Cardiac Cats Find A Way To Win

Celebration In Overtime. Source: Canadien Press

Today’s music selection is The Catalyst by Linkin Park.  Because each night it seems someone takes that role for the win!

I know that at least three people will admit to reading this site, but I’m beginning to wonder if there’s more of you out there.  And of the more, are you someway, somehow involved with playing for the Florida Panthers?  Or coaching them? Seems that since I went on my tirade on December 16, 2010 there’s been a turnaround.  With last night’s cardiac event where the Florida Panthers beat the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime, the Cats are now 5-1-2 and have picked up 12 out of a possible 16 points.  Coincidence? Maybe.

In a game where you had that errie feeling of oh no, here it comes again, the Panthers lost another lead in the third period.  Your only thought could be, another lead lost, another game lost, and falling further behind in the playoff race. On top of it the record at the RBC Center in Raleigh was 5-25-2 prior to last night’s tilt.  So if you wanted to bet your Christmas bonus on the end result you had a pretty good chance of being right.  But that’s why I don’t gamble.  It’s cheaper to drink.

Here’s the TSN box score.

Bryan Allen joined the ranks of surprising heroes for this year’s team with a long slap shot that found it’s way past the glove hand of Hurricane netminder Cam Ward for the winning goal at 1:16 of the overtime period.  The win put the Panthers above .500 (18-17-2) for the first time since the Clinton administration I don’t know when.

In a building with a poor history to go along with a fragile outlook as the lead began to shrink and disappear, you can’t help but be happy for these guys.  As well as having your heat stop skipping beats.  A win is a win, but we also let Carolina get a point out of it.  Hopefully that doesn’t bite us in the arse later this season.

Scott Clemmensen who started in goal made 34 saves on the night.  It’s strange to see that as well as he’s played his record is only 2-4-1.  needless to say, goal support he got as Cory Stillman, Chris Higgins and Dennis Wideman scored the Panthers goals in regulation.  In playing the second game of back to back contests fatigue was a concern and obviously played a role.

“You could see we hit the wall in the third period,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “They got some momentum with a goal and cranked it up. Clemmensen made saves to keep us alive. It seemed like everything was against us, the calls, the building, the momentum. But we found a way to win. That’s the big thing.”
Monday nights game is the first of five consecutive games against division opponents this week.  Atlanta, Washington twice and Carolina again Friday will all take place within this eight day period.  A test of the character and mental toughness of this group of players that seems to be gelling together as a unit.  I’m not making any predictions or any statements other than the fact that, they are playing better than we expected, and they are competing.  Right now we can’t ask for more than that.
My Molson Canadien player of the Game:  Bryan Allen!
I said early on in the season that we’d have to manage our expectations.  And that if we did that, we’d feel pretty good about the outcome of these games.  This night was a heart stopper.  And it had nothing to do with that good looking kid Erik Gudbranson helping team Canada with a win over the US in World Junior tournament play.  Well maybe a little.
There’s a lot to be excited about going forward with this team and the youngsters that are on display in the WJC.   Last night’s Panther win was a confidence builder against an opponent that has historically given them fits.  You have to admit, it’s good to see.

Thanks for reading.  Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

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Topics: Cam Ward, Cardiac Cats, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Scott Clemmensen, WJC Tournament

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  • http://oilonwhyte.com Jeff Chapman

    Wait, .500?

    Wait just a minute here. You’re not out of the playoffs yet?

    Nice.

    • Frank Rekas (therattrick.cm)

      Hanging by a thread. But moving in the right direction!

  • slapshot1106

    Even though they had the lead again, it sounds like they stole one of their lost points back from Carolina for a change… Maybe their legs got tired so they got outplayed in the 3rd, but either way, they take the pts and run..

    It gives some hope for the next few weeks with home games coming up, so marketing should be happy… Now can they go on a little run?

    I’m still not crazy about the line-up they’re using, and I don’t see them winning consistently with the aging vets. I tend to wonder what’s the priority now–contending for a playoff spot, or showcasing the vets hoping they perform and some other team is willing to give a pick for….

    On a side note, any chance the Flyers throwing Leighton on waivers might put them in the T-Vo running in Feb… Maybe it’s a 6 week tryout for Bobrovsky and Boucher to see if they’re ready to handle the load… If either one gets hurt or fails, I think they’d certainly be looking to make a pitch for a veteran #1…

    • Frank Rekas (therattrick.cm)

      The win was indeed one of those take the points and get the hell outta town for sure.
      I’m thinking that maybe someone wants in on Stillman quickly, and that we can pick up a draft pick, Rhino has cleared waivers, and rumor is he could be headed for Europe. Which gets his cap hit off the payroll. That and Stillman save some cash.

      Vokoun to Philly as been going on for a long time. Not to rehash, but JM and or Randy Sexton both coulda traded him for people who’s names would make your head spin now, but didn’t.

      Today, I am on the fence about trading him for picks. Tomorrow i could change my mind.

  • http://www.laurelserraphotography.com Laurel

    As Excited as I am about our current standing (which is sad that I am excited about it really lol) Im a bit hesitant going into Wednesday nights game which I will eb at.. While I want to stay on this “YAY LETS GO PANTHERS” kick.. I cant help but hold back a little .. I guess its taht good ole South Florida mentallity with Plan for the worst and hope for the best! (well at least during huricane season lol)

  • http://www.laurelserraphotography.com Laurel

    OOO and look there are your three readers ;)

    • Frank Rekas (therattrick.cm)

      Thank goodness I reached everyone today! LOL
      Guarded caution for sure. As you know I have come a long way. A very long way to be in the mind frame that I’m in right now. I’m certainly not saying playoffs. I’m just happy we are at least playing better and don’t look like a bunch of AHLer’s. :)