Former Leaf Bryan McCabe got the Panthers off to a quick lead and start, and before the Leaf faithful could fill the seats at the ACC, it was 2-0. Was a romp for Florida in the making, or would we see a complete turnaround and lack of killer instinct appear?
It seems to me that everytime the Panthers beat a good team like the Penguins on Sunday, and play a very solid game, they then come up with one of these. Which is usually followed by a couple more just like it. So it goes for “Team Frustration”. The goal scoring came from our defence. The top line of Stevie, Horton and Frolik had eight shots, no goals, and while they too had some chances, didn’t finish. I will say that Horton looked good at times and was all over the place, he may have tried to do more than he should have. Frolik had a coulple really good chances but couldn’t find the back of the net. Stevie, only thing I noticed about him was in the third he threw the hardest check I have seen him throw in the eight years he’s been here. Frustrated? Maybe. He’s offically cooled off. Also looked like he may have hurt himself on that hit too.
Big Mac was called up in the event the Leafs displayed some truculence and pugnacity. Unfortunately the testosterone levels remained in check and Mac had a whopping 1:08 of ice time. Can someone please explain why he was brought up? Either play him some more, or don’t bother. Even Leafs tough guy Colton Orr got nine minutes.
Lee Stempniak, Tomas Kaberle and Alexei Ponikarovsky, or Pokehoskey as Don Cherry calls him, scored for Toronto. It was Ponikarovsky’s first goal in eight games for the Leafs as they start a span of four games in five nights as they are currently six points out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Monster, Jonas Gustavsson, was a key factor in closing out this game as he made some very key saves, especially in the third period against Michael Frolik and and a nice glove save on a shot from defenceman Dennis Seidenberg. Once again the Panthers tried to turn it up in the final period of a game, but have to learn that this is about playing 60 minutes, and that this group cannot afford any letdowns. I’m not in the mood to hear the talk about, “We played well, but just couldn’t get it done” crap. While every game is important, now all of them are. Guess who is right on our tail now:
As I mentioned in yesterday’s preview, I wasn’t sure which team would show up for the Panthers, and I am certainly asking myself, did I really expect them to win this one? Well having a a quick start, one would think so, but I know this bunch too well. Like the saying goes, it’s not over till, it’s over. Need to learn to play desperate hockey for the full sixty minutes. If there is any intention of making the playoffs that is a must. At this point though, it’s a pipe dream as consistency will be the doom for Florida.
Next up, a visit to the Bell Centre in Montreal Thursday night to face Uncle Jack and the Habs.
Thanks for reading.