Panthers Can't Overcome Themselves, Bad Call

"Stephen Weiss stares longingly in the distance in a desperate search for his game."

It would be easy to blame this loss on an absolutely horrible call, but that wouldn’t be right.  It didn’t help but it’s not the sole reason the Florida Panthers dropped a 3-1 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.  The Leaf’s Colton Orr’s belly flop on Florida netminder Scott Clemmensen led to Orr scoring the game winning goal with just under nine minutes to play. It was as horrible as a no call as you’re going to see as Orr blatantly interfered Clemmensen but the refs kept the officials kept the whistles in their pockets and allowed the home folks to celebrate. Any whining about a bad call was made mute after a horrible Stephen Weiss giveaway in the Leafs zone (in the midst of a Panther flurry on net) led to Phil Kessel burying the dagger with 2:24 left to play.

The Good
-The Panthers fought hard to keep themselves in the game, despite another bad offensive performance. Dennis Wideman tallied his second goal (on the PP) late in the second period to tie the game at 1. Jason Garrison took a couple Dion Phaneuf slapshots off his body (an unenviable task to say the least) when the game was in doubt. Rusty Olesz forechecked hard most of the night. The effort was there, but the breaks and Weiss were not.

-Clemmensen had a solid effort. The goals were scored on a a rebond off of a breakaway, a BS no call, and a breakaway. Nobody did him any favors tonight.

The Bad
-It may just sound like beating a dead horse but it’s been the same thing every game so far. Weiss, Michael Frolik and Chris Higgins have been flat out terrible. Looking at the stat sheet from the game, it looks like Pete DeBoer is getting fed up as Weiss played 16:26, Frolik 15:26 and Higgins 13:34, while totalling five shots collectively. If their performance continues, those minutes will dwindle even more. Right now, they are the glaring weakness on this team and a liability on the ice. Time for a shakeup.

-It’s hard to explain how terrible the no call on Colton Orr’s ‘goal’ was without video (Can’t find it at the moment, maybe Frank will be able to find it in the morning). It was painfully evident as a squinted to watch the game on my computer monitor (No Tv?! I’ll show you!). It was a tackle that NFL players should be taught. With a referee looking right at the crease, you wonder how in the world they let the goal stand. When you’re offense is as anemic as the Panthers, the refs don’t need to give opposing teams any help.

Not much time to feel sorry for themselves though. They’ll be in Ottawa Thursday to face the Senators, who beat Phoenix on Tuesday 5-2. It will be interesting to see if DeBoer will have any line changes for the game or how quick he will be to yank minutes from first line guys for lack of production.

Check out our Fansided counterparts at Editor In Leaf for the Toronto side of the game.

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