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38 posts from April 2009

April 09, 2009

LIVE! Scoreboard Watch from Atlanta ... IT'S OVER ... FLA 3 @ ATL 2 (F); PHL 1 @ NYR 2 (F); MON 4 @ BOS 5 (OT)

Scoreboard ATLANTA -- Will be up in the press box at Philips Arena (where they tell me there are no Thrashers or Hawks logos in the urinals) in a few minutes to watch tonight's Panthers game.

Come on back throughout the night as we watch the scoreboard together. We have a few games we'll be keeping an eye on, most notably the Indians and the Rangers.

I kid. The Tribe already lost.

The main focus is the Panthers -- and those games that affect the endangered Cats.

-- Got the Rangers game on up here in the press box, although can't find the feed for the Bruins-Canadiens. Will have to follow that one online. We're on like Donkey Kong...

--Thrashers are wearing thier uglies tonight; those burgandy football jersey looking things. Blech.

-- Saturday lax on MSG...check it out...

--Not a good start for the Cats...Rangers up 1-0...

-- Still scoreless in Boston...13 and change left in the first...

-- ATL going on the power play...Zednik to the box @ 4:58, Booth in as well...its a 5/3 for 2 minutes...uh oh

-- PHL just misses a great scoring opportunity...and a fight breaks out...awesome...

--IN BOS: Shots MON 5-2

-- IN PHL, Scott Hartnall getting testy...that's good news for the Panthers...PHL and NYR on a 4-on4 with 14:36 left..

-- Great job of PK by the Panthers...kill off the 5-on-3...nice job by Bo blocking a shot to clear it and a final save by Vokoun...that was huge...

--ATL back on the power play...Olesz for cross check @ 7:30

-- MON on the power play..10:05 left in the first...

--ATLANTA SCORES...ZACH BOGOSIAN FROM THE TOP OF THE CIRCLE...ITS 1-0 THRASH @ 9:17

-- FLA going on the PP as Zach B goes into the box with 9:04 left in the period...

-- THE RANGERS SCORE AGAIN, THEY LEAD PHILLY 2-0 MIDWAY THROUGH THE 1ST...GOAL BY CALLAHAN....NY'S FIRST GOAL BY NASLUND...

--FLA back on the power play...Slava Kozlov into hte box for tripping at 14:07

--BOSTON SCORES WITH 2:02 LEFT IN THE FIRST...LEAD HABS 1-0...THEN A FIGHT BREAKS OUT...AWESOME...

-- Panthers have a 5-on-3 for 28 ticks...Bogo back to the box for hooking...

--END OF 1 IN BOSTON...1-0 BRUINS...MONTREAL STOPS A 5-ON-3 TO END THE PERIOD, THEN ANOTHER BIG BRAWL BREAKS OUT...THESE GUYS APPARENTLY DONT LIKE EACH OTHER.

-- FLA's power play looks awful tonight, but they get another crack at it...Colby Armstrong in for tripping at 19:16...

-- END OF 1 IN ATLANTA...PANTHERS DON'T LOOK REAL GOOD...LOSING 1-0 AND IT PROBABLY SHOULD BE WORSE...

--END OF 1 IN NEW YORK...RANGERS LEAD 2-0....

-- When we return, the second period from three hockey games!

-- Auditions for the Atlanta ice girls here May 13-17...wonder if I can find a reason to make it back to Atlanta sometime in mid-May?

-- The last time the Panthers made the postseason, Atlanta was a first-year expansion team...

-- Ted Turner's in the house...

SECOND PERIOD -- SECOND PERIOD -- SECOND PERIOD

-- FLA back on the power play...1:52 into the second

-- FLA gets a few chances but no goals...and Stillman goes in for slashing at 3:19

MONTREAL TIES IT IN BOSTON...ITS 1-1 EARLY IN THE SECOND...

AND NOW BOSTON RETAKES THE LEAD...LOOKS LIKE PHIL KESSEL WITH THE GOALS...BS 2, HABS 1

--ATL going to have a 4-on-3 power play with Booth going to the booth...@ 7:41

BOSTON MAKES IT 3-1 OVER MONTREAL...

-- Just saw McCabe fight...didn't last too long...he threw with Ilya Kovalchuk...but at least the Panther killer is off the ice for five minutes...

AND THE FLYERS GET A GOAL, CUT THE RANGERS LEAD TO 2-1...

-- Looks like they need a bigger penalty box in Boston...four Bruins in the box at the same time...that looks like a real fun game to be at tonight...

-- In ATL, Florida back on the PP...Eric 'Michael' Boulton in four minutes for roughing...big chance for F-L-A

EXPOS SCORE, IT'S 3-2 BOSTON WITH 12:33 LEFT IN THE SECOND PERIOD...

PANTHERS SCORE ON A DELAY...REVIEW SHOWS A GOAL ON SHOT BY NATHAN HORTON... IT'S A POWER PLAY GOAL FOR FLORIDA, AND IT'S 1-1 IN THE ATL...

MONTREAL TIES IT, TWO UNANSWERED GOALS FOR THE HABS...

WE'RE AT THE END OF TWO IN ATL AND NY, BUT BOS ROLLS ON...LONG PERIOD IN BEANTOWN..

AND MONTREAL SCORES AGAIN -- THEY LEAD 4-3 IN BOSTON LATE IN THE SECOND...NOT A GOOD NIGHT FOR THE PANTHERS...RIGHT NOW, THEY'RE DONE...

-- While they keep fighting and playing on in Boston, we're about to start the third in ATL...it's 1-1...

-- Last nine games, NY being outscored 8-1 and 0-16 on the power play in the third period...FLA hopes that trend continues...it's their only hope...

PANTHERS GIVE UP A SHORTHANDED GOAL TO ZACH BOGO...COMES @ 5:42...IT'S 2-1 THRASH...

AND JUST LIKE THAT, CORY STILLMAN TIES IT, DEFLECTING A SHOT FROM CAMPBELL @ 6:32

-- Looks like we're finally getting underway in Boston...geez...

DAVID BOOTH GIVES THE PANTHERS A LEAD, AND I HAVE TO GO TO WORK...IF I CAN GET BACK ON, I WILL...

AND THE BRUINS SCORE...THEY TIE UP MONTREAL...PANTHERS NEED THEM TO SCORE ONCE MORE...


Need Some Help: Florida Panthers @ Atlanta Thrashers ... It's Vokoun ... 'Dropping the Ball'

Help THE ATL -- The Panthers are definitely going to be keeping one eye on the out of town scoreboard tonight as their playoff fate does not rest in their own hands but in others.

First, Florida needs the New York Rangers to lose to the Flyers. The Panthers also need Montreal to lose to Boston.

