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Florida Panthers Fan

Panthers get routed by the Jets posted by Florida Panthers Fan

The Florida Panthers were decimated Friday night by Winnipeg Jets off a historic 4 goal night by Jet’s wingman Perreault.

Dave Bolland and Brad Boyes scored for the Florida Panthers, which finished 4-2-0 on a six-game trip.

Boyes said the Panthers made too many mistakes.

"I think my son who's 11 months now, he probably could have scored a couple tonight, too," Boyes said. "It wasn't the way that we normally play." The Panthers will need to do some serious regrouping as they return from their road trip to fill up the glaring holes that appeared Friday night, namely the man guarding the net.

Roverto Luongo started in net for Florida, but was pulled with 13:23 left in the second period in favor of Al Montoya after letting in four goals on 20 shots. Montoya stopped 11 of the 15 shots he faced.

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The Jets led 2-0 just past the midway point of the opening period on Perreault's first two goals and made it 3-0 early in the second.

The first goal came after Winnipeg capitalized on a Florida turnover just inside the Panthers' blue line. Mark Scheifele got the puck and sent it across to Frolik at the point, whose shot went off the backboards. Defenseman Zach Bogosian picked up the ricochet and passed the puck to Perreault in front, who flipped it past Luongo for his 12th goal of the season at 7:24.

"We had a great trip, but to end it off like this with a performance like tonight, we're disappointed," Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. "So it wasn't one guy, it wasn't one line. It was every player on our team. We've just got to regroup tomorrow, go back home and get ready for the next game."

Continue reading "Panthers get routed by the Jets"


Florida Panthers Fan

How Florida Panthers Hope to Change their Fortunes this Season posted by Florida Panthers Fan

Florida Panthers finished with the second worst record in their NHL history. The only time they performed worse in the League was during the 2001-2002 season. The panthers must now focus on winning and fight their way to the payoffs.

The Offence

The biggest weakness the team has is in the offence. The panthers had the second fewest goals in the League. They only managed 196 goals and none of the players hit the 40 point mark. The Panthers have not performed very well in the recent years and have only made it to the playoffs once in eleven seasons.

However, there is hope for the Panthers. Even though the team has had several owners in the past, Vinnie Viola seems to be the one keen on turning the team around and making it the pride of its fans. He promised to turn the team around and his actions seem to indicate that there could be better times ahead.

The panthers have a new coach in Gerard Gallant. Panthers General Manager has expressed confidence in Gallant. He referred to him as an “individual with tremendous character, integrity, and a strong passion”. The main task of the new coach is to help the young players blend into the team and bring out their talent.

Focusing on the Weak Points

The biggest worry for most fans is the offence of the team. Even though the offence has never been so good, the panthers have a new set of players that could help reverse their fortunes. Dave Bolland and Jussi Jokinen are some of the forward addition that the team is likely to face.

Young players, a new coach and a dedicated owner could change the fortunes for the Panthers and turn them to champions. Whether this changes will turn around the team’s fortunes and get them to the playoffs, is something that remains to be seen.

Continue reading "How Florida Panthers Hope to Change ..."


Richard Kagan

Bears Win A Wild One, 34-29 vs. Panthers posted by Richard Kagan

The Chicago Bears did a lot of things right this past Sunday and got by the Cam Newton led Panthers 34-29 at a celebratory Soldier Field.  Devin Hester returned a punt for a touchdown, broke off a 74 return on a kickoff and is the only Bear that approximates the great Gayle Sayers.  The Bears scored a TD on an interception.  And, Matt Forte ran a career best 205 yards after gaining two yards last week.  Forte still has it. The Bears need to open lanes for him just like today, and then he can scoot up the field. He is versatile and fast, and is a threat to break a long gain.

It's the defense one needs to be concerned with.  It gave up over 500 years to the sensational rookie QB Cam Newton led offense.  Netwon threw for 181 yards to receiver Steve Smith.  The Bears need to tighten up their defense quickly.  They are going into Detriot to face the upstart Lions, who are undefeated this season. 

But the Bears have great weapons in Hester, Forte, and Cutler.  Cutler had an off day, only throwing for 100 yards.

