The Current State Of The Florida Panthers Goaltending.

The Florida Panthers have endured some goaltending difficulties of late, after starting goaltender Jose Theodore went down against the Montreal Canadiens.  Theodore is currently is day-to-day with a knee injury and hopefully will be back in action shortly, but until then Scott Clemmensen and Jacob Markstrom have taken the reigns.

While Panther fans were dismayed by the fact that Jose Theodore was injured as he had played great this season, the fans were excited in another way that they would get to see top Florida prospect Jacob Markstrom called up from the San Antonio Rampage to join the Panthers on their 2-game road trip.  Florida headed into a matchup with the New York Rangers who were coming off a dramatic Winter Classic win over the Philadelphia Flyers.  Florida was looking to even up the season series at 2-2 in the final meeting between the two teams.  The Panthers last two meetings against the NHL best Rangers had been most unfoutunate falling to New York 6-1 on the road and 4-1 at home.  In both games the Rangers would chase the starting Florida goaltender.  The Panthers would go with Clemmensen for the start in net even though the last time he played New York, he didn’t finish the game.  This time around Scott did finish the game and while the result was a 3-2 OT loss due to  Marian Gaborik’s game winner, Clemmensen stopped 38 of 41 shots in a solid effort by the veteran goaltender.

Coming off a this tough OT loss to the Rangers, the Panthers would finish off their road trip against the New Jersey Devils and former coach Pete DeBoer.  Florida coach Kevin Dineen had to make the decision on weather or not he would start former Devil Clemmensen back to back nights or go with back-up Jacob Markstrom, but in the end Dineen went with Markstrom to finish off the road trip.  The Panthers would once again come up empty as they would fall to New Jersey by a final score of 5-2 in what was not a strong start by Jacob.  He would stop 25 of 29 shots in a not so memorable start by the young goaltender.

Florida’s back-up goaltedning core has been quite busy this season with injuries plauging the goaltenders, but Markstrom and Clemmensen have been getting their chances.  Scott has played in 10 games this season posting a 4-1-3 record with a 3.01 GAA as well as a 0.897 save percentage and 1 shutout in which he posted in his first game of the season.  Jacob has spent most of the season with the San Antonio Rampage were he has played in a total of 14 games posting a 6-7 record as well as a 2.75 GAA  with a 0.909 save percentage.  When Markstrom has been given the call to step up for Florida, he has had average performances playing in 7 games and going 2-4-1 with a 2.66 GAA and a 0.923 save percentage.

The Panthers will not go without starting goaltender Jose Theodore for much longer as coach Kevin Dineen said going into the matchup with the New York Rangers: “it’s not long term…two weeks or less”.  I would expect to see Theodore back in net for the game vs. one of his former hockey clubs, the Colorado Avalanche.  Florida’s 3-game homestand  features match ups against the defending Western Conference Champions Vancouver Canucks and former Panther Roberto Luongo.  The always competitive Pittsburgh Penguins and the defending Stanley Cup Champions Boston Bruins should be great!

Thanks for reading.

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Tags: Boston Bruins Colorado Avalanche David Booth Florida Panthers Jacob Markstrom Jose Theodore Marian Gaborik Montreal Canadiens New Jersey Devils New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Penguins Roberto Luongo Scott Clemmensen Vancouver Canucks Winter Classic

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