Lackluster first period dooms Panthers as Ducks escape 2-0

Following up on a three game winning streak with another three game streak, this one of the losing variety, the Florida Panthers have done nothing more but shoot themselves in the foot. If ever there was a time to drop three straight games against lukewarm playoff teams, a week before the trade deadline is not the time to do it. Following up back-to-back road wins then dropping three straight at home is not a plan to make the playoffs, no matter how far ahead in the standings a team might be.

While Dale Tallon said the Panthers were not sellers at the deadline, they don't exactly belong on the opposite spectrum either. Florida may make 'buyer' moves, but maybe not as self-proclaimed buyers as we once had hoped. The Panthers obviously need a shakeup, and with no one to triumphantly return from the IR and a major date approaching in 7 days; it seems all signs point to a trade. The road ahead gets ever more precarious as Tallon tries to navigate through this forgettable stretch of games, and while bad loss to the Anaheim Ducks doesn't spell disaster for the Panthers, playoff odds continue to slide painfully each morning. Florida needs nothing less than a miracle to kick the inconsistency once and for all.

Scoring Summary

1st:

- 12:13 Teemu Selanne(20) assists to Saku Koivu and "Dangit" Bobby Ryan

2nd:

Nothin'

3rd:

-19:45 Niklas Hagman(9) ENG unassisted

Observations:

  • I guess the resurgence of the Ducks puts to rest any complaints that Bruce Boudreau is a terrible coach. There were problems much deeper than the coaching staff in Washington, and there still are.
  • Congrats to Stephen Weiss for tying Radek Dvorak for top spot on the franchise games played list, it's amazing how long it took to get this far seeing as Weiss has been with the team forever.
  • I understand the hate for the JetBlue jerseys, but as blue thirds go; a lot of teams could take notes from what the designers did with the HappyCats. And no, they aren't the reason we lose.
  • The goaltending continues to bail out the Panthers early, this time Jose Theodore would get his stick over to make a save on Saku Koivu's open net chance. Lucky lucky.
  • Krys Barch and George Parros fought halfway through the first period, I'd call it a draw. I still think fights would be more entertaining if the fighters were blindfolded.
  • I remember giving the midseason Panthers Selke Trophy to Weiss, but I want it back. I feel cheated, Weiss has become as much of a defensive liability as the rookie defensemen we keep throwing out there. In the last 24 games, Weiss has 10 points(2!! goals) and has a +/- rating of -11. He is not the same player.
  • Florida had a four minute powerplay that could have tied the game before the intermission, but it was simply wasted away as the Ducks repeatedly dumped the puck. Shades of the Colorado game, if you ask me.
  • Since the victory over the Islanders, Florida looks like they have nothing left in the tank. The defense is broken up meaning no breakout passes, the centers are lacking, the wingers cant get in the zone. The only thing preventing the last few games from getting out of hand is the goaltending.
  • Keaton Ellerby has been catching some heat for his inconsistency over the last few games but from what I've seen I can't really complain. When half of the defense is out of the lineup you have to take what you can get.
  • It took a while to get Nolan Yonkman up to speed, but it seems the forwards are more comfortable with him on the blueline instead of Colby Robak.
  • Matt Bradley would try to put a check on Parros but messed up the timing, sending him shoulder first into the boards (his head may have hit the glass as well). Whatever the cause, Brads would sit out the rest of the game, and Dineen suggested an AHL call-up is in the future
  • Florida would put some pressure on the Ducks towards the end of the second period, perhaps it was the realization that both the game and the season were still possible to salvage.
  • I wouldn't suggest the Ducks are an inferior opponent, but this was a game that should have at least netted the Panthers a point. As great as the Ducks have played, he Panthers have their backs against the wall and should have shown some urgency. A 2-0 loss should never be on the schedule for a bubble team.

Chris' First Star: Jose Theodore was exceptional in keeping the Cats in the game, unfortunately his last two stellar starts have resulted in zero points.

Chris' Worst Star: As always, it's difficult to point fingers in such a close loss, especially when the Panthers played quite well in the second half. That said, the worst star goes to the entire forward lines for a 31 shot outing and zero goals to show for it.

Next Game: The Minnesota Wild come to town after shutting out the defending champs, luckily the Wild are as inconsistent as Florida is. 7:30 on Thursday.

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