Each day we are going to give you the Final Grade on the Florida Panthers roster. The members here known as The Rat Pack will rotate daily until we have completed our assessment of
bodies talent players. Today’s Final Grade Report is on Scott Clemmensen.
How acquired: Signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2009 after playing previous season with New Jersey.
2010-2011 Stats: 8 wins, 11 losses, 7 OT losses, 2.62 GAA .911 Save PCT, 1 shutoout
2011-2012 Contract Status: Clemmensen is in the final year of a three year deal with a cap hit of $1.2 million. (numbers according to www.capgeek.com.
I’m sure Scott Clemmensen would like to forget how his ’10-’11 season finished. The veteran netminder lost his last seven outings (one, he only played in the shootout) of the season, including bad outings against Ottawa, Washington and Tampa Bay. Although, to be fair, he didn’t exactly have the best team in front of him for those late season games. Aside from the late season swoon, he gave the Panthers a solid performance in most of his starts, allowing three goals or less in all but five appearances. But with a team in front of him that didn’t score often, many nights it wasn’t good enough. His standout appearances were a March shutout of the then-surging Toronto Maple Leafs, a brilliant performance 40 save gem in the desert against the Phoenix Coyotes and an overtime win against in January against his former club, the New Jersey Devils.
Shootouts were a particular bad spot in his game this season. To put it mildly, he was bad. In particular was a January loss at home against the Atlanta Thrashers. At the time, the Cats were jockeying for a playoff spot and had two points in the bag. Two goals in the last two minutes of regulation sent the game to overtime. After a scoreless extra frame, Clemmensen was the only hope to save a lost two points. He was badly beaten on both shootout attempts and that was that. It was a microcosm of how he did in shootout during the season.
The uncertainty of Tomas Vokoun’s situation leaves Clemmensen’s status uncertain as well. Should Vokoun depart, you would think that the Panthers would go out and search for a short term number one goalie until Jacob Markstrom is ready to be a full-time NHL netminder. Based on his performance in Jersey in 2008-09 when he filled in admirably for an injured Martin Broduer, there might be some temptation to make him a short-term number one, but the Panthers would be best served with him as a backup.
Final Grade: C . I’m not punishing him too much for the losses to end the season. There was a ton of bad hockey being played in front of him after the trade deadline. In most of his starts, he kept the game respectable and at times, was outstanding. On the occasions where he relieved Vokoun, he did well to stop whatever bleeding had been occurring. But his shootout performances left important points on the table that could have made a difference. He’s a solid backup, nothing more.
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