Panthers Shutout In Columbus

Panthers Blue Jackets Hockey

Steve Mason last year’s Calder Trophy winner for Rookie of the Year in the NHL decided that last night was the night for him to return to form and put this year’s struggles behind him.  Good for Steve, bad for the Panthers as Mason stopped all 32 shots he faced. 

Jason Chimera (?) scored for the third game in a row with slightly over a minute left in the first period as he banked in his own rebound with Panther defenceman Bryan McCabe hanging closely on him.  That would be all Columbus needed to put a damper on the opening game of the Panthers four game road trip.

Columbus had lost eight of it’s last nine games coming into last night, while the Panthers have now lost nine of their past ten. 

Here’s a contrast for you, and please spend some time digesting it:

Columbus with their recent struggles had a one hour and fifty minute practice Tuesday.  The Florida Panthers, who have been playing just as poorly were given the day off!

Remember Pete’s comments after Monday’s game about it being “Groundhog day“?  He was also reportedly happy about the way the Panthers played Monday even though they lost in the shootout.  Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock wanted more desperation,consistency and hunger from his team. 

I know that I’m not a coach, but I will agree with one of my loyal reader’s that a team is rewarded with a day off when things are going well, not when you are on a losing streak, or have lost nine of your last ten games.  This isn’t juniors and I think DeBoer needs to realize that.  I am really questioning some of his decisions and as a fan I have that right.  While I can’t possibly know what’s going on in the dressing room or at practice (provided they have any), this team is NOT being held accountable.  In the end, it will be DeBoer that suffers as we can’t trade all of these players.  Hell, we can’t even hope that one gets claimed off of waivers at half his salary (Koistinenenenenen)

The Panthers have been outscored 12-4 in their last four games.  Clearly a sign that scoring continues to be a problem. 

All other teams in the Southworst (not a typo) division lost last evening.  Clearly a chance for the Panthers to take advantage of that and make up some points.

The Panthers had a 5-3 advantage during the third period for 23 seconds and came up empty.  Within 30 seconds of that penalty being over Derik Brassard ended a fourteen game scoring drought for himself and put the Blue Jackets ahead 2-0.  An empty netter by Samuel Pahlsson made it 3-0.

Here’s some quotes for you:

“Tonight was a night where if we were going to get some points, we had to be opportunistic,” DeBoer said. “We didn’t get a ton of chances, but the ones we did get we didn’t cash in on.”

We’ve got a little bit of a depleted lineup right now and there’s no cavalry coming anytime soon,” DeBoer said. “This is what we’re dealing with and we have to find a way to get some wins.”

We’ve heard this before gang.

The Little Weasel, Lazy Ass and Rhino all combined for four shots on goal.  Secondary scoring?  None. 

Power play remains powerless as there are too many passes and not enough shots.  What’s the deal with McCabe not setting up and just firing on net like he did in Toronto a few years ago?  Doesn’t he have a wicked slap shot?  How come no one is planted in front of the net for deflections, or screens?  Gary Roberts where are you?

The road show continues as the Panthers take their act to New Jersey on Friday and to Pittsburgh to play Cindy Crosbitch and the Pens Saturday night.


Thanks for reading.


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Tags: Clumbus Blue Jackets Florida Panthers Jason Chimera Ken Hitchcock Peter Deboer

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