after the incident, leaning us with his words into a part of his life we’ve never felt or knew. We also made a comparison about how both tend to get injured frequently but are resilient and keep coming back.

Arya Stark – Frank Vatrano

From humble beginnings, Arya fought her way through mayhem and ended the march of the Wights and White Walkers once and for all. Her arc is impressive and started from just pure grit. Vatrano has had a young boyish outlook to his contract since he signed and in a short turn-around has cemented his place on the Cats’ roster as a legitimate offensive threat, much like Arya’s story. A deadly goal scoring year coupled with that tough Bruins’ mentality he’s brought with him has made him the piece of that depth puzzle we’ve needed for years. We can only hope that, like Arya, his story is remembered for years to come and engraved on that cup one day us Panther fans so desperately desire.

Sansa Stark – Mike Matheson

The title says enough. Next.

Ok joke aside, he was the most hated this year on Panther’s Twitter cesspool. I don’t think Matheson is completely hopeless like Sansa, but the red hair and bloated contract makes for a good comparison. The only thing I can hope for is that this doesn’t pan out to eight seasons of annoying play like Sansa’s annoying dialogue. Let’s see if our “Tywin” turns this defense around and brings out the best of Matheson this year.

Robb Stark – Aaron Ekblad

The golden boy. The King of the North. The #1 overall pick. And, well, what happened? Robb’s character ultimately fell in the series but I feel that Ekblad has a lot more to offer. As a young man, he was thrusted to the front of the lines much like Robb was. We saw him develop into a top tier defenseman but somewhere we’ve seen him plateau in the past year and a half. I only hope he doesn’t meet the same demise as the most deserving Stark son and show’s us and the rest of the league what a top tier defenseman looks like. I really want him to do well. Truly. But I feel like, much like Robb, he may have been forced into a leadership role too soon at too high a level. The world is yours, golden boy. Get back to the basics and lock down that top 2 pairing.

Enjoy your watch parties tonight. We may not see a phenomenon of a show like this for a while. If you are out tonight watching somewhere other than home: stay safe, drink responsibly, and have fun!

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