The Florida Panthers with not much to play for other than pride, or the top draft pick in this year’s upcoming draft, put their tee times on hold for a little while longer by beating the Boston Bruins 1-0, and ending their four game losing streak.
Keith Ballard scored the only goal of the game at 7:15 of the first period and proved to be all the offense that either team could provide as the Panthers rode on the coattails of goaltender Marty Brodeur Scott Clemmensen who turned away 36 shots for his fifth career shutout. The loss for the Bruinsleft them tied with Montreal and Philadelphia for the sixth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with the Atlanta Thrashers two points back in ninth and the New York Rangers another two points back in 10th.
As for Florida, their chances of seeing the postseason are slim and in checking my math, which requires a calculator, abacus and my daughter’s slide rule (for good measure), they are now playing the role of spoiler. Terrific. If that’s something you can get yourself excited about. As for me, no thanks. The Panthers are now tied for 12th with a snowballs chance in hell of ending their post season drought. Great, Saturday’s game against the Rangers would be the umpteenth time that I will have seen the Panthers officially eliminated from playoff contention in person.
This was Clemmensen’s second career shutout against the Bruins, and while he looked shaky in the beginning, he settled down as things progressed and made some nice saves. I would have to say the HE won this game. Clemmensen who attended Boston College and played in the Beanpot and Hockey East Tournaments, has a special place for in his heart for Boston and it showed.
As for the rest of the Panthers heart offence, who knows where they were. Nathan Horton and Little Stevie didn’t do much from what I saw and the Panthers were only able to get 19 shots on goal. Add that to the 13 on Tuesday night and my math indicates a total of 32 shots in two games. Who says we don’t need offence? The shot on goal brigade was led by JeffTaffe and Dmitry Kulikov with three shots a piece. It was also the first time that former Panther defenceman Dennis Seidenberg faced his mates since his trade to Boston for Byron Bitz, who could not play due to injury. Seidenberg didn’t factor much into anything for the Bruins, but here in Florida, we still miss him and his shot blocking ability.
While I’m not so sure that this was a good game from Florida’s end and since they were outshot 36-20, it was still a win, but other than the play of Clemmensen, I wasn’t too impressed.
Rangersare next on Saturday here in the sixth borough called South Florida.
Note: For those of you who are still missing Roberto Luongo he had another blowout last night giving up eight goals against the L.A. Kings! Baahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha!
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