The Panthers got back on the winning track against the Islanders, but John Tavares single-handedly exposed some flaws in Florida's defense. The coverage in front of Tomas Vokoun was horrendous all night long and nearly every rebound Vokoun kicked out was quickly gobbled up by an Islander, usually Tavares, and fired right back on goal. I don't know if the poor coverage is a by-product of Jason Garrison groin injury or if this is just a defensive failure on all fronts, but if the Panthers are going to play a slow and meted style on offense, they need to be better on defense.
Aside from the terrible coverage, there were a couple of defensive positives by my eye, namely Dmitry Kulikov and Keaton Ellerby. The two youngest members of the Panthers had strong nights, with Kulikov having his best game of the young season. The forwards were in a bit of flux with Shawn Matthias out of the lineup, but out-of-nowhere defensive demon Mike Santorelli continued his high level of play in all zones.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
The scoring chances match the scoreboard on this one, for the most part. It was a very even game throughout with the Panthers losing the scoring battle by a chance.
Booth – Weiss – Frolik
Higgins – Santorelli – Olesz
Stillman – Reasoner – Dvorak
Hordichuk – Reinprecht – Bernier
Allen – Weaver
Kulikov – McCabe
Ellerby – Wideman
- Ellerby was +3 at even strength and didn't surrender a scoring chance against. I doubt he's able to repeat this performance on a regular basis, even so, he was magnificent against the Islanders.
- Kulikov was also +3 at even strength. He's been the worst Panthers' defenseman by the chances totals, but last night he was on his game.
- Mike Weaver had a rough night as did Bryan Allen. They were specifically guilty of the bad coverage in front of the net.
- Mike Santorelli and Christopher Higgins saw less ice time tonight, though I'm not sure why. DeBoer must know what he has in Santorelli, a shutdown guy with limited offense, yet he seems to staple Santorelli to the bench when things go bad. Santorelli leads the entire Panthers team at scoring chance prevention - he's only giving up 1.923 scoring chances per 15 minutes of even strength ice time. For a comparison, the next lowest regular forward has been Higgins at 2.581 chances per 15. David Booth is surrendering 5.376 chances per 15.
- Darcy Hordichuk finished with less than three minutes of ice time. I don't understand why he's even dressing.
*Click to enlarge