Yuck! Dark, musty, wet, damp and smelly. That’s what a typical unfinished basement is like.
Playing with a roster that was made up of nine players who spent most of or all of their time in the AHL this season, the Florida Panthers were overmatched, yet gave a somewhat energized performance last night in their loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. There isn’t a column for effort though. It’s about wins and losses. I am sad to say……well not really…..that I didn’t watch. Accuse me of not being a true fan and jumping off if you want. That’s your choice. But when you have options, you decide which one to take. Last night I choose not to watch. So if you’re looking for a recap you can read about it here, or here.
Also, here’s the TSN boxscore as well. More after the jump.
Tonight is the final game of the season, and the final home game that is always referred to as Fan Appreciation Night. The marketing department will usually figures out a way to put their “spin” on things and I’m curious to see what happens tonight. Last year they had the audacity to have confetti drop from the rafters after the final game was over. That was awful, and I didn’t appreciate that maneuver. Trying to show that you appreciate your fans for showing up for a losing season? I get it. It seemed more like a celebratory move for finishing as bad as we did. What happens this year? We’ve been told that no confetti will drop. Thank goodness. Sorry Party City. The alternative? Maybe since the ice has been named the “The Lexus Ice”, all season ticket holders will get a Lexus sedan with 12 months of no payments. Sounds good to me. Would potentially offset the cost of seats for the year.
This game will be difficult to watch. The Washington Capitals have clinched the top spot in the Eastern Conference, and this game will be a tuneup for the playoffs. Alex Ovechkin and his gang will not need to play at full speed the entire contest, but will undoubtedly have more than enough energy to defeat the once again overmatched Florida Panthers.There will be no Stephen Weiss tonight (it doesn’t matter), Ryan Carter, Alexander Sulzer, Steve Bernier and most likely no Darcy Hordichuk. All are out with various injuries. David Booth will play his 82nd game which I am very happy to see, and Mike Santorelli will go for his 21st goal of the year after getting number 20 last night. Truly the best find of the year for Florida, was taking a chance on that kid.
But for me, I’m looking forward to seeing Tomas Vokoun. It was announced yesterday that Vokoun would get the start tonight, and deservedly so as he has given four years of his career to this franchise. Playing in the closing game of the season, and of his contract will give him the opportunity to show us why he’s one of the top goalies in the NHL. I’m concerned about his future though. After seeing our other goaltender recently, you’d have to agree, and that includes you too Mr. Knowsnothing, that the Panthers need Vokoun on a regular basis. Nothing against the other’s, but Vokoun gives the Panthers a chance to win….every single night he plays. For that, the organEYEzation should stop futzing around and sign him. The question I’m afraid is, does he want to stay.
I’ll make this brave prediction. If Peter DeBoer is retained as coach for next year, Vokoun is likely, and this is my opinion only, gone. If DeBoer is relieved of his duties, or given an associate coaching role with another coach coming in as the head coach, Vokoun may stay. Just hunches. I have no inside information.
It’s been a long year. The last few weeks while they have gone by quickly, have been difficult to watch. Finishing on a losing note isn’t fun, especially 11 in a row. We all know that there is work to be done with this team, and with the notion that General Manager Dale Tallon will have to spend at least 30 million dollars on salaries for players, we can hope for a completely revamped roster. That I will appreciate. A couple youngsters that we drafted this past summer could be ready, and a trade or two to bring in some veteran presence and leadership, and I think we’ll see a much better result. There’s other changes that I’d like to see, but I’ll save them for later.
I ask for 110% effort tonight from the Panthers. I’m sure they’ll do their best to stop the losing streak, but Washington isn’t going to make it any easier on you. They need to go into the playoffs streaking as well. Here’s the TSN gameday preview.
Make sure you check out Capitals Outsider, or FanSided opponent.
Tonight there’s a lot going on at The Bank Atlantic Center. It’s Fan Appreciation Night. It’s the Shirt Off Your Back Night. And, The Rat Trick boys are gathering up at the Bud Lite Terrace at 6:00 P.M. Stop by say hello. Give us a chance to meet you and thank you for coming here and reading our nonsense…. or whatever you call what it is that we do. There will be a game wrap up sometime tomorrow and we’ll set the stage for the offseason as well over the next few days.
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