The Panthers have played hard under the guidance of new head coach Peter Horachek, but the losing streak has continued and Florida has found themselves without a win in 9 attempts. It's going to take a while for the team to accept the new systems put in place with the new coach, but so far things are looking up a little bit. Florida still shot themselves in the foot against the New York Rangers en route to a 4-3 loss, but they at least played with intensity towards the end. However the same could be said for the last few efforts under Dineen, and the results have been the same.
Florida is always one defensive meltdown away from losing, and over the course of the season we've seen that fact exposed. Coaching isn't going to solve the multitude of personnel problems Florida has, and Dale Tallon needs to uphold the words that he loves to preach to the media whenever things go horribly wrong. With tough road games ahead on the schedule, the entire team needs to step up to the plate in order to snap the winless streak. Sadly for the few players wearing the Panthers logo who play their heart out each game, it's way too easy to see another game where a few bad decisions from the stiffs doom an otherwise good effort.
- So Peter Horachek is the new head coach replacing Dineen, and I'll say that I like his limited NHL coaching experience better than I did Dineen's absolute lack of experience. Horachek comes from a defense oriented organization in Nashville under the guidance of Barry Trotz, and hopefully he can mold the zero-dimensional Panthers into a similar team.
- I like that the Panthers are playing with speed finally, but they really haven't shown that they can keep the puck under control at an elevated pace. Part of the problem with the Panthers is that slow players are mixed in every line, which spreads out the players as they enter the zone. It's difficult to sustain pressure when you're all alone, and the puck quickly gets sent the other way.
- Opposing teams are unraveling the Panthers defense way too easily, as they did on J.T. Miller's first goal of the season.
- The Rangers won the period, but Florida enjoyed a rare power-play goal off the stick of Barkov on a third effort opportunity. The youngins have looked good lately, especially Bjugstad who had some nice chances in the period.
- Florida's defensemen have been really hesitant to move the puck up ice when they have an opportunity to start a play. Because of TV angles it's hard to see what the deal is, because this has been the only time I've noticed. If it's coaching telling them to be patient as they wait for forwards to get open, great. Florida needs to enter the zone more efficiently, despite the hesitation allowing the opposition to prepare for a rush.
- Tim Thomas sure is good at getting lucky.
- I'm still sensing a tendency for teams to fall asleep during games against the Panthers, because immediately after the Panthers took a lead on an odd bounce the Rangers flipped the switch and took control of the game once again and erased the Panther's lead.
- If Dale is waiting for Kulikov's trade value to increase after all these years, it's time for a reality check. Kuli's value is sinking like the Titanic, and he's proving it to the few teams gullible enough to trade for him.
- If you ignore the first 25 minutes and the last 25, the Panthers looked REALLY GOOD.
- Scottie Upshall nailed the back of his head on the boards when Chris Kreider cross-checked him after a scrum. Uppy has been surprisingly healthy this season, and I hope a bad play doesn't destroy that for him.
- Go check out Blueshirt Banter for some New York style recappin'
Next up: Florida heads home to take on the league leading Ducks, a game that should test the Florida's capability to compete with top teams under the new Horachek regime. Puck drops Tuesday at 7:30.