VANCOUVER – By nature, goalies are a suspicious bunch, always having their guard up.
When you face down a vulcanized piece of rubber being launched at your face like a missile day after day, it's easy to think everyone is against you.
So Tomas Vokoun's explanation on how a disputed goal was allowed was one only a goalie would come up with.
“It doesn't surprise me that they counted it,'' Vokoun said, perhaps half-joking but perhaps not.
“They want to get the scoring up. They count everything I guess. We deserved to win the game. We had 10 minutes where everything that could go wrong did go wrong. That's out of your control sometimes. They beat us on some plays, but how many times do you see goals like that? Not very often.''
Vokoun was at his midseason best on Sunday, but he came out on the short end of a 3-2 score against the Oilers. Of the first three shots Vokoun faced in the second period, all three turned into Edmonton goals.
The first two came off wicked redirections off the stick of players just trying to do something with the puck. The third came when a puck hit Horcoff in the boot; Horcoff appeared to turn his foot to direct the puck into the net. League rules say a player cannot make a kicking motion on an active puck.
The league ruled that Horcoff did not kick the puck and allowed the goal – to the Panthers chagrin.
“I wasn't trying to kick it in, just stop it,'' Horcoff told local reporters following the game.
After facing just 13 shots against the Oilers on Sunday, Vokoun returned to face the Canucks on Monday night.
“We have to get a win, he's our No. 1 guy and this is a test for him,'' coach Pete DeBoer said before the game. “This is one of the best teams in the league and we're going to need him. I can guaruntee you he'll face more than 13 shots. They may have 10 on the first shift.''
DeBoer said he was happy to be able to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday although he wouldn't have minded being back in South Florida with his family.
“It's a huge day here. I can't get used to calling it Columbus Day,'' DeBoer said with a grin. “My wife made a turkey and stuffing back in Florida. You know, people probably looked at us cross-eyed, but this is the Thanksgiving weekend I grew up with. I don't know what the celebration is for Columbus Day.''
-- Steven Reinprecht and Kenndal McArdle were healthy scratches for the second straight game.