Photo Source: The Sun-Sentinel

Flat Footed, Sloppy, Slow Start. Sound Familiar?

After a four day layoff in the sun and fun of South Florida, the Florida Panthers layed quite the egg last night as the Dallas Stars basically skated circles around them.  With all the time off you always wonder how long it takes to “find your legs” as the saying goes, and as of right now the Panthers are most likely still trying to find theirs.  It’s only five games into the season, so how much stock do you put into a game like this?  Or how much stock do you put into the first four games which saw a much different team play then we saw last night.

The quote of the evening:

“I don’t know if we can take much out of that game,” Weiss said. “Just a little sloppy, a little flat-footed at times. They took advantage of the chances they got and put us away. I don’t think it was for a lack of effort, but just a little static at times and it came back to bite us”.

Not for lack of effort?  Well when you’re sloppy, and flat footed, my guess is yea, lack of effort is a pretty good indication of how you played as a unit.  I mean are you actually trying to be sloppy?  Are you purposely making mistakes.

That said, it was a tough game to watch.  Boring for the most part and in actuality, I really didn’t see much of it after the second period.  It was just too hard to watch.  A nice option when you’re at home is the ability to use the remote and put something else on, which is exactly what happened at the Rat Trick house.  Nothing against Dallas as they played a very solid road game, but one would think that with the new attitude the Panthers are sporting they would have been well rested and confident after their big home win Saturday night against the Lightning.  It would have been nice to see them play with more purpose as well.  If you recall I did say in my game day preview that the first few minutes of the game would be very important.

Peter DeBoer felt that the Panthers were beaten in all facets of the game, and that the time off was not an excuse.  Righto!  Although based on past history, or at least last year, almost anyone with half a brain would have expected this game to be a dud.  If that was the “camp” you were in, you were right.  Who’s fault?  I don’t know, and I don’t want to start getting all negative, but with four days off, maybe one of the practices should have involved some significant skating.  Not a bag skate like Todd Richards recently did in Minnesota which was punishment, but a hard skate to stay focused and be better prepared.  So if we’re going to lay blame, it’s on the coaches for preparation, but also on the players for execution.

When I hear Little Stevie say that it wasn’t a lack of effort, then I begin to wonder then what the heck was it?  This coming from the alternate captain of the team, and first line center.  Who finally scored his first goal of the year on a tip in, as he was just standing around in front of the net.  Well at least he was in front of the net, but it was a meaningless goal.  That’s not the production that I’m expecting from the top line which continues to struggle terribly.

As my partner Dave Lasseter wrote earlier today, the good news is we can get right bck at it Saturday night against the Islanders, but the effort needs to be much, much better.  Last season we would see a few of these games strung together and we cannot have it this season under any circumstance.  If they have been too busy reading all the press clippings about how well they’ve started despite the lack of scoring power, then it’s going to be mind games all season long and more excuses.   Dale Tallon will have a lot more work to do to get this ship moving in the right direction.

It might be too early to say this, but we can’t accept this type of play regardless of the roster.  I played harder the other night in my corporate softball game, that we ended up losing by one run then the effort that was put forward last night.  If the Panthers play the way they did in the first four games, then we can be pleased with that.  If they play most of the time the way they did last night, get ready for another top draft pick.  S

Something that I’m honestly not going to advocate.

Here’s the details of last night from TSN.  By the way, who the heck is Tom Wandell?

Want some warm fuzzies about last night?  Go to Five For Fighting.

That’s all I got.

Thanks for reading.

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Tags: Dallsas Stars Lack Of Effort Little Stevie Tom Wandell Tomas Vokoun

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