The Panthers soft defence as described by Pete was exactly that all night long. Soft. Late to the puck, not winning battles in the corners, lack of physicality against a team that plays physical, and lots of giveaways. All these ingredients equal a recipe for disaster. Even Gord Murphy who was interviewed before the start of the third period was critical of his defence, and rightly so.
There was some good news last night as the power play finally got off the schnied with two goals by forward Steve Bernier, who was appearing in his first game since the stick in the face from Minnesota’s Brent Burns, which caused a fractured orbital bone. Bernier who was wearing a full cage due to facial surgery, not because he lost a tooth, was a welcome sight as he stationed himself in front of the net and deflected a soft shot by Little Stevie from the top of the faceoff circle, which cut the lead to 3-2. It was the first power-play goal in 37 tries and only the sixth of the season. Bernier’s second goal on the power-play came with 1:07 left . Bobby Ryan sealed the victory with an empty netter giving the Ducks the 5-3 victory
Mike Santorelli picked up his seventh goal for the Panthers as he continued his solid play. David Booth who is still being double shifted, had only one shot on goal while playing over 22 minutes. I’m tellin’ ya Pete, give the kid a break. You”re making it worse the more time you give him right now.
The fourth line which on most teams is supposed to provide energy provided nothing and finished a combined -7 for the night with Michal Repik a -3. The Little Stevie point projection now stands at 40.
Going to California early seemed like a great idea at first. Giving the players some extra time to find their legs. Not sure it worked as I’m guessing they might have been trying to find some “other” legs if you know what I mean.
It doesn’t get any easier as the Panthers take on the Los Angeles Kings in L.A. tonight.
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