And the Bears won?  Yes, because they made enough big plays and the Panthers didn't.  Hester is a game-changer.

He can negate negative yardage or an off-day by anyone on the Bears.  Forte, came through on the sunny day.  When Matt Forte is clicking, the Bears are usually in the game.  Now, the defense has to pay at least like the Panthers of the Midway.  You can't be Monsters overnight.  However, Forte, went from almost being laughable last week, to a career day, playing like Walter Payton once did.  Chicago is 2-2 in the season. 

Continue reading "Bears Win A Wild One, 34-29 vs. Panthers"


Jeff Ponder

Florida Panthers Sign Ed Jovanovski posted by Jeff Ponder

It’s already been a busy day for the Florida Panthers.

Heading into hour #2 of the first day of free-agency, the Panthers have already locked up Jose Theodore, Scottie Upshall and Ed Jovanovski.

Jovanovski, who’s deal is reportedly for four years and will pay him $16.4 million in that time ($4.125M cap-hit), has played for the Phoenix Coyotes for the past five seasons, will return to the team that drafted him 17 years ago. 

Jovanovski, 35, adds a veteran presence to a young Florida blue line.  The team recently added Brian Campbell at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, so Jovanovski is yet another veteran that this team needed. 

The 6’3” 221 lb. defenseman will add a big shot from the blue line as well as a tough bag of knuckles in front of his net.  In 50 games last season, Jovanovski had 5 goals, 9 assists, 14 points and 39 penalty minutes. 

While on the decline of his career, Jovanovski is still an effective defenseman that gets the job done when it matters most.

Follow Jeff Ponder on Twitter (@jponder94) for all the latest updates on free-agent signings today.

Continue reading "Florida Panthers Sign Ed Jovanovski"

Jeff Ponder

Florida Panthers Sign Jose Theodore posted by Jeff Ponder

With Tomas Vokoun on the outs, the Panthers have a new goalie.  The question remains; will he be the starter?

Theodore, a member of the Minnesota Wild last season, signed a two-year contract with the Panthers Friday.  The deal is reportedly worth $3 million ($1.5 per season). 

Theodore, 34, played back-up for starter Nicklas Backstrom last season.  Appearing in 32 games, the Laval, Quebec native posted a 2.71 GAA, .916 save percentage and also had one shutout.  He had a 15-11-3 record.

Just the season before, Theodore was the starting goaltender for the Washington Capitals.  He posted an amazing 30-7-7 record, including a 2.81 GAA and a .911 save percentage. 

The Panthers also have Scott Clemmenson under contract, who played in 25 games last season as the back-up to Vokoun.  Rumors circulated earlier in the week that Clemmenson will be given a chance to be the starting net-minder in Florida.

Chances are that Theodore and Clemmenson will be splitting time this season.  Both are capable goaltenders who can be a show-stopper at times.  This will be a slight downgrade from Vokoun, but don’t forget that Panthers GM Dale Tallon brought in defenseman Brian Campbell at the draft.  This should help balance-out not having a veteran all-star like Vokoun between the pipes.

Follow Jeff Ponder on Twitter (@jponder94) for all the latest updates on free-agent signings today.

Continue reading "Florida Panthers Sign Jose Theodore"


Brad VanFossan

Golden Effort Falls Just Short posted by Brad VanFossan

A Golden Effort Falls Just Short By Brad VanFossan I know it’s more than just a hockey game when my 63 year old father is looking forward to watching, and has been watching most of the hockey games during this Olympics. I know it’s more than just a game when patrons at bars ask to turn the hockey game on, both the men’s and women’s games, as I have seen happen over the last couple weeks. This is about reliving nostalgia for those who were around for the 1980 Gold Medal team‘s “Miracle“ run. And it’s about wanting to experience that same feeling for those of us who were too young or weren’t around then. This is the kind of thing the brings generations of sons and fathers together creating memories that become part of family lore. More importantly, this is a message to the world that hockey isn’t a secondary sport in the United States anymore, but one we can excel at, and even be the best.  It’s almost time for the opening face off, winning twice on enemy territory won’t be easy, but I think if anyone can, it’s this group of relentless young men. No matter what the outcome, they will put forth an effort to be proud of.My in game thoughts from the penalty box: -In the first U.S./Canada match up the U.S. was able to score first, taking the crowd out of things for a bit, today Canada scored first, it’s the first time the U.S. has trailed all Olympics. -Jonathan Toews goal was off of a rebound, not too much cause for concern yet. The U.S. is still playing pretty well, theyContinue reading "Golden Effort Falls Just Short"


