Daily Archives: March 3, 2013

Quickly From The Top: Zero Point Weekend For Panthers

panthers canes

Image Property of Panther Parkway

After Saturday night’s pasting by the Carolina Hurricanes, the Florida Panthers started out the game with much more zip and energy.  Unfortunately for them, Canes goaltender Cam Ward showed up.  Again.  Out shooting the Hurricanes 12-9, Ward made all 12 saves to hold the Panthers scoreless in the first while Carolina scored twice on Panther’s netminder Scott Clemmensen. 

The Canes would score again in the second period when Jordan Staal put one past Clemmensen, making it 3-0.  A which would hold up until Panther rookie Jonathan Huberdeau tipped in a Peter Mueller cross ice pass to give the Panthers life in the closing minutes of the middle period.  The score would remain 3-1 until the closing minute of the final frame when Huberdeau scored again with the Panther net empty for the extra skater to make it 3-2 with 55 seconds left.

The Panthers seemed to play two different games having energy in the first, a lull for most of the second and third, then showing some life late in the third.  But too little too late once again, as they just ran out of time.  Clemmensen was visibly upset after the game, spoke quickly and softly  and said:

“It’s a 60 minute game.  And we all have to play 60 minutes”.

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Game Day Preview: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers. It’s Your Move



Someone once told me that” it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it”.

Not much to say in today’s preview, but that statement will may not more meaning than it does tonight when the Florida Panthers try to avenge themselves for last night’s beating at the hands of division leading rival Carolina Hurricanes.  The Panthers who were chewed out by coach Kevin Dineen, and rightfully so for their slow start, and poor preparation, fell further behind the division lead in what could be their only hope for a playoff birth this season:

“You can blame it on injuries but that’s the ultimate cop out. It was a big game against the divisional leader and we could have reeled them in. We weren’t prepared from the drop of the puck. And that leads to injury. If you don’t have your game face, well, it’s a man’s game out there.”

A win tonight by Carolina will give them an eight point lead over the bruised and now battered Florida Panthers who are experiencing a second season in a row of injuries.  As you are aware, Jose Theodore, Dmitry Kulikov and apparently Scottie Upshall were all hurt in last night’s loss.  Kris Versteeg who made the trip but did not play, could be in the lineup tonight.  Reinforcements from San Antonio include goaltender Jacob Markstrom and veteran defenceman Nolan Yonkman.

Drew Shore: Quietly February’s Other Best Rookie

Jonathan Huberdeau “I’m gunna let you finish”, but Drew Shore was the best NHL rookie during the month of February…

On Friday, NHL.com announced that Jonathan Huberdeau was named their rookie of the month after scoring 9 points (6G 3A) in 13 games during the month of February. However, even though Huberdeau had a terrific month, there is one other rookie that you might believe had an even better showing than he did - his Panther teammate, Drew Shore.

During the month of February, Drew Shore led all rookies in scoring by compiling 10 points (2G, 8A) in 13 games played. Already seeing great success at the NHL level, Shore is starting to be rewarded for his efforts, going from roughly 14 minutes of ice time a game to upwards of 18 minutes near the end of the month. Although he sat atop the rookie point totals for the month, Shore’s talents are not only limited to goals and assists. In just 18 games played this season, Shore has already shown that he has a knack for dominating the face-off circle. With his face-off winning percentage already sitting at an impressive 50% on the season, expect Shore to get even better as he gains more experience and minutes.

If one had to use a word to describe Shore’s play during the month of February, it would be consistency. Last month, Shore became one of the Panthers’ most reliable skaters, tallying a point in 8 of the team’s 13 games played. By comparison, other top rookies Jonathan Huberdeau and Cory Conacher recorded points in only 5 and 7 games respectively. Considering the fact the the Panthers are hardly an offensive juggernaut, the fact that Shore is able to show up on the score sheet so often is truly remarkable.

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Panthers Battered And Bruised In Loss To Hurricanes

If you’re the Florida Panthers, you might want to have a chartered jet on standby on a runway in San Antonio. Jose Theodore, Scottie Upshall and Dmitry Kulikov all left with injuries Saturday night’s thrashing at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes, forcing an already short-handed team looking towards their American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, for help.
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