Despite Many Injuries, The Florida Panthers Continue To Trek Forward


This past month for the Florida Panthers has been quite a roller coaster ride to say the least. They’ve faced numerous quality opponents and have hung tough with nearly all of them. Despite the quality of play night in and night out, injuries continue to haunt this Panthers club.

Scottie Upshall became the first victim of the injury bug back on November 10th vs. Winnipeg. As of the result of the injury, he has missed a total of 20 games. Certainly the Scottie Upshall loss was big due to the fact that he just signed with the Panthers and Dale Tallon viewed him as a solid forward who can help this team right away. Scottie has recently started skating once again and hopefully he can return after the Christmas break. Marcel Goc was another Panther to suffer an injury just a couple games after Upshall did. It seems as if Marcel suffered from a concussion and hopes to be back around the same time as Scottie Upshall will.

Just over the past week the Florida Panthers have lost 5 players to due injury. Jack Skille, Marco Sturm, Sean Bergenhiem, Mickael Samuelsson and Stephen Weiss have all been hurt within the last week or so. Many teams would cripple and begin to break apart to due all these injuries, just ask the Montreal Canadiens; but the Florida Panthers continue to trek forward and continue to gather up points night after night. In the last 11 games, the Florida Panthers have gotten points in 8 giving them a 6-2-3 in the month of December thus far.

Players like Michael Repik, Tim Kennedy, Bill Thomas and Mark Cullen have all filled in multiple nights for the Florida Panthers. It’s good to see players stepping up and while not necessarily playing amazing hockey, but mistake free hockey. Kevin Dineen has instilled in the minds of the players that no matter what happens, whoever goes down, the game goes on and other teams will not feel sorry for you.

Florida Panthers announcer Bill Lindsay couldn’t have said it better:

"What the players have to remember is that it’s about the name on the front of the jersey, not the name of the back. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re wearing the Florida Panthers logo you have to play as if it’s your last night playing hockey every night."

Brian Campbell also puts it into a great perspective

"“It’d be nice to get a few guys back,” Campbell said. “There are a lot of teams dealing with it; I think we’re getting hit pretty good. Seven forwards lost, it’s tough. But, nobody cares. Ottawa didn’t care tonight. Nobody’s going to give us a free go, so we’ve got to move forward.”"

 It’s definitely uplifting for the fans to hear players not throwing in the towel just because players are getting injured. Kevin Dineen deserves a lot of credit for that. What happens, happens, players should not have to worry about what happened last shift, rather focus on what they can possibly do the next one. The Florida Panthers have certainly had that mindset all season long, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” ( Joseph P. Kennedy).

All the players and fans can hope for are that the players still healthy stay healthy and players like Shawn Matthias, Tomas Kopecky and Mike Santorelli help carry some of the load. Also that the injured players return quickly and that hopefully the injury bug has taken it’s last victim (HOPEFULLY!).

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