Ottawa Lights Up Florida. Source: Canadian Press

Daily Pucking Grind. Heavy Roast. February 24th

Today’s music selection is by the Yeah Yeah YeahsHeads Will Roll.  Cause after last night, they should.

Playing with heavy hearts and cluttered minds the Florida Panthers meandered through another game in which they clearly appeared ready to get on the next flight out.  A 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators has virtually guaranteed Florida to miss the post season a record 10th consecutive time.  No worries though, if you buy season tickets for next year, you get free hockey this year.  The victory for Ottawa also prevented them from losing their 11th consecutive game at home.

Bobby Butler (who?) scored twice for Ottawa, and that was all they would need as the Senators won for only the 20th time in the season.  The Panthers meanwhile are playing with a heavyness that has taken over their minds and their bodies.  Trade speculation is rampant in the dressing room, and with nothing happening yet, the players are wondering what’s next.  Coach Peter DeBoer blamed Monday’s loss to the Islanders on this speculation, but didn’t think the effort would be so lax two games in a row.

“That was ugly,” DeBoer said after the game. “Credit to Ottawa. I thought they played hard and did what they had to do to beat us but we didn’t put up too much of a fight.”

Easy for me to say this, but I will since I heard former defenceman and former Panthers’ color analyst Denis Potvin say something similar during the broadcast; no matter what talk is going on, there’s still a game to play and playoff chances on the line as well as jobs to fight for.  You still need to be prepared and play hard during the game.

Everything is weighing on their shoulders, and while I have never been in their situation I can’t know what it’s like.  However trade or no trade, you’re being paid a great deal of money to play and play hard.   That’s what we as fans who pay for the tickets to watch you play expect.  If you play hard and get beat, I can’t argue too much with that.  However when you don’t have the mental toughness collectively to pull together and put all this garbage behind you, then it doesn’t matter if you want to stay.  Why would we want to keep you?

Oh and too make matters worse, Crash is hurt.  He’ll be out for an extended period of time.  <takes out can of salt and pours in open wound>.

Here’s some links for your Thursday:

Puck Daddy’s Three Stars for Wednesday.

George Richards from the Miami Herald talks about the effortless game.

Coach Q is back on the ice In Chicago.  ESPN Chicago.

Former NHLer Peter Stasny calls out the Colorado Avalanche for their recent trade activity causing son Paul some grief.  NHL.com.

Monica McAlister covers yesterday from A to Z.  The Hockey Writers.

This weeks TSN NHL quiz.  Trade deadline talk and more.

Here’s last night’s TSN scoreboard.

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Tags: Bobby Butler Coach Q Crash Florida Panthers Heads Will Roll Heavy Heart Ottawa Senators Peter Deboer

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