Image Source: Panther Website

REDlines: Tighten Up And We'll Be Fine. September 26th.

Today’s music video is Tighten Up by The Black Keys.

Yes, we were lit up for 10 goals in two nights over the weekend.  Yes on Friday night we had a bunch of kids playing a bunch of vets, and on Saturday night we had most of our main lineup playing against a bunch of youngins, but take a deep breathe.  Count to 10 and relax.  It’s preseason, and Saturday night’s game was the first for a bunch of Florida Panthers as well as back to back for a few.  Offensively Florida looked creative, fast and hungry in the first 40 minutes.  Knowing the style of play that Kris Versteeg has shown before, I was glad to see him flying around creating chances and getting his first goal of the preseason.  Causing me to say VERSTEEG!. David Booth looked like he was in mid season form, and there were many other high points in the game.  You have to admit they were exciting to watch.

However, many fans began freaking out Saturday night after the game, and Sunday morning due to an old familiar friend showing up in the third period.  You know who I mean.  “The lost lead”.  Yes, Tampa scored three times in the third, and many of us had that old sinking feeling again.  Jose Theodore who started and played in his first game since April, gave up 3 goals on 12 shots in the third, and while he wasn’t 100% responsible for all of them,  and maybe not at his sharpest, the initial reaction has been borderline schizophrenia.  People clamoring for goaltending help, indicating no confidence in the tandem of Theodore and Scott Clemmensen.  Some want Jacob Markstrom rushed (yes rushed) into the role, and then there were a few people wishing we still had Tomas Vokoun or heaven forbid, Reboundo Luongo.

Here’s my quick take.  This was the first game where most of our lineup played together.  It’s preseason and I usually don’t put too much stock into preseason games.  I saw a bunch of things I liked, as well as seeing a bunch of things I didn’t like.  For one, the game was kind of soft, meaning not much in the area of physicality from either side.  Our defence looked out of sorts at times, and Brian Campbell is playing way too much right now.  Seems that every time I looked he was out there on the ice.  Were were also missing guys like Marcel Goc and Scottie Upshall on offenc, and Mike Weaver on defence.  Coach Kevin Dineen had this to say after the game:

“We had half a dozen bodies in which that was their first game,” first-year coach Kevin Dineen said. “I’m not big on making excuses, but fatigue played a factor. We also had a little chemistry issues. When things got frantic, we failed to settle down and right things.”

It’s going to take some time for things to work themselves out.  Players need to find their legs, and get used to each other.  We do need to hold onto leads and can’t have that continue any longer.  I’m in full agreement of that.  We did not however play safe.  We took chances, even as we were trailing, and for that you have to be happy.  We’ll be fine.  Let’s give this a couple more games before we start calling the suicide hotline.  Tighten up on defence, clear the crease, and stay aggressive.  It’s going to be ok.  Now put that phone down.

Here’s your Monday links:

Saturday night’s game was going pretty good until Tampa scored three goals on Jose Theodore in the third period.  Sun-Sentinel.

Damien Cristodero reviews the Tampa victory.

George Richards points out the unfamiliarity of Saturday night’s lineup.  Miami Herald.

Around the NHL:

TSN.ca has the waiver list from Sunday. See any names you like?  Not me.

Is David Perron close to coming back t0 the St. Louis Blues?  Pro Hockey Talk.

Matt Cooke has changed? Not yet, and probably not ever. I’ve had enough of this idiot.  Harrison Mooney.

Brenden Shanahan seems to be busy every day now as Brad Staubitz and The Wiz give him something to review.  Sean Leahy.

Dirk Hoag from On The Forecheck looks compares Moneyball to the Nashville Predators.

Scott Howsen’s plan in Columbus is taking shape.  The Hockey Writers.

Here’s a couple Stanley Cup predictions from NHL.com.

The FanSided Five:

Predlines has a question about Nashville and Ryan Suter.

A Winning Habit with their Eastern Conference predictions.

Disgraceful and disgusting is what Ducks Daily Blog calls the incident last week in London, Ontario.

The ticket prices in Philly are insane according to Broad Street Buzz.

Great idea from Monica McAlister from Octopus Thrower.  Get a chance for an NHL sweater for  buck.

On Sunday we started doing our division previews, and on Monday October 3rd we will have our Florida Panther Season Prediction!

As always thanks for reading. We welcome your comments and opinions.

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Tags: Brian Campbell Florida Panthers Jose Theodore Kevin Dineen Kris Versteeg Reboundo Luongo Tomas Vokoun We See Red

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