Oh, and it would be nice if the Panthers would beat Atlanta. A loss tonight, and we're at the arena on Monday for locker clean out day.

-- The Panthers are going to go with Tomas Vokoun, with coach Pete DeBoer getting a little testy when we asked 'why Vokoun?' He didn't give us a 'why not?' but actually answered his own question. He said he didn't know why it was so controversial for him to be making a choice, adding that Craig Anderson's numbers have been better than Vokoun's of late.

But Vokoun is your starter, your 'money' guy. Good decision to go with him in this most crucial of games.

-- DeBo on how the Panthers get into the playoffs: ''I believe somebody is going to drop the ball on the other end."

-- DeBo also says this will not be a successful season unless the Panthers make the playoffs. He says he's never missed the postseason, and that's the only way to have a good season is to be in them. Even if the Panthers win the final two and just miss? ''I won't be slapping anyone on the back if we miss,'' he said, ''especially not my own.''

-- Thursday's Games (and who the Panthers would be rooting for if they were swimming with the dolphins at Georgia Aquarium)

Flyers @ Rangers, 7: The Panthers really like the Flyers today. A lot.

Canadiens @ Bruins, 7: The Panthers really like the Bruins today. A bunch.

Sabres @ Hurricanes, 7: Buffalo is still in it. In it to win it. Go Canes.

-- The Standings (presented by 1-800-NEED-HELP and courtesy of TSN.ca)


Eastern

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-Boston7951181011226218428-6-623-12-47-2-1Lost 1
2y-Washington804923810626423629-9-320-14-56-2-2Won 2
3x-New Jersey804927410223820527-12-122-15-33-6-1Lost 1
4x-Philadelphia794325119725723024-12-419-13-76-3-1Won 1
5x-Carolina80452879723621826-13-119-15-69-0-1Won 9
6x-Pittsburgh80432899525523724-13-319-15-67-2-1Won 1
7Montreal804129109224423924-9-717-20-35-4-1Lost 2
8NY Rangers80413099120421425-11-416-19-55-4-1Won 1
 
9Florida803930118922422521-12-718-18-45-4-1Lost 1
10Buffalo80393298723923222-15-317-17-65-4-1Won 1
11Ottawa803634108221322922-12-614-22-46-4-0Won 3
12Toronto813335137924529115-16-918-19-44-6-0Lost 1
13Atlanta80344067424927517-20-217-20-45-5-0Lost 2
14Tampa Bay802438186620626912-17-1112-21-71-6-3Lost 7
15NY Islanders79264496119626417-16-69-28-33-6-1Lost 1
 

Western

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-San Jose8053161111725319632-4-421-12-77-2-1Won 2
2y-Detroit795119911129023327-8-424-11-56-4-0Won 2
3x-Calgary80452969624924226-10-419-19-24-6-0Lost 1
4x-Chicago8044241210025721423-9-821-15-47-2-1Lost 1
5x-Vancouver804327109624422023-12-520-15-55-4-1Won 1
6x-Columbus804129109222222125-12-316-17-75-1-4Won 1
7Anaheim80413368823723019-18-322-15-38-2-0Lost 1
8St. Louis803931108822923222-13-517-18-57-2-1Won 1
 
9Nashville80393388620522224-13-415-20-44-3-3Lost 1
10Minnesota80383398520519322-11-716-22-25-4-1Won 1
11Edmonton80373498322824317-17-620-17-33-7-0Lost 1
12Dallas803535108022425120-16-515-19-52-6-2Lost 1
13Los Angeles803336117720323017-15-816-21-33-6-1Won 1
14Phoenix80343977519924722-15-312-24-45-4-1Lost 2
15Colorado79324436719725218-20-014-24-31-7-2Lost 1

April 08, 2009

Going -- Over the Edge

Weakstream ATLANTA -- Been 'holding' onto this one for a few days, but thought I should share.

In some arenas, the team's logo is considered sacred. If it's on the floor inside the team dressing room, no one is allowed to walk on it. That used to be the case with the Panthers as well. Some still refuse to walk across the large carpeted logo of the Florida hockey club that sits in the middle of the locker room.

But inside the arena, the rules change.

In Sunrise, fans are allowed to urinate on the Panthers logo. Actually, many don't have much of a choice.

Inside the urinals in the men's rooms on the lower level of the BankAtlantic Center are advertisements for a local urologist. Weak stream? I thought it was an ad for an internet company. But whatever.

Many of us fellas have seen advertisements in rest rooms for years, even some radio stations (560 WQAM) have placed ads in urinals. Believe it or not, it's probably a good -- if kind of unsavory -- place for an ad. Eyes are focused, so to speak.

But the team's logo inside of a urinal? In their own arena? Only in Sunrise.

Panthersmedical Spoke with Michael Yormark yesterday while driving from Baltimore to Philadelphia about this, and basically, he said the team really didn't think much about it. They sold the ad to the local doc -- who as part of the official team medical staff is granted use of the team logo at right -- and he placed it on his decals. Which happened to end up in urinals around the arena.

Some have told me they don't think this is news, considering that teams allow their logo to go on various other pieces of merchandise that could be looked at as 'disrespectful' to the team crest. Garbage cans, door mats, car mats, the like. You can wipe your feet on a Panther logo anytime you want, just pay the $15 for a floor mat at the team store or Home Depot.

But only in Sunrise can you 'take aim' at the leaping Panther. The logo may be small, but that only makes for an interesting target. I'm sure opposing fans get a kick out of going to the restroom and relieving themselves on the Florida mascot.

Say what you want about all the ads inside the Billboard, but in this market, those ads help cover up all those empty seats. I don't like it, but it is helping the hockey team remain viable in the National Hockey League.

I think the Panther logo was put on these decals innocently; the doc probably puts that logo on all of his ads. But someone inside the organization made a mistake by allowing them to go into the urinals. This would have been an easy fix, although it would have cost some money. Which is one reason why it was allowed to happen. 

It's probably too late to have this fixed for the season finale come Saturday, but it would be nice to see some new decals -- minus the logo -- in place if this team makes the playoffs. Hear those Boston fans like their lager. Which means plenty of trips to the bathroom.

And no weak streams.

Searching for Answers in the ATL ... Thursday: Florida Panthers @ Atlanta Thrashers

Search ATLANTA -- Greetings from the Peachtree City, or whatever the heck Atlanta is called. It's a glorious day here, the sun shining, just a hint of a breeze.

Went out for a nice walk, although I doubt I put a dent in the BBQ that Steve X. and myself threw down for lunch. On the bright side, I probably won't eat dinner.

Well, that's probably not true either.

This could and very well just may be the final road game of the 2008-09 season for your Florida Panthers. The team took today off and will return to the ice Thursday morning at Philips Arena just blocks from the team hotel, the world's biggest aquarium and the World of Snapple.

