Wednesday Caterwaul: Panthers Open Forum

Bench Minors - typically known as "too-many-men" in our somewhat jaded ears over the past seven months - were a brutal sticking point for the Florida Panthers throughout the 2011-12 season. While the majority of the NHL's clubs finished the year within a range of 6 to 10, the Cats collected a momentum-zapping 15...four more than a year ago and the league's worst showing since Anaheim (15) and Pittsburgh (19) during the 2006-07 campaign. Herein lies the stat which truly illustrates the difficulties of merging a rookie head coach with historically massive roster turnover; expect that number to fall drastically in the coming season.

Tuesday's Result

  • (6) New Jersey over (5) Philadelphia, 4-1: Flyers held lead until early-third as Devils carpet bombed a very lonely Bryz with 35 shots. Giroux: zero points, 2 SOG, minus-1. Brodeur's 19 saves helps Jersey tie the series at 1-1. Local reaction from In Lou We Trust and Broad Street Hockey./

Tonight's NHL Playoff Action

  • (1) NY Rangers at (7) Washington, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN): Brad Richards leads all players with 2G/1A. Braden Holtby: .929 in last game. Series tied 1-1.
  • (3) Phoenix at (4) Nashville, 9 p.m. (CNBC): Preds will be without Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn (one game suspension by the club; more below); G Pekka Rinne is 4.09/.857 on the series. Coyotes lead 2-0./

Around the Den

  • Happy Birthday to defenseman Mike Weaver, who is coming off his best NHL season yet in points (16), assists (16), hits (114), and blocked-shots (137). He has two years remaining on his current deal.
  • Cats GM Dale Tallon held his end-of-year press conference yesterday; if you missed it the first time around, get in there and do your homework.
  • F Drew Shore and D Nolan Yonkman are given the video treatment via the Rampage
  • On The Forecheck has a number of varied links regarding the Rabulov/Kostitsyn suspensions; highly suggest checking out Nashville general manager David Poile's presser.
  • Former Panther David Booth is

    enjoying the offseason in his own special way.

  • Another ex-Whaler finds a home in management, as Marc Bergevin is handed a noose the keys to Bell Centre. Interestingly, he played alongside current Anglophone interim-martyr Randy Cunneyworth in did half of all coaches and GMs in the league. But you already knew that.
  • As the World Championship tourney approaches, the IIHF looks at the diminishing ranks of European-born players in the NHL