Last night’s thrilling shootout victory will go down as one of the biggest wins of the season for the Florida Panthers. After a gutsy regulation performance between the Buffalo Sabres and the Panthers, the teams played a scoreless overtime leading up to an epic shootout of seven rounds. As you know, I hate shootouts, however certainly loved the ending of last night’s, as Dmitry Kulikov scored the winner in his first game back since missing 23 games with knee surgery.
The image above of the Panthers bench as Drew Stafford of the Sabres was about to take Buffalo’s seventh shot gives you the idea of the intensity not only of the players on the bench, but the coaching staff as well. Being at the game myself, I honestly didn’t know if I should stand, sit, or put my head in my hands. Unlike Kevin Dineen who choose the “I can’t watch this” pose, I’m glad I saw Jose Theodore make the final save and raise his arms in victory. I have to say though that I just love the intensity that Dineen brings every night, and love watching it resonate to the players.
It’s been a fantastic season, and as it winds down with 11 games left, each game and it’s result has so much meaning. While I don’t know how many more endings like this we can stomach, however when we come out on top it’s certainly much easier to swallow.
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