You never came.
The Playoffs that is. I’ve been waiting like a loyal dog who waits for his master. Regardless of the fact that I have been impatient about it lately, still I hoped, I prayed, I,….. ah forget it. We both know that it wasn’t going to happen this season either right?
Sunday’s evening’s game ended with Steven Stamkos of the Lightning getting his 51st goal of the year on an empty net. He becomes the third youngest player ( 20 years 2 months and 3 days) to score 50 goals in a season. Only Jimmy Carson (19 years and eight months) and some guy named Wayne Gretzky (19 years and 2 months) were younger. It’s always nice to see history being made in person, as I was treated to one other historical event, as the Florida Panthers set the NHL record for most consecutive years of missing the playoffs (10).
Not to take anything away from Stamkos, who I will say skated pretty damn hard for the loose puck to score the goal, the game itself was mistake filled and rather boring. The Panthers seemed to play the “trap” for most of the game, even while they were trailing. My fellow season seat holders that sit with me all kept asking the same thing over and over. “When are we going to turn up the offence”? Well, they said it in various other ways, but I’m keeping this one clean.
Rusty Olesz scored the lone Panther, goal his 14th of the season to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead at 2:06 of the first period. The goal tied Olesz’sseason high mark which he acheived in the 2007-2008 season as well.
IT WAS OLESZ’S FIRST GOAL IN 32 GAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mike Smith who started in goal for Tampa made 30 saves, most of which hit him directly in his chest. Hey, Panther’s, you can’t put the puck through a goalie, you must put it past him, although through an opening. A few empty nets were missed, and a couple chances were flubbed. I think that if we were in a boat, and fell off we’d still find a way to not hit water!
Scott Clemmensen made the start in goal with Tomas Vokoun sitting out with a wonky back. Scotty made 28 saves and looked comfortable in net. I think we should get used to that as my opinion is we’ve seen the last of Tomas Vokoun in a Panther uniform.
Coach DeBoer of the Panthers had the following comment after the game: “I’m not going to insult anyone’s intelligence and give you a silver lining or a positive spin on this. It’s a disappointing year across the board”.
Little Stevie said the following: “I really thought this was going to be a breakout year for us,” and then he added this: “After last year we had a lot of momentum and just couldn’t get it done. It’s certainly disappointing and it’s going to be another long summer.”
Indeed it will be.
The game ended and afterwards the Panthers held their annual shirt off the back, as fans were trickedallowed to make a silent bid on all the game worn sweaters for the night. All money was donted to the Panthers Foundation which is actually a very good cause. So at least the money that was donated by the fans that won will be put to good use in the community.
As the players were taking their sweaters off and signing them for the fans that won, confetti actually was coming down throughout the arena. I looked at this and said to myself, am I missing something? I mean we just lost the last game of the year. We just missed the playoffs for the 10th straight time! What’s the party atmosphere for?
Or maybe we were celebrating the end of a losing era?
This summer will tell.
Just to let you know, even though the season for the Panthers is over, I’ll be here continuing to follow all the nonsense activity of the off season as well as all the playoff action. I’ll be reviewing the Panther’s season, player’s performances, who stays, who goes, and what we need, because as you know, I do have all the answers.
In addition to that, the Fan Sided Sport’s Network is redesigning it’s main sports page which I’ll be on, writing about the NHL. We’ll have about 15 or so handchosen writer’s from around our network contributing. So please keep coming back. Here, and there!
I’ll be waiting.
Thanks for reading. I really do appreciate it, and hopefully we’ll have lots of good things to talk about as things move forward.
Your comments are always welcomed and at this point, encouraged.