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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Tags: Anze Kopitar David Booth Florida Panthers Jacques Martin Little Stevie Los Angeles Kings Pete The Bore Prevent Defence Tomas Vokoun

  • slapshot1106

    A coaching change does nothing but cost us more $$ that they won’t be able to spend on players… They need better decision-making.. I agree with Jeff as they were lucky to hang around and have a lead last night.. Too many mental mistakes starting with coverage in their own end, not getting out of their own end, and making the extra pass in their own end.. That’s all in their own end, not to mention their lack of creativity in the other end…

    Weiss, Frolik, Wideman, McCabe led the way with mental lapses. For the amount of ice time they log and money they make on a team that can’t spend, they need much more from them.. I realize Tallon probably can only dump around the deadline the likes of McCabe, Stillman, Rhino if there’s interest, so he should consider off-loading Weiss, Frolik before they lose too much value like Horton did…

    Vokoun will likely have to be resigned as Markstrom’s not ready. So Tallon should find out how much T-VO will demand. I’d offer him a 3year deal at about $5.5 mill/year… That should make him affordable to other teams if we have to deal him in the future… Unless San Jose, Ottawa, or Philly knocks your socks off with a deal, the best bet is to resign him….

  • Frank Rekas

    As for resigning Vokoun which I have no problem with, we have to assume he wants to stay here. It would most likely be the last long term deal he signs during his prime years. He wants to play for a playoff bound team, we’re at least two years away from that if not longer.

    As for the coaching change, I realize that it’s money be thrown away, however a move to salvage respectability is needed. These players are making the same mistakes every night. It’s boiling down to hockey sense, motivation, being prepared and skill. The whole bunch is responsible. I don’t like a coach losing his job, I feel bad as I said. But we aren’t performing. If you think the arena is empty now, sit on our hands and it will be me and my family sitting on the Blue Line by ourselves in the lower level.

    The players you indicate with the mental lapses are happening way too often. They are nervous and pressing and can’t perform at their best.

    We either hang on to people too long, or get them too late.

  • Frank Rekas

    Agreed about the new faces. As long as we accept them for what they are. Reasoner has been very effective and I like the ice time that wideman gets and honestly I have always liked Bernier. He’s not a big weight wise as when he first came in, but he can plant himself in front of the net for tips and junk goals.

    As for Weiss, Stillman, McCabe and even Dvorak, all are probably on borrowed time. Our bottom six this year aren’t that bad, I just wish we’d get more use out of Hordichuk. Out top six however are questionnable. Booth and Santorelli are keepers.

    I know people feel that Deboer is a good coach and that no one is porbably going to get more out of this group, so why do it? This is a really tough thing right now. Almost exactly like what the Leafs are going through.

    • HANK

      frank, deboer has to go. he’s too soft. tallon needs to gut this team as soon as he can. no way do you re-sign vokun. this team is easy 2-3 yrs out from being descent. I love how they spoke of competition upfront this year so deboer could sit players who were not preforming. where’s the competition? players don’t get better in the ahl. it’s called the minors for a reason. has frolik or weiss or booth or anyone else sat in the press box? NOT

  • slapshot1106

    I really don’t have a problem getting rid of the coach if it was his fault or it would make the difference, but I don’t see that being the case here.. I’d be very surprised if Tallon made this type of meve before the end of the year, and I think he realizes it’s a no-win situation..

    Even though this team is on the road, these are some of the road games they need to get points in… Maybe they get excused as Anaheim has scoring, even though it had to be sloppy if Parros scored 2.. The Kings game hurts as they were leading after 2, and got nothing out of it.. Not that I want to hear it from Stevie, but they needed to at least salvage a point out of that one.. Now onto Phoenix. These are road points they can get, playing low-scoring teams with good goal-tending… Now they’re up against it as it’s almost like they’ll be pressing to get 2 pts..

    So I guess they’re now falling into the team that most thought they would be… If that’s the case, Tallon needs to make some moves sooner than later.. Just becasue Stevie says he wants to be part of the solution shouldn’t exempt him from being dealt… Of course he’s going to say that because he’s never going to get the ice time he gets here on other teams…

    I say Tallon should do what he can to unload almost all of the parts that were here before he got here… I don’t have a major problem with Dvorak, but maybe changing these parts sends the message the past wasn’t acceptable, and changes will CONTINOUSLY be made until we get it right… If PDB has to be part of those changes at some point, I don’t have a problem with it. But for now, I say trade what you can trade, put others on waivers, and change the parts to make it work better…

    One thing I can say it that it’s a breath of fresh air watching new faces from last year including Weaver, Santorelli, Reasoner, etc.. Even young guys like Garrison, Ellerby, Matthias, Thomas, Bernier have promise… Jury is still out on Repik. Maybe he deserves more time, but probably too small.. Santorelli’s small but he’s more of a sniper, and he also plays PK, so that was a nice find..

    Watching Weiss, Frolik, McCabe, Stillman, etc is painful. Those are the changes where I’d start. We have nothing to lose. Other guys deserve their ice time. They’ve had enough chances… Make it happen Dale… Maybe it’s a little impatience on my part, but just sick of watching these guys get top minutes, PP time, and not finish…