The Ottawa Senators camed out of this game on top over the hapless struggling Florida Panthers wednesday night with a 4-3 victory. A game in which the Panthers had two leads dissappear, including a span of 38 seconds in which Ottawa scored twice, giving the Panthers another defeat.
Some would say the level of play for the Panthers was better. Some would say that it was their best effort of the year. Peter DeBoer would say “I don’t feel we are a 2-7-1 team, but obviously we are. We’re heading in the right direction, doing good things out there. Were not getting rewarded for it. Those things happen.”
My violin is broken, otherwise you’d be hearing that music in the background of sadness and empathy.
Sorry people. Missed opportunities by players that can’t finish. Passes going the wrong way. A few defensive blunders. Anyone see Bryan Allen trying to clear the puck along the boards only to give it up to Ottawa, in which they quickly scored? Anyone watch how the Panthers appeared to be desperately putting pressure on Ottawa, come up with nothing, and then Ottawa comes right down and scores? Yep, we’re doing good things out there. For the other team.
I mentioned in yesterday’s preview that we should look for Jason Spezza and or Jonathan Cheechoo to score their first goal. Spezza did, and Cheechoo almost did. I rest my case.
When Steven Reinprecht is your leading scorer your team has a problem. Panthers TV analyst Bill Lindsey seems to think that the Panthers were playing one of their best games as well. What games are these people watching? Lindsey also commented on the fact that DeBoer was able to roll three lines pretty consistently throughout the game, keeping the top players in the flow. Hmmmm. What top players? And what did those players do? Oh, yea The Weasel (little Stevie) scored a goal, and Lazy Ass (Horton) had two assists. The fourth line played a total of 18:53 for the entire game. However I don’t think that any of the three, Michal Repik, Kenndal McArdle or Ville Koistenenenen, took the ice in the third period.
Lindsey also mentioned that the Panthers were late getting on the ice for practice Wednesday morning as they were studying film and going over defensive coverages and responsibility. Were they awake?
The Panthers talked about being more tough, and playing a more physical game and finishing their checks. The Weasel commented on that after practice indicating that he needs to do more of that himself and would. The only thing that The Weasel was hitting was opposing players with his stick as they skated past him. I don’t know what the final hit count was but I would be curious to see it.
So here we are. A team that is missing it’s best offensive weapon, it’s best penalty killer, and three players that the coach doesn’t have enough confidence in. By the way The Foreigner (Ville Koistenenenen) is in the doghouse with DeBoer. Interesting statements by Pete about how he doesn’t have confidence in The Foreigner to play defense. Nice free agent signing.
Amazing isn’t it that Martin Skoula couldn’t make the Panthers roster, but is good enough to make the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins!
On to the Western Conference to play Dallas on Friday and St. Louis on Saturday, both on the road. The Western Conference where hitting and physical play is mandatory.
Food for thought. Does anyone think that DeBoer is losing his players? Or that due to his inexperience as an NHL coach that his decisions are out of frustration and are just knee jerk reactions?
I’d like to know, what Jacques Martin said to Pete to make him choose Florida over Ottawa? Is Pete regretting that choice now? Ah, screw it. Why would you want to coach a team with Spezza, Alfredsson, Fisher and a few other grinders that actually play hard, when you can come down here in the sun and hang with a team that closely resembles a team that you’re used to coaching anyway. A bunch of minor leaguers.
One last hit. I am putting out a missing person alert.
Has anyone seen Cory Stillman? Soon to be labled Mr. Invisible.
Thanks for reading.