Game Day Preview: Panthers vs. Stars



Tonight the Florida Panthers take on the Dallas Stars in the first of back to back road games for this weekend.  Dallas has started out this season with a 6-2-4 record as they sit in the 4th spot in the Pacific division.  The Stars who missed the playoffs last season due to a rash of injuries are intent on getting back in the playoff hunt this year.  Some significant front office changes were made as Joe Nieuwendyk was brought in as general manager.  Also a surprising move, Dave Tippett was replaced by Marc Crawford, who seems to continue getting coaching gigs.

The Stars are led by Brad Richards who leads the team with 15 points on 5 goals and 10 helpers, as well as James Neal who has 14 points on 7 goals and 7 assists.  Not to be forgotten, but someone that maybe Lazy Ass can take a lesson from, is Stars captain Brenden Morrow.  A player that plays the game with grit, energy, and has the skills to score 30 goals a season, and has become the Stars leader.  I’d take this guy anytime!

This will be the Panthers first contest against former defenceman Karlis Skrastins who was basically allowed to walk away, and has signed on with Dallas for the season.  Bet he’s glad he did that, however I would have much preferred him to stay with us.  The Stars also have former Panther Alex Auld on the roster to back up Marty Turco.  I always liked Alex and thought that the Panthers kind of ruined him after he came back (too soon) from a knee injury.  He’s traveled around a bit since he left South Florida, spending time in Phoenix, Boston, and Ottawa before coming to Dallas.  One of his dubious achievements is being the goalie on Jeremy Roenick’s 500th goal, which was a bank shot off the boards. 

For the Cats, they have called up journeyman Jeff Taffe to add some much needed offense take the place of injured forward Dominic Moore who will miss a few games due to facial surgery after his nose was repositioned by the Philadelphia Flyers last week.  Panther doctors will attempt to put it back where it was, however, it may not look the same. 

No other real roster adjustments or news to report.  It will be curious to see how the 4th line is used as they saw very limited ice time against the Senators on Wednesday night.  Coach DeBoer however indicated he was happy with the play of both Michal Repik and Kendall McArdle.  Leaving out any mention of  The Foreigner Koistenenenen). you get the idea that there is a doughouse with his name on it.

I am searching everywhere for starting goalies, but as of this writing, I am unable to find anything out.  I would like to see Auld versus Clemmensen, but we’ll see how that ends up.


This will be the game 1,000 behind an NHL bench for Dallas coach Marc Crawford.  Can DeBoer last that long?

Steven Reinprecht leads the Panthers with 5 goals this season. 

There are a bunch of Panther players whose +/- is pretty poor.  Also take note that Cory Stillman has taken a whopping 12 shots in 10 games!  If I see that he’s on the power play tonight I think I’m gonna shoot myself in the foot.  It has always been my thought that you earn time on that unit for special play.  Not to get yourself out of a slump.

The Panthers are 2-7-1 going into this game and after reading alot of comments across town, I find it interesting that there seem to be 3 camps of fans.  Those that are eternally hopeful, those that are starting to feel that things aren’t going so well, and those that are completely disguxted and frustrated beyond imagination.

I feel sorry for you if you’re in the first batch.  If you’re in the middle I give you a few more games to get to the third.  Those of you in the last unit, let’s meet to see how we can do a hostile takeover!

By the way, due to techincal difficulties beyond control last night’s Rink Side Rants show did not take place.  Tim over at Sabre Noise did everyting possible to make it happen, but was unable to resolve the technical problems,  No fear.  We’ll take another crack at it on Thursday November 5th.  Same time.  9:00 PM.  Tune in won’t you!

Thanks for reading.