We knew it would be a long year; rebuilds rarely breeze past. The expected numerous lack-of-depth disappointments interlaced with a few lucky breaks. Tonight was neither. A gargantuan 41-shot effort by Florida resulted in zippo points on the scoresheet for the Cats; David Booth - thought to be ailing after taking a puck to the leg less than a day earlier - fired 14 shots on (previously winless) Boston netminder Tuukka Rask, and still finished the evening with a -2. Milan Lucic shares the spotlight with his goaltender after banging home three goals (all assisted by Nathan Horton).
Short, short version? Florida - and more importantly Tomas Vokoun - showed up strong, then let up late in the third frame against a very solid club. The final score simply does not reflect the reality of the first 54 or-so minutes. Had the Panthers scored on any of their five power play opportunities, there may well have been a different outcome.
Note to management: um, the PP truly, ridiculously stinks. Any ideas on a potential solution being bandied about, or just spinning our wheels here?
Extras: Patrice Bergeron had 2 assists. Bryan McCabe was issued a 2-minute "abuse of officials" penalty in the second period; must've said "hello". Stephen Weiss and Cory Stillman finished with -3. Booth was tops among all forwards with 20:23 TOI. Vokoun stopped 36 shots. Michal Repik sat in favor of Darcy Hordichuk (one fight). More from Stanley Cup of Chowder here.
Next up: Panthers at Islanders, Saturday (no local tv). Live Game Chat at 6:30.