Matt Carkner and Darcy Hordichuk. Source: Globe and mail

Not Prepared To Play. Who's At Fault?

The good news about last night’s game? No goaltender interference.  No pucks kicked in.  No questionnable calls.

The bad news?  The effort, the hustle and the perceived attitude.  All these aspects were poor and or non-existent.  From the opening faceoff through most of the 60 minutes of play the Florida Panthers played the game as though they couldn’t wait to get out of Canada’s capital.

Here’s the details in black and white.  TSN.

Both Dave Lasseter and I purposely didn’t go right to the keyboard last night to describe the lack of effort that was given.  Cooler heads have prevailed on our end, but still the writing is on the wall as we have known, but maybe have been waiting to admit.

This team just isn’t good enough.

Now to elaborate on that and some other things, I’m sure you want me to back that statement up. Fine.  If you clicked on the TSN boxscore above you’ll see the game stats.  While you’re at it, click on some individual players to see their season stats, and what those numbers project out to.

Little Stevie is on pace for 30 points.  He has one goal and two assists in eight games.  Like I’ve always said, he ain’t Stevie Wonder (ful).  He was a – 4 last night.  He looks like crap, and don’t give me any lame excuse about he’s got a tooth missing, and is having trouble eating.  Give me a frickin’ break.  He set his tone for the season after the Dallas loss when he made his comments about it not being a lack of effort.  I honestly don’t know what game he’s watching or playing.

All the rah rah about Mike Santorelli.  He’s also on pace for 30 points.  Do we compare him to Weiss?  If we do are we saying that Weiss is off to a slow start?  Or that Santorelli will over achieve?  While I like his energy and his effort on most nights, he doesn’t/can’t finish.

Rhino on pace for 15 points while being stuck on the fourth line.  A very expensive energy player who’s really out of place on that line.

Chris Higgins, a player that I like, and really want to give a fair chance to.  He’s not impressed much past the first two games when he had some scoring chances, and looked like the next shift was the one he’d score his first goal on. Goal number one came last night in game eight.  For me he seems to be playing too much on the wall and not enough in the slot, or middle of the ice.

Michael Frolik a healthy scratch, and deservedly so.  But what does it prove?  He’s not top line material?  He’s too inconsistent?  This is his third year and he needs to have a breakout season.

Dennis Wideman.  Not sure yet of what I see.  He usually leads in ice time, and maybe that’s going to be a problem later in the season.  He’s not big nor is he fast.  He is inconsistent.  However he too admitted that the Panthers weren’t ready to play.

Which gets us to the coaching staff and Peter DeBoer.  Or by the way the Panthers are playing he might become known as Peter The Bore!  He stated that the Panthers weren’t ready to play as well.  We are starting to hear some of the same excuses as last year.  The other team is hungrier, the other team was more aggressive, the other team took advantage of their chances.  How much of this 3-5-0 performance is Pete’s fault?

Well you could say he’s doing the best he can with what he has.  You could also say that maybe he’s not NHL coaching material yet.  You could also say his buddy and assistant coach Jim Hulton is over his head.  I don’t think you can say that Deboer is the guy to turn this around, regardless of the roster.

So, how long before the panic button is pushed and we see the first trade, or firing?  I said early on that after 20 games if the panthers don’t have at least 22 points that DeBoer will be let go.  I still stand by that.  Whether the players are tuning him out, or they have no confidence in him, or he just can’t get it done, I’m not really sure.

I will say that if he does get fired, and no player is moved during this, they will all have to look in the mirror and take responsibility for their lack of effort.  The slogan “We came to play”  is biting us in the arse.

Other teams are coming to Win!  That’s the difference.

Thanks for reading.

Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

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Tags: Chris Higgins Dennis Wideman Little Stevie Michael Frolik Peter Deboer Stephen Weiss

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