The Florida Panthers finally opened the 2010-2011 season in Edmonton against the Oilers in the first of a three game western Canadien road trip. The Cats were hoping to start the season on the right foot, which they did. It just happened to be the right foot of Oiler centerman Shawn Horcoff.
You can judge for yourself on whether or not a distinct kicking motion was used or not as the goal was scored. Thanks to Donny over at LitterBoxCats for the video.
Here’s the game summary thanks to TSN.
For the Oilers it was their second victory in a row after dominating the Calgary Flames just a few nights ago, as the young guns of this team have taken flight with quite a rejuvenation. Five first round picks over the last few drafts were in the lineup for Edmonton showing off their speed, grit and determination.
With the final score of 3-2 we learned many things about the Panthers, some of which we already knwo, but will need to be reminded of, and we learned a few new things as well. Dustin Penner and Ryan Jones scored the other two goals for Edmonton, both on deflections.
Dealing with the frustration of the Horcoff goal obviously threw the Panthers off their game as the disbelief sunk in for the remainder of the match. Tough to move on from something like that, but it wasn’t like we were being outplayed.
Marty Reasoner, an ex-Oiler himself scored both Panther goals as he made his prescense known on the fourth line with Steve Bernier grabbing two assists, and Darcy Hordichuk splitting time with David Booth who was being double shifted.
Things to point out:
* Marty Reasoner with two goals has achieved 50% of his total output from last year. If he keeps this pace up he will score 164 goals smashing any record by Gretzky that you thought would satnd the test of time.
* While Chris Higgins didn’t get on the scoreboard he looked in mid-season form. He was fast to the puck, had some quality chances and seems to have a nose for the net.
* The power play still lacks a body in the slot. Either the three forwards were in the corner, on the half-wall, or behind the net. If the puck ever would have squirted loose, no one was in front to create traffic, a disturbance, or god forbid, a tip-in. Hey Jim Hulton, this is your third sesason here. You better get this fixed.
* The Panthers looked fast and furious most of the game. Their overall speed was useful in creating scoring chances. Except for Cory Stillman. he’s slower than last season. However, the Panthers couldn’t finish. That will be a season long problem if not addressed.
* Little Stevie had a brain anuyrism, which created a turnover that led to the Horcoff goal. Sorry boys and girsl, as responsible as you think this weasel is, he made a dumb play. Also, he doesn’t look any stronger, faster or quicker than he did last year after working out this off season with fitness guru and ex-NHLer Gary Roberts.
* The Panthers outshot the Oilers 28-13, and in typical fashion lost. Now those 28 shots don’t include the 156 that completely missed the net. We will never be accused of being sharp shooters.
* Nikolai Khabibulin was solid in goal. Actually there were a few saves that were quite clutch that he made and he was the difference for Edmonton.
* FSN Florida has to get their act together. First the HD presentation wasn’t all that clear, as things were out of focus. Secondly, I’d like to see the actual drop of the puck for the beginning of each period. So when you get a chance between now and tonight, can you guys work on that. Thanks.
* Line changes should be coming. Bernier was impressive, Rusty Olesz was not. Switch them.
* Tough guy Darcy Hordichuk has 5 minutes of ice time. Not bad for a type of player that DeBoer doesn’t like to use.
* Television analyst Bill Lindsey was already making the excuse saying that the Panthers have no reason to hang their heads about this one. Bill, they lost. They could have won if they would stop trying to shoot pucks through the goaltenders chest, and completely miss the net on the other 100. We don’t need to be patting them on the back already for a good effort. We’ve been eharing that for too long.
Game two of the road trip is tonight against Booby Lose and Keith Ballard and the rest of the Canuckleheads.
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