Today the Panthers gave fans a gift by being less horrible than usual, keeping the Boston Bruins to just a pair of goals and an empty netter in a 3-0 shutout loss. Overall the team played one of their better
games losses, but even so the Panthers were never really in contention to tie the game or even score. Today's loss marks their 6th in a row, with only 3 games remaining. Go tank go.
I'm going to switch it up a bit with the observations and go player-by-player, since there are some big decisions on the horizon for Dale Tallon that likely has some transactions being made before next season.
- Jonathan Huberdeau - Better on the forecheck, he even threw the body around a bit. I liked his skating today, he looked like he belonged on the first line with Kopecky out.
- Jack Skille - Worked very hard for ice time, and made the most of it. Strong on the puck and used his speed to win races for the puck.
- Tomas Fleischmann - Had a little trouble getting out of the zone in the first period. I thought I was crazy when I saw #14 out on the PK, but he actually did pretty well on the kill. Had some good chances later in the game and a good defensive effort throughout.
- Drew Shore - Good chance in the first period where he was just barely stopped by Rask. Got better as the game went on knowing that he missed a goal, I was glad to see him getting more than the trash ice time he was given yesterday.
- Shawn Matthias - Matty has become predictable with his power moves and draws a lot of attention. Played only a handful of shifts through the first half of the game, and after the Jagr goal he was partially responsible for Matty sat out 14:12 until his next shift. No, that wasn't an injury.
- Scottie Upshall - A typical Upshall game, good energy, used his body...didn't provide any meaningful offense.
- George Parros - Fumbled with the puck before the Hamilton goal. That's about it.
- Nick Bjugstad - Still hasn't proved to me that he's anywhere close to NHL ready. The one thing he did this game that was encouraging was make a few smart passes, but besides that he hasn't shown much.
- Greg Rallo - Not much to say, he had a good pass that nearly set up a tip in goal.
- Quinton Howden - The only rookie giving 110% each shift. This kid is working harder than the rest of the team combined. He's probably not going to find an NHL scoring touch until he finds a consistent one in the AHL, and his defense does need work; but Howden has the speed and intensity to be a good player in the future.
- Marcel Goc - Easily the Panthers best player since the trade deadline, though I don't think Goc is playing up that much. The Goc I've watched has been the dependable secondary scorer we saw last year, and that's probably the main reason Tallon kept him.
- Scott Timmins - With the AHL campaign all wrapped up, this is sort of a second season for Timmins. With Tomas Kopecky out of the lineup, Timmins subbed in down on the fourth line and showed some energy.
- TJ Brennan - Hasn't been as good in the last two games, but still arguably the best defenseman the Panthers have had since the deadline. Makes a lot of smart passes and is truly becoming a puck moving defenseman.
- Dmitry Kulikov - Kuli thinks he's a forward and has been pinching in on plays that really aren't available, often finding himself way out of position which forces guys like Fleischmann to cover for him. His play is simply dumbfounding. Kuli was injured early in the third period when he fell awkwardly as he battled with Jagr, who then fell on top of him. Not sure what the injury was.
- Filip Kuba - Out of position more than usual and literally got out skated by a 41 year old. Not such a good game.
- Mike Weaver - Overpowered a lot in the second period and was beat on the rush a few times. Didn't see much of him after playing 21 minutes against New Jersey.
- Brian Campbell - This has been a hugely disappointing season for Soup, even though he's having one of his best offensive campaigns. But on the defensive side, he's been underwhelming at best; it seems like he's uninterested in putting in a meaningful effort to stop chances for the other team and finds himself with a whole lot of negative ratings. Yes he's way overplayed, yes he's an incredibly important part on this broken down Panther machine; but the lacking defensive efforts won't cut it next season.
- Alex Petrovic - On ice for a lot of Bruins chances, though he wasn't the cause for most of them. Hard to get a fair assessment of Petro today, but he looked like he was trying hard to make a positive impact on both ends of the ice.
- Jacob Markstrom - Kind of whiffed on the Jagr goal (thanks Matty!), but I'll give him a pass on the Hamilton goal just because of how many bodies were between the shooter and the net. Overall he had a good game and made key saves in a few high pressure situations. Kept the score from getting out of hand, so a big improvement from yesterday.
- Scott Clemmensen - Wore 3 different hats featuring 3 different Boston police departments for each period, so good on him. No idea why he didn't start the game, as that seemed to be the plan.
Tuesday the Panthers will head home to Sunrise to play the New York Rangers again. I didn't see the last game against these clubs, but it was apparently pretty nasty. Have the Cats learned from their mistakes so they can come out with a real game plan and a 60 minute effort? I wouldn't exactly bet on it. Rangers at Panthers, 7:30; LBC Live GameThread about 30 minutes before.