-- Spoke with coach Pete DeBoer today and he continues to contend that if the Panthers win their final two games, they'll be a participant in Lord Stanley's postseason.

"I feel the same as I did last night,'' DeBo said. ''

If we win lthe last two, we'll get in. I don't know how. I don't know who is going to lose.''

DeBo said he doesn't know who is going to play in net tomorrow night, and I asked if him debating this at this time of year means he's not real high on Tomas Vokoun. He said don't read too much into it.

"It's not about individual play,'' he said. ''I've said this for weeks; It's about getting wins. We have to be better than the guy at the other end at all positions. I'm not saying I will or won't go with him. I just want to think about it for 24 hours. It's just like D pairings, line combos.''

On last night's game:

"That was a high power team with a lot at stake. We went in there and executed our gameplan to perfection. Smothered them for long period of time, created some chances. Did a lot of things right. Ninty-eight out of 100 game like that, you get rewarded with points. We didn't. I'm not going to make wholesale changes.''

-- DeBo also said the Kamil Kreps should be OK for tomorrow as long as his flu bug was of the 24 hour variety. Says Kreps got through yesterday's morning skate, but got worse as the day went on and that's why he couldn't go.

-- Uh oh, there's some competition in the Florida Panthers online webophere (is that a word? I don't think Yormark so, but I like it.) One Michael Yormark now has his own blog on the Panthers website, giving a little insight into the business doings of the hockey team down at One Panther Parkway.

Now, I don't expect him to reciprocate and link to this side of the web for various -- and obvious -- reasons, but I invite you to head down to Sunrise via the internet and see what Mr. Yormark has to say. Enjoy.

-- Tuesday's Games (and how they affected the Panthers): Well, the Rangers took care of the Canadiens and that may turn out to be good for the Panthers. Actually, who knows. The Panthers losing in Philadelphia kind of messed everything up for them, although there is a chance. Florida just needs to win out and Montreal can't get another point and the Rangers can only get one.

-- Wednesday's Games (and who the Panthers would be rooting for if they weren't playing Frisbee at Olympic Park)

Sabres @ Maple Leafs: Panthers don't need any more complications. Buffalo losing would be one less thing to worry about. If they're worried about Buffalo at all.

-- The Standings (presented by Fat Matt's BBQ in Atlanta and courtesy of TSN.ca)

Eastern

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-Boston7951181011226218428-6-623-12-47-2-1Lost 1
2y-Washington804923810626423629-9-320-14-56-2-2Won 2
3x-New Jersey804927410223820527-12-122-15-33-6-1Lost 1
4x-Philadelphia794325119725723024-12-419-13-76-3-1Won 1
5x-Carolina80452879723621826-13-119-15-69-0-1Won 9
6x-Pittsburgh80432899525523724-13-319-15-67-2-1Won 1
7Montreal804129109224423924-9-717-20-35-4-1Lost 2
8NY Rangers80413099120421425-11-416-19-55-4-1Won 1
 
9Florida803930118922422521-12-718-18-45-4-1Lost 1
10Buffalo79383298523623122-15-316-17-64-5-1Lost 2
11Ottawa803634108221322922-12-614-22-46-4-0Won 3
12Toronto803334137924428815-15-918-19-45-5-0Won 1
13Atlanta80344067424927517-20-217-20-45-5-0Lost 2
14Tampa Bay802438186620626912-17-1112-21-71-6-3Lost 7
15NY Islanders79264496119626417-16-69-28-33-6-1Lost 1
 

Western

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-San Jose8053161111725319632-4-421-12-77-2-1Won 2
2y-Detroit795119911129023327-8-424-11-56-4-0Won 2
3x-Calgary80452969624924226-10-419-19-24-6-0Lost 1
4x-Chicago794424119925421023-9-721-15-47-2-1Won 4
5x-Vancouver804327109624422023-12-520-15-55-4-1Won 1
6Columbus794029109021821825-12-315-17-74-2-4Lost 2
7Anaheim80413368823723019-18-322-15-38-2-0Lost 1
8St. Louis803931108822923222-13-517-18-57-2-1Won 1
 
9Nashville80393388620522224-13-415-20-44-3-3Lost 1
10Minnesota80383398520519322-11-716-22-25-4-1Won 1
11Edmonton80373498322824317-17-620-17-33-7-0Lost 1
12Dallas803535108022425120-16-515-19-52-6-2Lost 1
13Los Angeles803336117720323017-15-816-21-33-6-1Won 1
14Phoenix80343977519924722-15-312-24-45-4-1Lost 2
15Colorado79324436719725218-20-014-24-31-7-2Lost 1


The Panthers Have Fallen; Can They Get Back Up?

Fallen PHILADELPHIA -- Truth be told, the Panthers played a pretty good game against the Flyers Tuesday night. They controlled the puck, worked down low, kept the home crowd muttering ''not these darned Panthers again.'

OK, maybe they weren't muttering that, but, like a few weeks ago, the Panthers came to Philly and outplayed the Flyers. Only difference was the final result.

Two weeks ago, Florida wins when goalie Craig Anderson gives up two goals. Tuesday, Tomas Vokoun gives up two and the Panthers lose, leading coach Pete DeBoer to offer this less-than rousing endorsement.

''Yeah, well, you know -- he was all right,'' DeBoer said.

The bottom line: Anderson won here, Vokoun didn't. Their games, however, were quite similar.

Vokoun, like Anderson here a few nights ago, probably could have given up more than two.

Both goalies left up some juicy rebounds and both were out of position a few times leaving the Philly crowd groaning when the Flyers couldn't connect.

The Panthers didn't get that kind of charity. If they were around the puck, Martin Biron was around to keep it out of the net.

It's been some time since the Panthers really played a stinker of a game, although the same can't be said for the team's offensive production. One goal against Johan Hedberg and the Thrashers on Friday; one goal against a Martin Biron who was in a funk.

Now here's the rub: How do the Panthers get back? They have two games left and really need some help to make the playoffs. Montreal needs one point to finish in front of the Panthers. Yeah, the Habs are in trouble. But don't you think they probably at least pick up one point in their final two games? How about the Rangers? All they have to do is win one of their final two games.

Fallen2 Can't blame missing the playoffs on losing to the Flyers. You can, however, blame it on the loss in Buffalo. The two on Long Island to a vastly inferior team. The back-to-backs against Tampa after Christmas. The third period collapse to Columbus.

There are a lot of places you can look to find those very valuable points. Florida may very well pick up four points in these next two games, but it probably won't be enough.

But, despite what you are going to read from people who don't know a lot about the Panthers, it won't be the same old story.

This team didn't miss the playoffs because of a lack of effort, nor a lack of heart or toughness as they did in the past.

