Today’s music selection is by request, and for some of you it will take you back. Sweetheart by Frankie and The Knockouts.
Eight losses in a row. All we can do is sigh I suppose. The effort was better, but the result was the same. If nothing else we have found a way to be consistently inconsistent. Except for one thing. Losing. We re tied for 15th with Ottawa for the Basement of the Eastern Conference. Exactly where I predicted us to finish at the beginning of the season.
The game last night got off to a rough start as Tyler Kennedy of the Pittsburgh Penguins scored with just under two minutes gone in the fist period. For Tyler it was his 20th goal of the season and he was playing so well that TV play by play man Bill Lindsay actually called him Ted in the third period. I’m confident it was a mistake, but funny nonetheless. However Jack “Crash” Skille scored at the 14:38 mark of the period for his first ever goal as a Florida Panther. His 8th goal of the year. A nice pass from Marty Reasoner and Crash took the puck to the net and placed it behind Penguin Goaltender Brent Johnson. Less than minute later defenceman Clay Wilson gave the Panthers the lead as he joined the rush, and received a nice feed from Sergei Samsonov and fired a high shot past Johnson. At that point it was 2-1 Panthers and you felt as though the momentum had changed. By the way it was Sergei’s 12th point in 17 games with Florida. he had 26 points with Carolina in 58 games. But his contract is up at the end of the year……sigh……..I’ve seen this before.
Florida was playing without Stephen Weiss who was nursing a groin injury, and Tim Kennedy was recalled from Rochester to the place of Patrick Rissmiller who was sent back to Rochester, however Kennedy needed to be placed on re-entry waivers, and wasn’t. Minor snafu? Shawn Matthias dressed for the game however he must have had velcro on his arse as he took no shifts. Thus Florida played a man short. Snafu?
Speaking of snafu, it was game 79. We still seem to have trouble with line changes which is how we were caught in an odd man rush on the Kennedy goal. Yea, we have a bunch of new players. I get it, but boys…coach’s….let’s get the harmony right here. This isn’t the AHL. Or is it? Some nights I wonder.
The Penguins opened the second period and tied the game at two on a goal by Pascal Dupuis 45 seconds in. His 14th of the season, and they basically shut things down from that point forward. The Panthers playing careful hockey, managed….or maybe scared hockey….took only three shots in the middle frame. They were unable to penetrate the Pittsburgh defence, nor could they get any quality scoring chances. Missing Stephen Weiss had nothing to do with this, so before any of you start with that nonsense, you can just save it. There was more effort in this game without him than some other games recently with him. I’m not buying that analogy.
I would have to say that Crash and David Booth played probably their best games of the year, or at least in a long while. Crash was creating scoring chances and was always around the net. Three shots and three hits and one goal in 18 minutes as Skille played in the first line with Marty Reasoner and Sergei Samsonov. Booth meanwhile lead all Panthers with five shots on goal, three of which Johnson made some really nice saves on, which you might even say on a couple that Booth was “robbed”. The David Booth that played last night looked to be the David Booth from a couple years ago. While he was held scoreless, it was at least good to see. Doesn’t take away the fact that scoring is still an issue.
The Panthers have now lost eight games in a row as we head to, or are in the basement of the Eastern Conference. Here’s the TSN boxscore. Three more games to go and next Saturday it will all be over. Please come back tomorrow for another chapter in the Basement Monologues.
Oh, and speaking of next Saturday, The Rat Trick trio, myself, Dave and Josh (The Rat Pack) are planning a little get together before the game at the Basement Bud Lite Terrace before the game. Mark your calender. April 9th! Details will follow, but we’d love to have you come by and meet us. Our chance to say thanks for reading and supporting not only us but the Florida Panthers.
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