It’s Too Early to Panic. Isn’t it?


It’s early, but one has to wonder how long things will continue before something changes.  Granted the Panthers have only played 5 games, however we are seeing a very familiar pattern.  One that hasn’t changed very much over the last few seasons.

Let’s remember that the Panthers have not been to the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons.  They have not won a playoff game for ten, and have not won a playoff series for twelve.  Don’t panic?  It’s not about panicking it’s about realizing that this team as it has been put together is not as good as the organEYEzation thinks it is.  Slow starts, losing leads in the third period, being outshot, no physical play, no energy, soft goals being let in, and last but not least, no scoring.   Since the lockout has been over that’s been the story every season as the Panthers will make a mad dash in the second half of the year, only to fall short of making the playoffs.  Last year they came close, but these same issues as I described contributed to missing the playoffs by one point.

The mantra has been, “we’ll make the playoffs.”  Well, how about setting your sights a little higher and aim for challenging for the Stanley Cup?  I mean isn’t that what we want?  Or am I missing something?  I don’t want to be the eighth seed, play the first seed in the first round and get knocked out.  For me that’s not good enough.  Now I know that I would be expecting alot of this roster to challenge for the cup, but if management raises their expectations maybe, just maybe the results would be different, and you’ll be forced to build the roster differently.  A former coach said of the Panthers that  “The youngsters never fully develop in Florida because there is no presure to win.”  Digest that for a minute, and it makes alot of sense.

In this writer’s opinion, and you decide for yourself and you must be honest, this team has been playing at the best level that they can play at.  It’s not going to get much better mostly because of the types of players that they have and the way that they play.  Head Coach Peter DeBoer, whom I like very much feels that this is a good roster.  Really?  It might be good enough for the AHL, but not for the NHL.

It also seems that no matter how the roster changes, no matter what the mixture is and no matter who is coaching, the results are the same.  Is it ownership?  Is it scouting?  Bad trades?  No trades, i.e. waiting too long.

Some people may think it’s to early to be negative and be projecting more of the same, but with this teams’ track record we can only assume that it will be another season of just missing.  That’s where the mindset of everyone has to change and change now!  We can’t wait any longer.  We are five games into a young season and already on a four game losing streak, including losing the home opener.  What’s the old saying about the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results!

The Panthers HAVE to make the playoffs this season.  After missing last year by one point that should be the bare minimum expectation.   The problem lies in the fact that the roster is built incorrectly and the scale of salaries is all wrong.  I’ll take a look at that in the near future and explain in full detail, but are you aware of the increases in salary that guys like Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss for example are going to be getting?  And how much we’re paying for all of our defencemen?  Ownership isn’t cheap, let’s dispel that rumour right now.  The Panthers are at 54 million this year for the cap.  But they spend money like drunken sailors!  The years and amounts that some of these third liners(reference to all players) get is ridiculous.  Therefore they strap themselves with these god awful contracts and can’t afford a top notch player and then the public thinks that they’re cheap.  No, they’re just stupid!

This team from what I have seen, including many nights last year, is lazy, slow, doesn’t have alot of hockey sense, plays with no energy or sandpaper, and hasn’t learned how to win.

If that’s the type of hockey you like Alan Cohen, then yes, they are playing at their maximum capacity.  Problem is, it’s not good enough, and your faithful fans have had it!  So stop throwing money at players that aren’t worth what you’re paying them, and instruct your General Manager to someway, somehow get rid of the dead weight.  Move the players who haven’t matured yet, and get rid of them now before their contract makes them untradeable.  Get some players in here who know how to play, know how to win, and actually have the desire to earn their money instead of expecting it! 

Get some balls Alan. Get this thing fixed!  You have a beautiful arena, great weather, sun, beaches, golf all year round. Who wouldn’t want to play here?  It sounds like a country club atmosphere.  Thing is, you’re running it like one.

There’s alot of distractions, but winning and focusing on excellence and having the players who know the difference changes that.  It should be a privilege to be here with all that around.   Stop getting players who have nowhere else to go, and get some players that know what it takes.  You almost had it a few years ago, but you found a way to fuck that up too!

Don’t worry I’m not panicking, I’m just not buying what your selling!