No, the Panthers didn't make the playoffs because they just weren't all that good. They were a better team than in the past, but individually, not enough talent. Pete DeBoer squeezed what he could out of them, tried to push the right buttons, but in the end, he's going to finish ninth in the east. JM the GM will try to improve the team in the offseason, and will be going after some scorers. Has to be. He's going to keep his eye on the defense, but even without Jay Bouwmeester, that should be fine.

Florida's biggest problem this season was that it couldn't support its goalies when it really needed to. One goal is not going to cut it in the NHL 95 percent of the time. Sure, Vokoun should have made the save on Carter in the third. That was a bad goal to give up. But giving up two goals to Philadelphia through 60 minutes should mean a win -- at least a trip to overtime.

How big would one point look right now? It might have been the difference on the boys playing golf come Tuesday or postponing those tee times for another few games.

Will update things tomorrow when I get to Atlanta. Will be interesting to see if DeBo sticks with Vokoun or goes back to the bullpen. He looked kind of disgusted tonight.

April 07, 2009

LIVE! Florida Panthers 1 @ Philadelphia Flyers 2 (FINAL) ... Brett McLean (FLA); Joffrey Lupul, Jeff Carter (PHL)

Tastykakes PHILADELPHIA -- Good evening from atop the Comerica Center a little less than an hour away from kickoff.

It's the Marlins and Phillies, with plenty of playoff implications.

First off, just got word that Kamil Kreps is out with the flu. Nick Tarnasky will take his place. Assuming Brett McLean slides over to center the fourth line.

Will have more, much more, as we get going here in Philly.

-- Just had a Tastykake with Goldie. We both enjoyed the experience. Now Steve X. is breaking out the peanut M&Ms. Hitting the gym tomorrow.

-- Speaking of Goldie, the On Frozen Pond exclusive ''The Goldie Report'' returns tonight. Heck, let's do the pregame one right now!

Goldie2 -- THE GOLDIE REPORT (pregame): I think if the Panthers win tonight, they make the playoffs. With that said, the key player in the game will be Tomas Vokoun. The Flyers are too good offensively to not get chances and Vokoun will need to do what Craig Anderson did here two weeks ago. He came up with timely saves, and that's what Vokoun has to do.

The key offensively is the power play. The Panthers have scored power play goals in four of the past five games, and those are the games they won. The players realize what's at stake and how far a win tonight will go toward being a playoff team. The Flyers are going to come out strong. They want to get their one point and get it over without. If the Panthers can withstand the early charge, they should be all right.

And the Tastykake was good. I enjoyed it Jerry.

So there you have it...

--And we've got a ballgame folks...started late because the Flyers gave out their end of season awards...would list them here, but I wasn't paying attention...

-- $1 soft pretzels tonight at the game...get 'em while they're hot...

--Lot of empty seats here tonight...wonder if the baseball game next door has anything to do with that?

-- Panthers looking good early; getting the puck in deep, taking some shots...

--Florida is going on the first power play of the night, coming @ 7:42 of the opening period...shots FLA 7-5...Braydon Coburn into the box for ''hooking''...

--Taking a TV (for Philly) timeout with 8:19 left...still scoreless...shots: FLA 11-8

-- Panthers returning the favor...Weiss to the box for holding @ 11:55..It's the Peco Power Play

-- Midway through the first in Nueva York, the Expos and Mets are scoreless..

-- Panthers just dodge a major bullet...empty net with Vokoun out playing the puck and the Flyers can't connect...that could be big as we move along...

--And the Rangers score...6:22 left in the first, up 1-0

-- OK, that's it for the first, both teams getting in some chances...we'll be back with more Goldie and first period stats in a bit...going to grab a pretzel...anyone got a single?

Goldiecuba THE GOLDIE REPORT (first intermission): Only discouraging part in the first is that the Panthers didn't score. Strong effort right from the start, with the Panthers controlling play for the most part. They had a pair of 2-on-1s, Biron stopped Zednik then Ballard and Olesz overpassed. But the Panthers have clearly had more scoring chances, and if they keep playing the way they did in the first, should be in good shape. Again, Pete DeBoer was able to use all four lines and get pressure and production from each one. Both goalies were solid. There's a good chance that two goals will win this game. 

Stats: Florida leads in shots 13-11; Weiss has three as does Timonen. Florida doing a good job, winning 57 percent of faceoffs so far.

Now, the second period...

SECOND PERIOD -- SECOND PERIOD -- SECOND PERIOD

--Also, Rangers and Montreal tied after one at the Garden...

BRETT MCLEAN MAKES IT 1-0...TAKES A NICE FEED FROM MICHAEL FROLIK AND DRILLS IT HOME...GOAL AT 4:30 OF THE SECOND PERIOD...

--Rangers now up 2-1...

--Panthers back on the power play...Darroll Powe to the box for slashing @ 8:28 of the second...FLA 0-for-1 on the PP

-- PHL going on the PP now after Dvorak gets hooked for hooking...penalty @ 12:12

THE FLYERS TIE IT UP, JOFFREY LUPUL KNOCKS IN WITH SKATE BUT DIDN'T KICK IT IN...AND IT'S 1-1 WITH 4:15 LEFT IN THE SECOND...

--Rangers beating Habs 3-1...

--Well, that's it for the second period...and we go to the third kind of like we went to the second. Tied. Only this time, it's 1-1 and not 0-0. Got it? Good...

THE GOLDIE REPORT (second intermission): The biggest 20 minutes in a decade are coming up for the Panthers. Who will come through and win them this game? They continue to get the chances, but Biron has made some good saves. On the Philly goal, the Panthers missed two chances to clear the zone and then made an error on icing the puck -- that lead to the goal. Florida's playing well enough to win this game and with the Rangers winning, these two points would really put the Panthers in a good spot. Tied with the Rangers, one back of Montreal. They may not win again this year. Play smart, and as always with the Panthers, someone needs to find the back of the net. As I said earlier, two goals may be good enough to win this game.

-- Thanks Goldie! Stats from the second period coming up soon...

--THIRD PERIOD -- THIRD PERIOD -- THIRD PERIOD

-- Shots: FLA 25-23

--FLA back on the PP..Jeff Carter in for slashing @ 2:00

--Florida still generating a lot of chances and Vokoun is getting lucky the Flyers aren't around some of these rebounds...

JEFF CARTER MAKES IT 2-1 FLYERS AS HE FIRES A SHOT FROM THE GOAL LINE, HITS VOKOUN'S LEG AND WATCHES IT GO THROUGH...CARTER'S 45TH OF THE YEAR COULD BE A KILLA FOR THE PANTHERS...WE'RE MIDWAY THROUGH THE THIRD...2-1 FLYERS

-- Well, that's that. The Panthers need a lot of help now. Three back of Montreal, two back of the Rangers. Florida needs to win its final two and hope like hell the Habs and/or Rangers crash.

