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Plus/Minus not a positive in return of Panthers' Allen

 

Florida defenseman Bryan Allen - who has more or less missed the past calendar year due to injury - ain't exactly tearing it up in one statistical category since hitting the ice for the season opener in Finland twelve days ago: plus/minus.

In four games with the club (he was absent from the home stint against New Jersey), Allen has compiled a minus-6 rating, good for number 610 out of 614 skaters in the NHL. And for the record, don't look now, but a teammate is looming over his shoulder.

In fairness to the guy, he's to be given some space following the absurdly long rehab time necessary to bring him into proper form. And there was this debacle that really hurts him (-5). He's fired three shots on net, with no points and eight PIMs, while averaging over 16 and-a-half minutes per game.

Also in his corner: he was a minus-1 in the opening-day victory, while posting an "even" rating in the other two matches. Is there really an issue here at all, focusing on one teamwide stinkpalm of a game in Carolina (as most of them tend to be in that building)? Much ado about nothing?

Early, early, early...I know. I haven't yet run across a single naysayer about the man or what he is capable of bringing to the table each night. A Luongo-trade hangover for those of us stathounds continuing the search for Commies under our beds? Perhaps, but doubtful.

He'll round into shape as the pro he is. With three years remaining on his current contract, anything less than second-pairing duty will be a failure.