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TimBits

TimmysSitting here in Ottawa, drinking a fresh cup of coffee from Timmy's and contemplating the Panthers, ahem, tail of woe.

This team isn't bad, problem is, they're not very good either. JM was asking all to have some patience, but that's a tough thing to ask a Panthers fan to do. You see, while JM was living in the fast lane with the Sens, the Panthers were losing. And that hasn't changed.

The Panthers have problems offensively, with a good majority of their goals coming on junk from around the net. The team's pure scorers haven't been finding the net of late, and that's put a lot of pressure on the guys who should be in supporting roles to carry the load.

Who else but the Panthers would surrender one goal in a total of two games and not win either? Honestly, only the Panthers. It's like anytime someone goes, 'that couldn't happen,' it does. To the Panthers. In my opinion, wholesale changes are not needed. JM isn't going anywhere, he needs and deserves the chance to turn this thing around. The reason this franchise is in the state it is because of a lack of stability. As Olli said yesterday, this is Jacques team. The buck stops with him. And that's good.

The Panthers are playing OK right now, good enough to win a few games and start feeling good about themselves. But they need to start winning, and doing quite a bit of it.

THE NEWS: Joe Nieuwendyk missed practice again today and will not play against the Sens. Says his back is acting up on him again, and he hopes to be back Saturday against ATL. Drew Larman is en route from Rochester right now and plans to suit up tonight.

-- Alex Auld starts tonight, but you knew that, didn't you.

-- Gary Roberts didn't skate today, but according to JM, he's playing.

-- When asked what his thoughts were on Ottawa's slow start (they've since rectified things and are playing well), JM basically told the local reporter he had enough things to worry about in SoFla and didn't really care what happened up here. "I know they are one of the top teams in the league,'' Mr. Diplomat said.

-- Don't be surprised to see Auld having to defend himself a little today. Seems the Senators took offense with Florida crashing the net so much in Friday's win at CorporateSponsorship Arena in Sunrise. So, what's good for the goose is good for the Panther. Or something like that.

-- Sunday's conversation will center around defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. If you don't get the herald at home, check it out online on the Panthers page on Sunday. Stephen Weiss, the last player profiled, scored the night after talking to the herald. We'll see.

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