Good luck.

Drive careful everyone, will check in later...


The Blame Game: Florida Panthers @ Philadelphia Flyers ... LIVE! Later

Television PHILADELPHIA -- Good afternoon kiddos, and greetings from the City of Brotherly Shove.

Folks up here are a bit upset with the Phillies after they opened their season with a loss to the Braves on Sunday.

The nerve of those defending world champions!

Big night at the Sportsplex tonight, what with the Panthers playing the Flyers and Game 2 of the 2009 baseball season going on next door at the Bank Ballpark.

Parking should be fun tonight.

Flyers are one point away from clinching a playoff spot and they are trying to move up in the world. Should be a good effort by the Broad Street Bullies tonight.

-- The game is being broadcast locally up here, so enjoy the Flyers feed back home. Fox Sports and Sunshine made the decision not to carry tonight's game in the Sunshine State because, well, the Panthers aren't all that important to them. After all, they're the ones who decided to only do 65 of the 82 games this year.

A lot going on, sure, but they made this decision a while ago. It was a gamble; after all, the Panthers have been out of contention by this point most years so I can see why they rolled the dice.

Full schedule on the Fox/Sun dial tonight with the Marlins, Heat and Lightning all taking up the space.

-- Better yet, the Panthers even got bounced from their radio home. If you tune in to 790 The Ticket tonight expecting to hear Randy Moller's goal calls, good luck. Maybe Marlins announcer Dave Van Horne will get into the act instead. Hanley Ramirez swings and hits a long drive to left..It's up, up and away! Make me a motorcycle, clown! It's a Marlins home run!

With the Marlins on 790 tonight, the Panthers move down the dial and take up residence on 640-AM.

-- The Panthers are having a watch party tonight at the two Carolina Ale House locations (Weston and Boynton Beach). The Flyers TV guys promise to send a shout out to all of you watching their feed.

If you go to Weston, ask for J.P. Good guy. He'll take care of ya as you watch the game.

-- Also, Quarterdeck at Sawgrass is expecting a good crowd for the game tonight. That's always a good option.

-- If you are stuck at home or like bringing your laptop to bars, tune back here tonight for another LIVE! edition of On Frozen Pond. We'll be eating popcorn, twittering, a whole bunch of stuff. Come on back now, ya hear?

Twitter On Frozen Pond

-- Speaking of scheduling conflicts, this one is a doozie: If the Panthers go deep into the playoffs, they may run into a scheduling snag as the arena will be hosting Cirque du Soleil from May 27-June 7.

If the Panthers make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, maybe they can play in Miami. Or they could set up the Orlando Arena for hockey. Hey, Tampa's rink will be open, maybe the Panthers could take up residence there?

-- Nothing much out of practice today. No changes to the lineup, no real, well, anything. Philly coach John Stevens says he expects his team to come out with focus and determination tonight saying they have to play like a desperate team too. They are counting on Florida coming out fast and hard. We'll see. Sometimes they do, many times they don't.

-- Monday's Games (and how they affected the Panthers): Buffalo loses to the Red Wings. The Sabrays still have a chance, but it's pretty slim (like me!). Also, Montreal got stung by Ottawa 3-2. Might make the Habs mad going into tonight's game. Which is pretty big too.

-- Tuesday's Games (and who the Panthers would be rooting for if they weren't so busy chowing down at Genos)

Canadiens @ Rangers, 7: Yeah, this is a big one. Rangers and Panthers are tied, so, thinking the Panthers are rooting on the Habs.

-- The Standings (presented by Sliders, just 771 feet from home plate at Camden Yards; courtesy of TSN.ca)

Eastern

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-Boston7851171011226018128-6-623-11-48-1-1Won 6
2y-Washington794823810426023429-9-319-14-56-2-2Won 1
3x-New Jersey794926410223720127-11-122-15-33-6-1Won 2
4Philadelphia784225119525522923-12-419-13-75-4-1Lost 1
5x-Carolina79442879522721825-13-119-15-68-1-1Won 8
6Pittsburgh79422899324923324-13-318-15-66-2-2Lost 2
7Montreal794128109224323624-9-717-19-35-3-2Lost 1
8NY Rangers79403098920121324-11-416-19-55-4-1Lost 2
 
9Florida793929118922322321-12-718-17-45-4-1Won 1
10Buffalo79383298523623122-15-316-17-64-5-1Lost 2
11Ottawa793534108021022721-12-614-22-46-4-0Won 2
12Toronto793234137724028715-15-917-19-45-5-0Lost 2
13Atlanta79343967424727117-19-217-20-46-4-0Lost 1
14Tampa Bay792437186620226312-16-1112-21-71-5-4Lost 6
15NY Islanders78264396119625517-16-69-27-33-6-1Won 1
 

Western

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-San Jose7952161111525219631-4-421-12-77-2-1Won 1
2y-Detroit795119911129023327-8-424-11-56-4-0Won 2
3x-Calgary79452869624823826-10-419-18-25-5-0Won 1
4x-Chicago784324119725020823-9-720-15-46-2-2Won 3
5x-Vancouver794227109424021922-12-520-15-55-4-1Lost 3
6Columbus794029109021821825-12-315-17-74-2-4Lost 2
7Anaheim80413368823723019-18-322-15-38-2-0Lost 1
8Nashville79393288620321824-12-415-20-45-2-3Won 1
 
9St. Louis793831108622423122-13-516-18-56-2-2Lost 1
10Minnesota79373398320219221-11-716-22-25-4-1Lost 1
11Edmonton79373398322724117-16-620-17-34-6-0Won 1
12Dallas793534108022324820-16-515-18-52-6-2Won 1
13Phoenix79343877519824222-14-312-24-46-3-1Lost 1
14Los Angeles793236117520122917-15-815-21-33-6-1Lost 1
15Colorado78324426619725118-20-014-24-22-7-1Won 1

April 06, 2009

Tomas Vokoun Backs Up Anderson

Vokoun3 TERMINAL 3, FORT LAUDERDALE'S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT NEAR HOLLYWOOD BUT POSSIBLY IN DANIA BEACH -- Didn't get this into my story last night, and since I have the day off today, thought I would share this: I spoke to Tomas Vokoun after the game yesterday, and the first thing I asked was how it felt to be back in there.

Vokoun, you might remember, was replaced in net after giving up three goals in the third period of a loss to Buffalo and sat the following four games.

''It's always tough when you don't play, especially at a time like this,'' he said. ''You want to play. Andy did a great job.''

Then he went on to praise his backup, saying ''hockey isn't fair.''

What do you mean Tomas?

