Let's be straight here. I'll take a 3-0 lead any day. I don't care how many we blow. You want to give me three goals, I'll take them. Got to give Florida credit for coming back, just like we did the other night even though we didn't get all the way (back). I think the team that can fix those issues the quickest is probably going to win this series.
We’re not going to be that fortunate again. We have to match whatever [Florida] will raise as far as intensity levels go. No one wants to be in an 0-2 hole and heading on the road for two games.
I think it’s going to be a heck of a series. You look at [Florida] and they have undervalued depth. You look at their fourth line and they’ve got veteran Stanley Cup winners throughout their lineup. They’ve gotten great goaltending from both guys all year. It’s going to be a real tough test for us.
We did video the other day and out of 12 forwards we anticipate will be playing in the first game, I knew two of them who I coached last year, Stephen Weiss and Shawn Matthias. It's a totally different team. There was a little emotion involved the first time I went back, but we're way beyond that though.
The weather is the biggest factor. You get up every morning and the sun is shining. There’s something to be said about that. The weather plays a good role. On the flip side, it also plays a role in that your players, when they leave the rink, a lot of times aren’t heading home to sit on the couch and relax. They’re doing outdoor activities. That’s something you have to deal with. Overall, it wasn’t an issue.
I think what (DeBoer) went through (in Florida) just made him a better coach. And I felt that in the conversations we had because of the questions that were asked, the answers that were given and also what he offered.
You can’t blame the overreaction to what Florida and decisive general manager Dale Tallon have done. I don’t. I get it. The Panthers have been flat-lining for years, ice symbolically melting in the tropical sun. When you last made the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2000 and last won a playoff game in 1997, you have forfeited any claim to relevance.
A decade-plus in a coma and the slightest murmur or eyelid twitch is big news — any change is good — so, naturally, the Panthers are right to feel reborn by the nine new players being introduced, along with the recent hiring of Kevin Dineen as coach.
I'm guessing that Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk, Florida's Dale Tallon and Minnesota's Chuck Fletcher have the same writer. Witness their statements after firing their head coaches in recent days. Nieuwendyk: "I would like to thank Marc (Crawford) for the hard work he provided to the Dallas Stars. We wish him the best in the future." Tallon: "The entire Panthers organization would like to thank Peter (DeBoer) for his hard work and service to this franchise and wish him all the best in the future." Fletcher: "I would like to thank Todd (Richards) for the hard work he provided to the Minnesota Wild organization the last two seasons and wish him the best in the future."
"I'm very surprised. I got an explanation but didn't agree with it. My job is to play."
"We've basically been going with the same group we used a year ago, and it's not a strength of ours."