You know a game was bad when my personal highlight of the contest was the scowl on Kevin Dineen's face after the sixth Jets goal. Before anyone takes this game out of context, let me first put it into context; after the hockey gods shined down on the Florida Panthers with a timely 3 game win streak, the Panthers could have slammed the door(at least for another week) on the Winnipeg Jets as they knocked for the division lead. Instead, Florida fell behind early, calmed the game down enough to attempt a mad comeback in the last twenty minutes but instead surrendered 5 goals as the home team trampled over any hopes of the elusive four game winning streak.
The bottom line is this; before anyone points to this loss and calls it a season, remember that neither the division or playoff hopes are lost. The putrid 7-0 stinker does raise questions about the team's ability to face a playoff atmosphere, but it doesn't rule out playoffs as one might prematurely assume. Before this loss, Florida strung together a four game point streak that kept hopes alive. So as a miserable collection of Panthers file out of the MTS center, they know what needs to be done in preparation of the next game, and the angry scowl of Dineen will see to it. In other words, tomorrow's practice will not be optional.
-4:01 Evander Kane(25) Unassisted.
-Nothing(a glimmer of hope?)
- 1:49 Kyle Wellwood(14) assists to Stuart and Kane
-8:18 Kane(26) assists to Wellwood and Alexander Burmistrov
-17:58 Wheeler(14) assists to Kane and Tim Stapleton
- There aren't a ton of things I can say I like about the Jets, but I will admit I appreciate head coach Claude Noel's frankness with the media. He'd probably be skinned alive if he approached the media like that in Toronto.
- Just when Keaton Ellerby was starting to get his wits about him he throws a badly timed pass that gets picked off by Kane and sent into the net. Minutes later Ed Jovanovski would run over Jose Theodore as a blocked shot landed right on Slater's stick for what essentially became a tap in goal. Not sure that was part of the night's game plan.
- Florida would slow the game a bit after the second goal and would have the best chances afterwards, including multiple odd-man rushes(two Flash breakways) and point shots. Those spurts of offense weren't sustained for long enough to change the score, but as long as the home team wasn't scoring, it would be an improvement.
- Man, only 7 weeks 'til Rammstein...
- I really hope Dale Tallon is in it for the long run with Wojtek Wolski, as in Wolski will be part of the organization for a few more seasons rather than the rental people make him out to be.While he didn't have any great scoring chances but kept plays alive longer than anyone else, Wolski just never gave up on the puck.
- Boy, not much to say about either team during the second period, shades of the Carolina game if you ask me.
- I understand the reason the Thrashers hurried Alexander Burmistrov into the league, but it just goes to show you why teenagers shouldn't be thrown into the fray. Had he not been gifted a roster spot on a desperate Thrashers team, that extra year in juniors or wherever would have developed him into something more than the 30-35 point player Winnipeg is playing. Patience and practice, two things crucial in the development of a young player.
- The Panthers/FoxSports Florida commercials are getting worse and worse. Erik Gudbranson just needs a wee bit more practice reading the cards. And if you're wondering, yes; the game was so slow I was analyzing commercials. You're next FoxSports girl.
- From what I've seen around the web, the addition of Zach Bogosian puts the Winnipeg roster at 100% healthy. Boy, how nice it must be to be without injuries. Florida has enjoyed that pleasure in exactly zero games this season.
- On a similar note, marco Sturm returned to lineup. I heard his name maybe once, if even.
- This is far from a revelation, but the Panthers are trapped way to easily to make comebacks a regular staple of the Cats' record.
- Florida made some absolutely horrible mistakes in the third period, the most ridiculous being a 5-on-1 for Winnipeg that resulted in Little's goal. The play looked like something out of the Mighty Ducks movies.
- The score ballooned to 6-0 with 12 minutes remaining in the game. You wouln't have thought the team needed a wakeup call on the heels of a thee game winning streak, but perhaps it refocuses the team before a tough stretch of games.
- 7-0 would be the final score for the night. With 30 seconds left, Bill Lindsay was talking about Canadian taxes. Yeah this game sucked right down to the commentary.
Chris' First Star: Ondrej Pavelec. Who said my first star had to be from the Panthers. Plus how awesome is the name Ondrej? Pretty awesome.
Chris' Worst Star: Jovo for his totally lame showing, Scott Clemmensen for his 'stop the bleeding' effort of a .675 save percentage. That'll kill the fantasy stats for the week.
Next Up: One of the last few Western Conference games as the Nashville Predators trot(z) into Sunrise as Smitty gets his first look at his old team from "the good side" of things. Preds at Panthers, 7:30 Saturday.