That's not entirely fair. The Cats played well for forty minutes. Really well. Compared to the beginning of the season, they looked much more composed in what I have to deem as a strenuously fast-paced final two periods. Pleaqse don't misunderstand: the Devils played some great hockey, and deserved to win. Frolik? First goal. The kid's been robbed time and again...gonna see some good stuff now that the monkey's off his back. Horton? Present, if unremarkable. As usual. Vokoun? Only reason it was close. If that man doesn't tear up the visitor's room...left out to dry far too much in the first period. Didn't deserve to lose this one. Honorable mention: Dvorak had his speed, Zeds brought the plays, and McCabe had the shots. Bouwmeester? No one was hotter on this dude than me in the first five games of the year. Now? Takes a back seat to Ballard, Boynton, Skrastins. I'd include Cully but he was Tonight's Dead, going down with what looked to be a severe leg injury (caused inadvertently by a teammate, of course...did not return).
If nothing else, second- and third-string goalies across the NHL have the Panthers to thank for upping their value come UFA season.
Two requests for the Panthers: One, for the coaching staff: Can we develop someone who has a desire to WIN a faceoff? Two, for the "management": HAD ENOUGH, JM? What further suffering must be endured? I don't ask that we throw away the future, and you know far better than we dime-store fans about the proposals sent your way, but it's one of two things...either the deals faxed to you are lousy, or the deals you have proposed are lousy. Either way, your team on the ice has a record which can only be described as...lousy. And insulting. Don't come back with frightful tales of fat injury lists, and please refrain from slipping to the media that no one is offering fair market value for Bouwmeester. At this stage, there is NO market value for Bouwmeester. Yes, he's gonna be awesome. Yes, he'll be a winner somewhere. No, it won't be here. GET US SOME SUPPORT. Wanna deal Horton? Weiss? Olesz? No arguments from this nut in North Palm. It's the cat on the front, not the name on the back (cliche? Yeeees!) I grow fatigued preaching the hockey - nay, Panthers - gospel from the local rooftops and winding up embarrassed. Again. And again. Make your mark or prove us - those few thousand who have stuck by - wrong...quickly. There are a lot of things - like holidays - to rob the "momentum" from your club. DO. IT. NOW.