Les Leonard

Big Daddy Navigates Uncharted Waters: posted by Les Leonard

     The Saints have gotten unprecedented rewards out of this season’s motto, “Finish!” Sunday the Who Dat Nation watched the Saints turn in another dominant second-half performance after trailing early to post a new franchise record 8-0 start. Saints fans remember last year’s painful gut-wrenching losses, when the team displayed innovative ways to snatch defeat from the hands of victory in the fourth quarter. In this week’s edition of Saints Beat, Big Daddy questions the SEC’s officiating, reports from Section 645, recaps the Carolina game, reviews a vault classic from Lost Treasures of NFL Films, and releases his World Famous Pregame Information.

     Before we talk Black ’ n’ Gold, Big Daddy must vent about the despicable officiating which crowned Alabama the 2009 SEC Western Division Champs last Saturday. Seeing the continuous favoritism aid Alabama throughout the contest, Big Daddy understood that the SEC’s top brass met with the officials to fully explain how important a Florida/Alabama Championship match-up would be to their job security. Naive viewers might have noticed “the foul stench in the state of Denmark,” but orchestrated flag throwing never fools obsessed football junkies. That said, nothing could have prepared Big Daddy or LSU fans for what transpired with about 5:30 remaining in the game. Officials on the field called Tiger cornerback Patrick Peterson’s obvious interception an incomplete pass, drawing absolute outrage from every Kingpin patron. Tiger faithful felt certain the replay booth would correct the egregious mistake, giving LSU one more chance to defeat the Crimson Tide. However, the replay booth confirmed the ruling on the field, cementing the tainted victory. Since the zebras (guided by the SEC) used the Tim Donaghy approach to ensure the desired outcome, we’ll never know whether blunders like LSU Head Coach Les Miles’ decision to go for 2 in the third quarter, the foolish waste of all three timeouts early in the second half, or the injury to starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson cost the Tigers a shot at this year’s Western Division title. What a shame!

Continue reading "Big Daddy Navigates Uncharted Waters:"


Jeff Ponder

Inter-League Game Could Spell Bad News for NHL posted by Jeff Ponder

Could an exhibition game really give bad publicity to a major North-American sports league?

The NHL has constantly been trying to show that their league is the best to the public all over the world.  For the past few seasons, the league has sent four of their teams overseas to play in places such as Germany, Sweden and England.  The teams usually open the NHL regular season a week early, playing two games in the country that they were designated.  This season the league has decided to send the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings to Sweden, and the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers to Finland.  Not only are these teams playing each other, but they will see time against some of the best teams of the chosen nation in pre-season play.

Why is this a possible threat to the league?  The NHL holds themselves as the greatest hockey league in the world with the most powerful teams and the best players.  There is almost no way of disputing that prestigious honor as long as the teams are playing against each other all the time and do not allow any outside teams to jeopardize that point.  Allowing other teams from other leagues could harm the reputation of the NHL. 

Here is the schedule for the games that will be played against other league teams:

Tuesday, September 29:  St. Louis Blues vs. Linkoping HC at Cloetta Center

Tuesday, September 29:  Chicago Blackhawks vs. ZSC Lions Zurich at Hallenstadion

Wednesday, September 30:  Florida Panthers vs. Jokerit Helsinki at Hartwall Arena
Continue reading "Inter-League Game Could Spell Bad News for NHL"


Kevin Christmann

Goaltender Options for the Flyers - Part 3 posted by Kevin Christmann

Part 3 of my “Goaltender Options for the Flyers” series will include a couple of “international” goaltenders, and additionally, I will give you my final opinion on what I’d like the Flyers to do.

Part 1 of the series covered Unrestricted Free Agent Options. Part 2 covered Restricted Free Agent Options as well as trade possibilities.

