In what can only be called the Cats' (4-7-1) most "complete" game of the young year, the Panthers wrapped two road matches in as many nights with a very convincing 4-0 win over the host Blues (5-6-1).
Florida netminder Tomas Vokoun (2-7-1) stopped 34 shots to secure a seriously well-deserved shutout. He was poised and efficient, displaying the same confidence his mates showed in front of him all evening.
That may be the real story: the confidence has run cleanly down the lines (no longer down the drain). Steven Reinprecht (2 shots, +2), kept his line in the now-familiar relentless mode fans are getting used to. He may have been held off the scoresheet, but linemates Nathan Horton and Cory Stillman each ended the night with a goal and an assist each. No coincidence there. Rostislav Olesz? Not the same kid he was only weeks ago. He's playing with a determination never before seen.
Quick notes: Vokoun looked every bit an All-Star, so lacking in his play of late. Stillman led the club with five shots. Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (1g, 1a) was tops in ice time with 21:37 in a game with rapid-fire shift changes (indeed, it was difficult to tell who was playing with whom at times). Newcomer Victor Oreskovich finished with +
1 and 1 SOG in 13:42 (now THAT's confidence from your coach). He and Kenndal McArdle hit everything in front of them - and legally.
A terrific effort by the entire club. Only one game, but that's two wins in a row for those counting. And they looked renewed, fresh, and inspired; words not typically employed around these here parts.