Another night, another meaningless game for the Panthers, who continue to lose and slide closer to a higher draft position, and another opponent who is attempting to win as many as they can in these final bunch of games to earn themselves a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The New Jersey Devils, who are five points away from the final wild card spot in the East, pretty much have to win out to have a shot at clinching a postseason berth and you can be sure they will be bringing their best game against a very weak and tired Panthers club that has looked thoroughly disinterested in playing good hockey over the last 10-15 games (or more, depending on how you look at it).
Florida will still be without the services of Roberto Luongo, who is still out with an upper body injury, and at this point it's looking like Dan Ellis will be back in net after getting shelled in his last two starts, giving up a total of 10 goals on 67 shots (for an .850 save percentage). Can't pin all of that on Ellis, as the Panthers defense has been utterly atrocious, and the forwards have provided nearly no goal support. This team is at this point just going through the motions and playing out the rest of the season, and it's likely that this offseason will result in yet another fairly large makeover for the roster. I hope.
Join us tonight on the LBC GameThread to share in our miseries, and check out In Lou We Trust to see what hope feels like. I forgot that feeling.