''Andy didn't deserve to come out,'' Vokoun said, alluding to Florida's 3-1 loss to Atlanta on Friday. ''We didn't score any goals and we lost.''

That's pretty strong right there kids. And that sounds like a pretty good team player to me.

-- Pete DeBoer on Florida's playoff chances: ''Do I think if we win the next three games will we be in the playoffs? Yes I do.''

-- Also forgot to give props yesterday to Nathan Horton for somehow saving that puck to keep the Panthers in the Penguins zone right before David Booth scored to make it 3-1. That was a big-time hustle play by Nate.

-- Sunday's Games (and how they affected the Panthers): Florida beating the Pens was huge. H-U-G-E. Big games tomorrow.

-- Monday's Games (and who the Panthers would be rooting for if they weren't so busy ringing that Liberty Bell)

Red Wings @ Sabres, 7: Buffalo still has an outside chance to catching the Rangers/Panthers. So, Belle Tire!

Senators @ Canadiens, 7:30: Panthers root against Habs tonight, then root for them tomorrow. Tough back-to-back for the Habs.

-- The Standings (presented by the Camden Club at Camden Yards and Nacho Mama's on the Square; courtesy of TSN.ca)

Eastern

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-Boston7851171011226018128-6-623-11-48-1-1Won 6
2y-Washington794823810426023429-9-319-14-56-2-2Won 1
3x-New Jersey794926410223720127-11-122-15-33-6-1Won 2
4Philadelphia784225119525522923-12-419-13-75-4-1Lost 1
5x-Carolina79442879522721825-13-119-15-68-1-1Won 8
6Pittsburgh79422899324923324-13-318-15-66-2-2Lost 2
7Montreal784127109224123324-8-717-19-35-3-2Won 3
8NY Rangers79403098920121324-11-416-19-55-4-1Lost 2
 
9Florida793929118922322321-12-718-17-45-4-1Won 1
10Buffalo78383198523522722-14-316-17-64-4-2Lost 1
11Ottawa783434107820722521-12-613-22-46-4-0Won 1
12Toronto793234137724028715-15-917-19-45-5-0Lost 2
13Atlanta79343967424727117-19-217-20-46-4-0Lost 1
14Tampa Bay792437186620226312-16-1112-21-71-5-4Lost 6
15NY Islanders78264396119625517-16-69-27-33-6-1Won 1
 

Western

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-San Jose7952161111525219631-4-421-12-77-2-1Won 1
2y-Detroit785019910928623227-8-423-11-56-4-0Won 1
3x-Calgary78442869424423725-10-419-18-24-6-0Lost 1
4x-Chicago784324119725020823-9-720-15-46-2-2Won 3
5x-Vancouver794227109424021922-12-520-15-55-4-1Lost 3
6Columbus794029109021821825-12-315-17-74-2-4Lost 2
7Anaheim80413368823723019-18-322-15-38-2-0Lost 1
8Nashville79393288620321824-12-415-20-45-2-3Won 1
 
9St. Louis793831108622423122-13-516-18-56-2-2Lost 1
10Minnesota79373398320219221-11-716-22-25-4-1Lost 1
11Edmonton79373398322724117-16-620-17-34-6-0Won 1
12Dallas793534108022324820-16-515-18-52-6-2Won 1
13Los Angeles783235117520022517-15-815-20-33-6-1Won 1
14Phoenix79343877519824222-14-312-24-46-3-1Lost 1
15Colorado78324426619725118-20-014-24-22-7-1Won 1

April 05, 2009

Potential Postseason Panthers Schedule

Here's what I'm hearing for the potential first round against Boston: G1 @ Bos: Thurs., Ap. 16 G2 @ Bos: Sat., Ap. 18 G3 @ Fla/NY: Mon. Ap. 20 G4 @ Fla/NY: Weds. Ap 22 G5*@ Bos: Fri. Ap 24 G6*@ Fla/NY: Sun Ap 27 G7*@Bos: Tues. Ap 29

Pittsburgh Postscripts

Pantherscore Your final from Sunrise: Florida 4, Pittsburgh 2.

Here's some bonus stuff for ya on a Sunday night while you're watching Cold Case.

KEITH BALLARD

On Sidney Crosby:

Usually after something like that you have to expect that someone is coming. He kind of just came to me, so I got my gloves off quick. I think it's a clean hit, I don't know if they do or not. But that's part of it.

They were on the power play, so they didn't have a bunch of tough guys out there. I expected someone to come, I didn't know who it would be. He's their captain and he understands that no matter who it is, you have to do something. He's an intense player, competitive. At that point of the game, that was pretty much the right thing to do.

DAVID BOOTH

On Ballard's hit:

That Ballard hit really changed the momentum, we were getting outshot pretty bad there. That got the crowd really going especially on a big, star player like Malkin. They're probably the best two players in the league so when they're on the ice together it's really tough. For Ballard to take out both Malkin and Crosby on the same shift, that's pretty cool.

On Crosby:

He's frustrated. When you hit, get physical, it gets under your skin. It got under his skin. Everyone. That was big. I think everyone knows who Crosby is, so that fight boosted the crowd up.

You respect players out there, but Ballard made a big hit out there and he was sticking up for his teammate. At least he challenged him and didn't sucker him like he did McLean the last time. That was kind of cool.

On the crowd:

''It was awesome.That's what you feed off of, especially at this time of the year. We only have one home game left and it's kind of cool we ended that way. I remember going into Washington last year and that was probably the craziest crowd I've ever been a part of. I hope it's like that Saturday.''


LIVE! Sunny Sunday in Sunrise ... Pittsburgh Penguins 2 @ Florida Panthers 4 (FINAL) ... Rostislav Olesz, Bryan McCabe, David Booth, Ville Peltonen (FLA); Pascal Dupuis, Mark Eaton (PIT) ... Sid the Kid don't like Cats

Blimpstorm It's a beautiful day for hockey in South Florida, with the Goodyear blimp floating above the Billboard sending down those picturesque shots on the sun-splashed area to both Fox Florida and Pittsburgh.

Yes, it's a big game, but if you decided to stay at the beach and catch the game from a bar stool at Elbo Room, well, we here at On Frozen Pond do understand.

The Penguins are a win away from a spot in the playoffs and they are going for it. Marc-Andre Fluery will be in net for the Pens today despite playing in Carolina less than 24 hours ago.

Florida counters with Tomas Vokoun, who unlike Fluery, is well rested.

-- Starting to gather some steam on this Twitter thing. So keep visiting. We'll see how it goes through this week, but all the cool kids are doing it so I may keep it up.

https://twitter.com/OnFrozenPond

-- Atlanta is keeping it going and, well, good for them. They were left for dead a long time ago and they are definitely playing until the whistle. Thrash leads Caps 3-2 after two periods.

