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Devil Dogs ... Florida Panthers Practice Rough at Prudential Center ... Kamil Kreps 'Probable' ... Roberto Luongo Versus the Rangers

NewjerseyNEWARK -- Just got back from the Prudential Fortress, one of the most media-friendly arenas in all the land. Friendly, smiling faces wherever you go. Always fun to come up to LamorielloLand -- no matter where the arena is.

Anyway, the Panthers had a spirited and hard workout here today. I felt like I was back covering the Dolphins, Hurricanes or Aquinas Raiders. Folks, there was a lot of hitting going on.

Pete DeBoer put the team through rigorous puck-battling drills, with guys driving each other into the wall fighting for the puck. Says the Lightning had too much time and space in their zone last night. He was trying to make sure that doesn't happen again, make sure the guys know it's OK to put a hit on someone and knock them off the puck.

Lot of sore guys walking around after practice.

Aside from that, not much going on. Kamil Kreps says he feels good, ready to return. PDeB says he's 'probable' for tomorrow. Everyone else was out there, including Gregory Campbell and Stephen Weiss.

And that's about it for now. Heading into the city, going to watch some hockey. Some goalie who lives in Broward County is apparently the starter for the team from Vancouver. His team is playing the local New York team. I think they're called the 'Knickerbockers.'

Check you tomorrow. Will tell Louie you send your best....

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GR, i assume stillman didnt practice??? update on him?
thx!

Hi GR - I just saw Dallas just unveiled their 2nd third jersey. Thank goodness the mooterus did not make a repeat appearance. Any word on when/if the Panthers could have a 3rd jersey? I am kind of surprised they don't. I mean it's something else they could sell. LOL.

Maybe a team needs to sell a minimium number of regular jerseys before they're allowed to market a 3rd jersey.

A troubling statistic... The following is the Panthers shots allowed per game with their NHL ranking next to it and the differential between shots for and against (brace yourselves this is scary) since the 2000-2001 season:

Year sapg rank diff

00-01 31.2 29th -4.7

01-02 32.5 29th -5.6

02-03 33.2 30th -6.0

03-04 34.5 30th -6.8

04-05-( No Hockey )

05-06 34.8 29th -1.6

06-07 29.3 16th +4.0

07-08 33.6 29th -2.5

08-09 35.1 29th -7.0

This is out of 30 teams. While statistics can be overated, this pattern has been in place regardless of management. Other than the 06-07 season it appears as though you can count on the Panthers leading the league or close to it in shots allowed... by the way we managed to reach our highest point total during the 06-07 season (86)since 2000-2001. This is no coincidence I believe that unless we change this very troubling pattern which has been evident for over seven years now, and going strong we are doomed to repeat history.

We may continue to hold on to games despite being outshot but the truth is we will continue to be cellar dwellers unless this changes...we are already on pace to better our worst shots on goal allowed and lastly, the most horrific point about these stats is the fact we have had an All-Star caliber or arguably, a future Hall Of Famer in Net.

GR, thanks for the clarification on the "Groulxs"! Actually, it doesn't matter which Groulx is here, these guys are awful. We lost to Toronto 5-2 last night in front of maybe 700 fans. Its hopeless.

My friends got into Jack Birch's face last night and let him know how unhappy we all are here. Of course, Jack reacted with arrogance and lack of interest. Nice to have that kind of guy watching over your "prospects".

Fans are yelling at our owner to find an "out" for the next two years of affiliation. Not so sure he isn't considering it.

HP what makes those statistics even scarier is that we are considered a defensive team.

I go back to what I have been saying, we have too many forwards that cannot finish and they don't forecheck and they don't backcheck.

Now, the young guys are no longer young guys.

I talked to someone that knows hockey really well on his take of the panthers and he said they should finish around 11th but the biggest problem is how weak they are at Center.

We sit here and watch as other teams try and improve themselves and we just seam to be in the same boat year after year.

The shots on goal statistics make it sound like groundhog day. We are next to last in goals for and in the middle for goals against(granted we have played less games then anyone else). With the lack of offense on this team in order to make the playoffs we have to be in the top 5 in goals against.

We need to win at least 1 of the next 2 games

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