Before I begin, I’d just like to make an update to one of my previous entries. I read a rumor today from Eklund (love him or hate him…I personally hate him) that I thought I’d just throw out there. It said that Giguere is apparently Holmgren’s Plan A this offseason. Although Giguere has his no trade clause and was in the Anaheim area for his son’s eye condition, he doesn’t really want to be a backup goalie, and if the Ducks plan to stick with Hiller he may consider moving. If true, it is certainly interesting news. The Flyers would definitely need to shed some salary in order to get him. To me that means Briere, Lupul, Carle, Jones or maybe Gagne.

Ray Emery

It pains me to even make this entry, but I told a friend I would, and I’d also like to shed a bit of light on him. He has been playing in Russia this past season after nobody in the NHL wanted him (or at least wouldn’t pay him what he wanted). Recently, there was word that the Flyers had contacted his agent. I guess it’s good that the Flyers are considering every option, they should be; but Ray Emery is not a very good goaltender. Ray Emery had one decent season, the only one in which he was the full-time starter. In 2006-2007 he posted a 2.47 GAA and a save percentage of .918; both of which are pretty good numbers. However, I see no reason to believe that wasn’t a complete fluke. He was on a GREAT Ottawa Senators team; a team that had 105 points that season. For comparison, the Flyers had 99 pts this past season, and Biron’s numbers were arguably better (the SV% was, the GAA wasn’t).  In my opinion, Emery rode that awesome Senators team to the Stanley Cup Final, where they were promptly run over by Anaheim.  Somehow, Emery managed to convince people he was a good starting goalie. He managed to get himself a nice contract ($3.167 million cap hit), and was bought out shortly thereafter by the Senators when he showed his true colors. Those true colors being a GAA of 3.13 and a SV% of .890. Oh yea, did I mention that as part of being bought out, you then have to clear waivers? That means every single team in the league passed on him. But I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that no team wanted him at a hit of 3.167 million. However, that doesn’t then explain why nobody wanted him as a free agent, when they could sign him for whatever price they see fit. The explanation is one of two things. Either literally nobody wanted him, or he thinks way too highly of himself, and wouldn’t sign the contracts being offered to him. Both of those don’t speak well for Mr. Emery. Oh yea, I haven’t even gotten into the fact that he’s apparently a coke head (with former teammate Brian McGratton), was perpetually late for practice, and beat up his trainer.

Continue reading "Goaltender Options for the Flyers - Part 3"


Kevin Christmann

My Top 10 NHL Defenseman posted by Kevin Christmann

I thought I’d give a top 10 list a shot, and I thought defenseman was the place to start. I’ve noticed that the thoughts regarding the top 10 defenseman in the league are quite erratic, and there doesn’t seem to be a widely accepted pecking order. So I present you with mine. I’ve taken all around play into consideration. Both defensive and offensive abilities have been considered.

1)      Zdeno Chara
Chara is just the most dominant force in the game in my opinion. He is so big players just can’t match up with him. He skates very well for being so big, and it’s damn near impossible to beat him one on one. He can swallow you up physically, and nearly reach from board to board, so he plays incredible defense. He’s a physical presence, and he puts up great offensive numbers, with the NHL’s hardest slapshot this past season. He is currently a nominee for the 2008-2009 Norris Trophy (as the league’s best defenseman).

2)      Nicklas Lidstrom
What can be said about Nicklas Lidstrom? One of the greatest defenseman of All-Time, and he’s been doing it for…well, forever. The guy is 39 years old and has won the Norris Trophy 6 of the past 7 years; with no hockey being played in 2004-2005 due to the lockout. The guy just does it all. He is also currently a nominee (AGAIN) for the Norris Trophy; however, I see Chara taking it from him.

3)      Chris Pronger
Chris Pronger is a guy you either love or hate. If you’re a fan of a team from the West, you probably hate him because he’s been punishing, annoying, and playing stellar defense against your team for years. He is a hard nosed, and frankly, probably a pretty annoying guy, but that is what makes him such a great player. He’s physically imposing, plays fantastic defense, and puts up offensive numbers. As a Flyers fan, he is exactly the kind of player I’d love to see in Orange and Black.

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