Daily Pucking Grind. TGIF. January 28


Today’s music selection is It’s Friday, I’m In Love by The Cure.

No games last night with the start of the All-Star break.  What will we do with ourselves?  Get to know our families again for a few days?  Maybe, or just continue analyzing and calculating our teams playoff chances, and deciding who should be traded and who shouldn’t.  Many questions if you’re a Florida Panther fan and some answers will soon be revealed about the direction that the team will be headed.  One thing for sure, and I said this at the beginning of the season, Dale Tallon is the right man to turn this franchise around.  He has the “blueprint” and we just need to watch it unfold.

The Florida Panthers sit eight points out of the 8th playoff spot with a record of 22-22-5 for a total of 51 points.  Atlanta is a team that can be caught, but Carolina is coming on strong and Buffalo is hanging around, so this won’t be easy.  The trade deadline is approaching as well and all sorts of rumors will begin to fly.  Other than Dmitry Kulikov, and one or two others, I’m not sure that anyone is untouchable.  More on that in the coming days.  Or week.  Whenever I get to it.  One thing for sure a call to Rochester will be made and my guess is we’ll see Bill Thomas coming back up to take the place of Shawn Matthias on the roster who is out with an ankle injury.

Some interesting numbers quickly before I get to the links.  Michael Frolik, eight goals in this his third season.  He will struggle to get to 20.  Rostislav Olesz four goals in 32 games.  He will probably not get 10.  That’s an expensive forward with little in return. But we already knew that.  Steve Bernier has no goals in his last 20 games.  Marty Reasoner has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season and has 10 goals.  Don’t be surprised if teams make a pitch for him.  Mike Santorelli is second in points on the team with 27.  A great acquisition by the Panthers.

I’ll be master of the obvious here for a second; fix the dreaded power play and learn to hold onto leads.  If those two items change, and we learn how to finish, things could be different when April gets here.

Here’s your links for Friday:

T-Shirts that you’d never think are available are right here at Puckinghilarious.

The Checking Line has a Brian Burke Flow Chart to help you understand how he operates.  It will all make sense when you’re done reading it.

Puck Update feels that Jacques Lemaire should have left the New Jersey Devils broken.

Chicago Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison’s popularity goes through the roof with his Chicago Bears performances. Chicago Sun-Times.

Sam Fels of Second City Hockey has a new gig at Mad House Enforcer.  Read how why he thinks the Hawks are underachieving.

The Ottawa Senators are struggling.  View From My Seats has some advice.

Alexander Semin signed a one year contract extension yesterday.  THN.

Confessions of a former hockey flirt.  Deadspin.

Finally The Onion shows us what we are daydreaming about.

Don’t forget to vote for Panther Ice Dancer Meg in the Ice Dancer Contest.  Hit the like button.  I think she’s leading!

Thanks for reading.  Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

Please visit our NHL main page:  Too Many Men On The Site.

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Tags: Brian Burke Jacques Lemaire Marty Reasoner Michael Frolik Mike Santorelli

  • slapshot1106

    Let’s hope Thomas does make his way back up. I don’t think he should’ve been sent back. If it wasn’t for us being stuck with excess baggage, I think he could easily have stuck around and played a solid energy role, probably with better leadership and character than many of our current contracts we’re trying to be rid of…

    I think there has been promise that Garrison is a solid NHLer… There’s now hope in Dadonov, Ellerby, and maybe even McArdle when we rid ourselves of more deadweight.. I’m not sold on Frolik, and don’t like to see him given all those top-line minutes.. On top of that, they play him with Weiss and they don’t offer enough on nights that they’re line doesn’t score…

    If Tallon is to combine one of our young guys with an aging vet for disposal, I’d say it should be Frolik. No one else is taking Rusty’s contract, and you have to give to get… Frolik might even put up better numbers with different talent a la Anthony Stewart, but we have to take chances and I don’t see him vastly improving playing with these current Panthers…

  • Frank Rekas

    Frolik is certainly one that has been a disappointment for sure. I would have thought that this year would have been a better one for him, but you’re right. Top line minutes for a guy who only has eight goals?

    While he appears to be very talented he also appears to go through some serious slumps. Benching might work, but here again we are in a situation where injuries are piling up. Not an excuse, as all teams have them, but our depth is about to be exposed at a very important time.

  • slapshot1106

    Just seems like Frolik is being rewarded for mediocrity, and that’s something that has to change.. Not sure why PDB doesn’t drop him to a different line. I understand he says that he and Weiss play well together, but let’s try dropping that whole line down and make them deserve their extra minutes…

    As far as the team falling off due to lack of depth, I’d say they can probably stay right around their current level, but they probably won’t be able to push it through to the next level needed to get into the Top 8… They still need more consistent puck possession, and be able to convert on timely chances.. Goaltending is good enough, but would probably have to be outstanding to make it to the next level.. Probably won’t happen, but still a good season considering all the excess baggage we’re carrying.. Let’s hope Tallon can get rid of some of it…

  • Frank Rekas

    Frolik getting the top minutes because he plays well with Weiss might have held weight in the past. As everyone knows, Weiss for me does nothing, and he is forced as being our numberone center and never gets benched or demoted to a lower line. Maybe if that happened, the others would wake up.

    Those are the types of decisions that make me feel that DeBoer is not long for this job. At least with this team.