If You Shake It You'll Break It. Panthers a Fragile Bunch.

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The effort was better last night for the most part, however as we all know, unless this team plays a solid 60 minutes night in and night out, the results will be inconsistent.  On Wednesday night coach Pete the Bore called his team soft after Anaheim basically tossed us around at will.  Thursday night the grit was there, in spurts, but not enough to make the Kings pay, or for the Panthers to prevail.    The offensive struggles of this team are evident, and even with David Booth scoring for the first time in what seems years, it wasn’t enough to lift the Panthers.

They are a fragile bunch right now and the tempers and the comments are going to start.  Tomas Vokoun was visibly upset after last night’s defeat and had a look on his face that could kill.  Sure, you can say he should make the save to steal the game and win one for us.  How many times do we have to ask that of him?  Going into the third period with a 2-1 lead on the road, while not safe, isn’t time to go into the Jacques Martin prevent defence, which apparently still seems to always rear it’s ugly head.

Holding leads in the third period has been a problem for this team for the last few seasons, with games slipping away at various points of the final frame.  Last night the Kings tied the game at two early in the third with a goal from Peter HarroldJarret Stoll scored the first goal for the Kings.  But with less than three minutes remaining Anze Kopitar got the game winner to give L.A. the lead which held up for the remainder of the contest.  Michal Repik scored for the first time of the season as he picked up a loose puck in front of the net, and immediately put it past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.

Even with the power play getting untracked the night before, the offensive woes for this team continue, and unless someone steps forward consistently, or some other change is made, I don’t see the team getting out of this rut.  Yes, boys and girls, it’s a rut.  We are last in our division, 26th in the conference and falling, have the league’s worst power play and are already nine points out of a playoff spot.  Dennis Wideman commented earlier about the offensive strategy of the team.  While his exact words are unknown to this writer, I’d bet there’s others that agree.  Pete the Bore’s comment on the situation: “He’s not a coach”.  Well, that will solve it.

Here’s what Little Stevie had to say after the game:

We played great,” Florida centre Stephen Weiss said. “We battled hard. Unfortunately, we were just two minutes short of at least getting it into overtime and getting a point, possibly two, so it stinks.”

Read between the lines there.  My interpretation and it’s not because of who said it is this:  I was hoping for a tie!  Listen pally, we need two points, not one.  We need to close out games, not let teams back in.  This group is fragile, almost like glass.  There is virtually no physical presence, and especially no response to any.  For once, I would like to see this team have the physical edge, rather than trying to equalize it.  We were promised a team that would be tough to play against.  I don’t see it.  Other than the first 10-15 games when we were seemingly pleased with the play, the effort and execution has almost fallen off the table.

Little Stevie’s point projection is 38 .  He played over 21 minutes last night and had no shots on goal.  Umm that would be the second game in a row with no shots on goal.  He also had two minor penalties.  Line demotion? Benching? Press box time?  Something has to happen.

I don’t like seeing anyone fired, or anyone lose their job.  The effect it has goes beyond just the person involved.  His family, his children, his surroundings and his future.  Many coaches in Pete’s position that have lost their job have never made it back to the NHL.  But I think that the players are starting to tune him out, and his leadership seems to be non-existent.  You can’t fire all 20 players, and in our case it’s pretty evident that we are having a tough time even moving one, so the only alternative is the coach.

The question is when?

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