--David Booth is named the team's MVP for the month of March...not a very good month to be named an MVP of. Panthers were 7-5-3, worst record since November.

Enrico -- Graham Fandrei ties personal record with another 1:45 national anthem. And I really love the arm in the air thing at the end. No, I do. Really.

--GAME ON .. GAME ON

Virgintoast ROSTISLAV OLESZ PICKS OFF THE PUCK AND BEATS FLUERY IN A HURRY....I WANT SOME FRENCH TOAST! PANTHERS LEAD 1-0 LESS THAN TWO MINUTES IN...

WE'RE ALL TIED UP...KARLIS SKRASTINS GIVES UP PICK IN FRONT OF THE NET AND PASCAL DUPUIS KNOCKS IT PAST TOMAS VOKOUN AT 6:08 OF THE FIRST...IT'S 1-1...

-- Pens outshooting the Panthers 9-2 almost midway through the first...

-- 4:53 left in the first, shots a touch on the lopsided side of things: Pitt 18-3..

-- Ville Peltonen to the box, first PP of the day...comes with 3:16 left...shots 18-4

-- Malkin just got leveled by Keith Ballard, and Sidney comes to his defense and the boys threw...fun, fun stuff...this just after Stephen Weiss got stopped on a shorthanded breakaway...

Crosby picks up the penalty....4/4 for the next 33 seconds...then FLA on PP for 1:27...this place is ROCKING...

-- Scratch that..Boynton just went to the box so no PP chance for FLA..

-- BRYAN MCCABE CHARGES INTO THE FRAY, SHOOTS AND SCORES! YOU SANDBAGGING SON OF A GUN....THE PANTHERS TAKE A 2-1 LEAD AS MCCABE SCORES WITH 19 SECONDS LEFT IN THE PERIOD...

End of 1...Panthers lead despite being outshot 19-7..

Second period back on, Panthers still not getting off many shots against the Pens...shots now with 15:10 left in the second: 22-9

-- Still a 2-1 game...9:33 left in the second...Shots: 25-10

-- They are now tossing burritos into the stands..this could get messy..and potentially stinky...

-- Panthers on the PP for the first time today...Brooks Orpik to the box for hooking @ 16:03...shots: 28-14

-- Panthers get nothing on that PP, so they'll try it again...Jordan Staal to the box with 46.7 seconds left in the period...

-- ON A DELAYED PENALTY, DAVID BOOTH MAKES IT 3-1...

What a way for the Panthers to end that period...charging hard, the Panthers are able to keep the puck in the PIT zone with Vokoun off and six skaters on. Sure, 6-on-4 isn't fair, but whatever. Also, Florida goes into the third on the power play...

But we've seen this before. Got Steve X. texting me from Detroit Rock City wondering if Florida can hold on to a 'cursed' 3-1 lead. I have no clue. Bet this though: The Pens are going to come fast and they're going to come hard here in the third.

Buckle up, buttercup....

THIRD PERIOD -- THIRD PERIOD -- THIRD PERIOD 

-- Shots heading into the period: 29-18

-- Power play for 1:48...

-- Taking a television timeout with 8:47 left...still 3-1...shots: 34-25...Panthers doing a real good job of keeping the puck in the PIT zone, but the Pens have had some chances. Panthers too...Pens are looking a bit haggard though...that back-to-back might be getting to them a bit...

Pens when trailing going into the third: A very respectable and pretty impressive 11-20-2. Florida, in same scenario: 3-22-5.

-- This could be big trouble: Radek Dvorak goes in @ 11:33 for high-sticking Kris Letang...cut him, too...that's four minutes hon....

--PENS CUT IT TO 3-2...PP GOAL, MARK EATON FROM 25 FEET OUT...GOAL COMES WITH 1:26 LEFT IN THE PP, 5:54 LEFT IN REGULATION...

VILLE PELTONEN WORKS THE PUCK AROUND THE NET AND GETS IT PAST FLUERY...COMES WITH 4:04 LEFT AND IT'S A DOOZIE FOLKS....FLORIDA LEADS 4-2...

-- Toss those rats, its over...see you all later...

Technically, It's Sunday: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Florida Panthers ... New York, New York ... Scoreboard Watch, Family Guy and the Standings

Penssign2

Getting an early start on Sunday because I can't sleep.

Since it is after midnight, it is Sunday. So here's Sunday's pregame post written while watching Hockey Night In Canada After Hours, live from the inner bowl of Edmonton's Rexall Place.

Hey, there's the Coke machine that stole my loonie!

-- Well, the Rangers did the Panthers a huge favor on Saturday by losing to Boston. Loved seeing Tim Thomas charge Sean Avery after he ''accidentally'' popped the Bruins goalie in the head as he skated by during a television timeout.

Avery went to the box (and seemed to be pouting as if he shouldn't have been sent there) and the punch less Rangers got shutout.

The Rangers, it should be noted, still control their own destiny and make it to the big dance with wins in their final three no matter what the Panthers do. Florida trails the Rangers by two points but really it's three; the Panthers would lose the first tiebreaker with the Rangers.

If Florida wins its final four games, those eight points equal 95 points. The Rangers could win their final three to get six points and 95 points. Then, the Panthers would be trying to pass Montreal. And that's a whole different pot of Tim Hortons.

So, not worrying about Montreal right now, lets look at what the Panthers need to do to knock out the Rangers.

Best scenario: Florida goes out and wins four straight games for the first time this season, end with 95 points and the Rangers lose one of their final three and only end up with 93/94 points.

Here are some other scenarios for the Florida endangered cats:

Remember, Rangers have three games left and 89 points; Florida has four games left and 87. Florida has to be one point ahead of New York by the end of next Sunday's Rangers-Flyers game from the Spectrum.

-- IF Florida goes 3-0-1 (94 points), Rangers can only go 2-1-0 (93). New York at 2-0-1 knocks out the Panthers.

-- IF Florida goes 3-1-0/2-0-2 (93 points), Rangers can go 1-0-2 (93) and make it. A record of 0-0-3 or 1-2 would not cut it.

-- IF Florida goes 2-2-0 (91 points), good luck. Rangers would have to go 0-2-1 (90) for Florida to beat them out.

-- How about 1-0-3 Mr. Richards? Well that's 92 points. Rangers could go 0-0-3 and make it in. And they would still have one more win to win the tiebreaker. So, Florida could still get in the playoffs with one win in these final four, but they would need three overtime losses and New York to go 0-1-2 or worse.

-- Of course, the Rangers could 0-3-0 in their final stretch and Florida would only need to come up with three points in the final four games. In that scenario, the Sabres are back in play and could leapfrog both teams.

One week left kids. One week left.

-- If Florida were to win its next three and New York lose its next two (with at least one in regulation), the Panthers would beat out the Rangers by Thursday night (but might still have to worry about Buffalo). In that scenario, Florida goes up to 93 points and the best the Rangers could do is 92.

