Sloppy Hockey. No Thanks.


By the time the Florida Panthers realized where the net was it was apparent that they had too many missed chances to not only take the lead, but put the game away.  Mustering only two shots in the first period in which the Panthers had two power plays which accounted for no shots on goal, they seemed to finally find their “legs” midway through the second period.  This was a game that I fully expected the Panthers to play with some aggression based on how they lost in overtime Monday night.

Tomas Vokoun was again excellent in goal and didn’t deserve the loss on this one as he stopped 27 of 28 shots during regulation.  The Rangers had quite a few scoring chances and as the picture above shows, Vokoun was just brilliant.  I’d have to say this is the best stretch of goaltending that I’ve seen from him in a long time and it’s about time that he gets rewarded for it.  We can’t expect him to give up 2 goals or less every night.

Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers was just as solid, although as mentioned, many shots in the first period that were fired by Panther players either never made it on net, or were not even close.  King Henry made 25 saves on 26 shots including saving all three shots in the shootout.

St. Dominic who took the Panthers only 2 shots in the first period tied the game at one with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.  The third period is where the Panthers have been outscored and outplayed in many games this year, however they tried, all too late, in this one to get the lead.  Reality is that the PP (Piss Poor) needs some work as this was a game which just one power play goal would have made the difference.  Too many passes and too many soft shots and no one standing in front of the net are just a few reasons that this unit isn’t getting their goals.  They are getting chances, but sooner or later they are going to have to capatilize.

Marion Gaborik put the Rangers ahead in the closing minute of the second period giving New York the lead in another scoreless battle, that is happening all to often for Florida.  Yes it shows that the defence has buckled down, but it also shows that the offence is challenged.

Victor Oreskovich who will now be affectionately known as “Kamikaze” since he hits everything in sight, or in hockey lingo, finishes his checks (something The Little Weasel must learn), had another solid effort.  His check on Ranger defenceman Wade Redden early in the first period sent the blueliner to the dressing room and he did not return to the game.  No word as to if or what the injury to Redden was.  Kamikaze was also invloved in a fight in the third period with Ranger Matt Gilroy who took exception to a hit on another Ranger by Kamikaze.  Both players received five minute majors for fighting, and Gilroy also received an extra two minutes fir unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10 minute misconduct.

Big Mac made his regular season debut for the Panthers as he took on Ranger enforcer Donald Brashear in the seond period.  Hard to say who won as each player got their shots in, but the Panthers sent the message that things will be different now with Big Mac around.  For me, yea it’s nice to have an alleged policeman for the team.  Someone who sticks up for his mates.  But with only 5 minutes or less of ice time that he’ll be getting, I am not sure that the roster can afford to waste a spot.  We’ll see how this shakes out ovver the next few games. 

It does appear however to be the end of the line for The Stripper (Ville Koistenenenen) as he was placed in waivers yesterday.  If you need an explanation of the nickname, send me an email.  I’ll explain. 

In the shootout the Panthers who started first were held off the board and the lone goal was scored by P.A. Parenteau who beat Vokoun for the win.

Notes:  Yes we get a point!  I myself prefer two and don’t believe in the idea we should be satisfied with one.

We’ve lost two in a row, but have points in 8 consecutive games.

Vokoun is solid.  Keep riding him.  Play him against the Leafs and let Clemmensen play Saturday against Nashville.

Some of the youngsters are looking good.  Kenndal Mcardle and Kamikaze are playing lights out.

Final note.  My seats are directly in front of the owners box and last night I finally met one of the new majority owners Stu Siegel.  I have never had the opportunity to talk with a sports franchise owner and we talked for almost the entire second intermission on a number of subjects.  Sorry no quotes, but if I ever get something “juicy” I’ll let you know.  I did ask him about David Booth and his progress and all he could tell me is that it’s coming very slow.   Booth doesn’t even remember the hit!

Thanks for reading everyone.

May all of you, my loyal and new readers, have an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.  I’m thankful for the chance to do this as a passionate fan of hockey and hope that more of you continue to read and send me comments.  Tell your friends too!