Skille Debuts Tonight. Source: Dennis Wierzbicki, US Presswire

Daily Pucking Grind. Iced Version. February 10th

Today’s music selection is Better Off This Way by A Day To Remember.

This iced version of the Daily Pucking Grind is iced since you’re getting it in the afternoon and an iced coffee will be more thirst quenching than hot.  Plus I’m combing my preview with some links for this post.

The debut of  new Florida Panther forward Jack “Crash” Skille is supposed to happen tonight.  Skille acquired in the Michael Frolik trade with the Chicago Blackhawks has been traveling from Edmonton to Toronto to here, and is supposed to be in tonight’s lineup against the Buffalo Sabres. I’m not calling this game a must win.  Seems like we’ve been saying that for the past month, and in reality, how many must win games can you have especially at this point in the season?

The Buffalo Sabres find themselves back in the playoff hunt and are coming off a big 7-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.  The Sabres are on a 7-3-0 surge in their last 10 games and sit in the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference.  In that Tampa game Sabres forward Drew Stafford picked up his third hat trick of the season as Buffalo won it’s fourth game out of it’s past five.  Tomas Vanek also had three points in that game as he now has 22 in his last 15.

The Sabres would love to hand Florida it’s five consecutive home loss, and beat them for the first time this season in three tries.  Since December 27th the Sabres have gone 11-4-1 and have been climbing in the standings. Tyler Ennis is also hot as he has 11 points in his last nine games for Buffalo.  Expect Ryan Miller in net, although as i type this, it has not been confirmed.

The Panthers meanwhile are coming off a disappointing and frustrating loss to the St.. Louis Blues on Tuesday by a score of 2-1.  It was another dose of the same medicine.  Score early, get the lead, only to lose it in the end.  18 of the last 21 games for Florida have been decided by one goal.  Including six straight. Their record is 7-5-6 during that span.

The lack of scoring and the inability to step on the gas pedal has caused Florida to bust their arse for a full 60 minutes every night.  I will commend them for effort, but there are no points awarded in the NHL for that.  Tomas Vokoun who played well enough to win Tuesday, isn’t getting much goal support.  you cannot expect your goaltender to be flawless every night.  Scoring more than two goals is something that eventually you must find a way to do.  The Panthers are just making their lives harder for themselves by missing scoring chances, clanking pucks off of posts and crossbars, shanking shots, and blowing breakaways.  And for anyone who wants to point a finger at Tomas Vokoun, here’s this.  In his last eight starts he has not allowed more than three goals, and he’s lost five of those games.  Clearly proving that we are offensively challenged.

Exucution, finishing, and playing with desperation.    Otherwise, you can bet the door will be hitting some others in the behind.

The TSN Gameday preview.

Here’s your Thursday links:

Matt Cooke made the headlines. I decided to voice my opinion.  Too Many Men On The Site.

Jeremy Roenick has even more to say about Cooke.

Blackhawk Up gives his version of the Skille-Frolik trade.

Mike Wagner from The Hockey Writers gives his analysis of the deal as well.

Harvey Fialkov from the Sun Sentinel talks about Skille improving our physicality.

Puck Daddy’s Three Stars for Wednesday include Nathan Horton.

The TSN quiz wants you to be the general manager.

Please visit our FanSided opponent Sabre Noise.

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments, or rants.

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

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Florida Panters Jack Skille Jeremy Roenick Matt Cooke Michael Frolik

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