The Florida Panther fell at home last night to the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Despite outshooting Buffalo 45-21 the Panthers were unable to solve Sabres backup Jonas Enroth who was brilliant in the win for Buffalo.
This is a tough one to swallow. You cannot, cannot, lose to the Buffalo Sabres at home. It just should not happen. Buffalo was coming into the game with the fewest points in the league. This is what I meant when I said the result of the Sabres game will tell us so much about this Panthers team. When you lose to Buffalo at home, all the sudden you are now included in that conversation regarding the league’s cellar dwellers.
The worst part is, the Panthers flat out dominated this game. Its hard to fathom how the Panthers can double the shot output of their opponent and still lose. Here is what is going to happen: the rest of the league is going to see the final scoreline, Panthers lose at home to Buffalo 3-1, and they are going to clump the Panthers into the group of worst teams in the league. And it is going to be infuriating as hell because I honestly do not think the Panthers are that bad. Maybe, and probably, I am just delusional but the way the Panthers have played recently, they deserve better.
The Panthers took care of business tonight like they were supposed to. They took care of business everywhere except in the final scoreline. After the game, head coach Kevin Dineen acknowledged that his team’s effort was deserving of two points.
“There’s a lot of hard work put into that game and there’s no reward at all. There’s no points. There’s no consolation prize for playing hard and well and creating offense. At the end of the day we’re all about the two points so on that note it’s not a good night.”
How many times have we heard this from Dineen? How many post game comments have been about how the Panthers played well enough to get a win but unfortunately could not find a way to get the two points? It seems like it is the same story every night, and Dineen is a straight shooter, when the Panthers play bad he says it. He is not just trying to stay positive when he says to Panthers deserve to win, he means it and it is true, the Panthers deserved to win last night but thats hockey. Sometimes things just don’t go your way.
The Panthers’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks was a momentum building game. We knew the Panthers had to play well against Buffalo for that momentum to mean anything and it is a bummer that Florida lost last night because even though they carried over their strong play from Tuesday, they still lost, to the Buffalo Sabres, on home ice, and watching the replay of Buffalo’s game winning goal and seeing the numerous Sabres fans going nuts in the crowd makes me cringe. And I cannot talk about this game anymore. It happened and now we can move forward. The Panthers have a chance to bounce back on Sunday when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning at 5:00 p.m.