That would mean a Florida win over Pitt, then road wins in Philly and Atlanta. Good luck with that one.

 Marlinsmets -- One thing the Panthers have going for them is that Miami Mojo.

The Marlins knocked the Mets out of the playoffs the past two seasons; this year, the Dolphins kPennington nocked out the Jets.

Could the Panthers make it a New York Trifecta?

We won't even get into the Knicks.

-- PS: Yanni is coming. Don't know if you heard. You may, however, have seen it somewhere. Especially if you drive on the Sawgrass. You wouldn't, however, know there might be a hockey game inside that big building.

-- Shameless plug for me: Trying out this Twitter thing. Don't know if I like it, sure don't know exactly what it does.

But follow along if you want; if you don't, I'll simply pull the plug. No problem with me. Also, fixed the link from before...

https://twitter.com/OnFrozenPond

-- Good night eh...

-- Saturday's Games (and how they affected the Panthers): Well, the Rangers losing was big. Panthers can pull into a tie for eighth with a win today over the Penguins. Florida also liked seeing Buffalo lose since they stay two points back in the race.

-- Sunday's Games (and who the Panthers would be rooting for if they weren't so busy watching a new episode of The Simpsons as well as a full hour of Family Guy)

Nothing of interest. Enjoy your cartoons fellas.

-- The Standings (presented by the Pittsburgh Pirates – who have been out of the postseason even longer than the Panthers; courtesy, as always, of TSN.ca. If they are wrong, don't blame me.)

Eastern

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-Boston7851171011226018128-6-623-11-48-1-1Won 6
2y-Washington784723810225423028-9-319-14-56-2-2Lost 1
3x-New Jersey794926410223720127-11-122-15-33-6-1Won 2
4Philadelphia784225119525522923-12-419-13-75-4-1Lost 1
5Carolina79442879522721825-13-119-15-68-1-1Won 8
6Pittsburgh78422799324722924-13-318-14-66-1-3Lost 1
7Montreal784127109224123324-8-717-19-35-3-2Won 3
8NY Rangers79403098920121324-11-416-19-55-4-1Lost 2
 
9Florida783829118721922120-12-718-17-44-4-2Lost 1
10Buffalo78383198523522722-14-316-17-64-4-2Lost 1
11Ottawa783434107820722521-12-613-22-46-4-0Won 1
12Toronto793234137724028715-15-917-19-45-5-0Lost 2
13Atlanta78343867424326517-19-217-19-47-3-0Won 4
14Tampa Bay792437186620226312-16-1112-21-71-5-4Lost 6
15NY Islanders78264396119625517-16-69-27-33-6-1Won 1
 

Western

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-San Jose7851161111324919431-4-420-12-76-3-1Lost 1
2y-Detroit774919910728323026-8-423-11-55-4-1Lost 3
3x-Calgary78442869424423725-10-419-18-24-6-0Lost 1
4x-Chicago774224119524920823-9-719-15-45-3-2Won 2
5x-Vancouver784226109423921522-11-520-15-56-3-1Lost 2
6Columbus78402998921821725-12-215-17-75-2-3Lost 1
7Anaheim79413268823522719-17-322-15-39-1-0Won 4
8Nashville79393288620321824-12-415-20-45-2-3Won 1
 
9St. Louis793831108622423122-13-516-18-56-2-2Lost 1
10Minnesota78373298320018921-11-716-21-25-4-1Won 1
11Edmonton79373398322724117-16-620-17-34-6-0Won 1
12Dallas793534108022324820-16-515-18-52-6-2Won 1
13Phoenix78343777519723622-14-312-23-46-3-1Won 3
14Los Angeles773135117319422416-15-815-20-32-6-2Lost 3
15Colorado77314426419325018-20-013-24-22-7-1Lost 8


April 04, 2009

Jacques Martin in Trouble? Um, No

Jacques2 Our good friends from Canada continue to speculate that Jacques Martin is in danger of losing his job as general manager of the Florida Panthers.

Their theory: Owner Alan Cohen is upset that JM the GM didn't get anything good for Jay Bouwmeester at the trade deadline. Because of that, if the Panthers don't make the playoffs, Florida could be looking for a new GM.

Baloney.

Yes, I'm sure Alan Cohen doesn't like to think about another playoff-less spring here in west Broward County, but he has told me on numerous occasions that he likes what he sees in the direction the franchise is taking. Sure, they are baby-step small, but they are forward steps regardless.

And he never has anything bad to say about Jacques Martin. Mr. Cohen says he feels secure in knowing that JM is running the hockey side of things, and respects his opinions on this game.

Did JM err in not trading Jay? Yes. Would trading Jay have been a mistake? Probably.

JM and the Panthers were in a no-win situation at the trade deadline. JM was in the worst position of any of his peers and he did what he thought was right at the time. No deal blew him away, so he stood pat and decided to go forward with a team that was looking pretty good in the playoff race.

Did he know Jay and the Panthers would tank in the following 10 games after the deadline? He surely did not. If he did, things would most definitely have been different. Note, I do think Jay and the Panthers have turned things around despite Friday's result, although that 10 game stretch may turn out to be a killer.

And, one might want to know, Alan Cohen was pretty happy Jay stuck around. This team still has a good chance of making the playoffs this season. Let's just wait before we start digging those graves, eh?

-- You all doing the technology thing? I'm going to give twitter a try. Give me a shout. Or whatever twitter does.

https://twitter.com/OnFrozenPond

New Lines in Coral Springs ... Tomas Vokoun IN ... The Rangers Lose ... Scoreboard Watching on a Saturday ... Scores, Standings

Truck2With the Panthers desperate for some offense after scoring just one goal Friday night in a loss to Atlanta, coach Pete DeBoer mixed things up today in practice at Incredible Ice.

DeBo says he's trying to find some new combinations and he hopes this gives Florida a spark Sunday against the Penguins.

New Lines:

Radek Dvorak-Stephen Weiss-Cory Stillman

David Booth-Nathan Horton-Richard Zednik

Rostislav Olesz-Gregory Campbell-Ville Peltonen

Brett McLean-Kamil Kreps-Michael Frolik

-- Biggest news of the day is the return of one Tomas Vokoun to the pipes tomorrow. Vokoun has sat out the past four games, with Craig Anderson sparking the Panthers to three wins. DeBo says Anderson didn't lose the gig last night, and thought he played well. But, Vokoun ''is our money guy.''

My thought: Good move. You have to put Vokoun in right now, although there could really be an argument made to keep Anderson in there. But Vokoun deserves the shot, and he's played well against the Pens in the past.

DeBo said historical performance has little to do with the decision. Perhaps all this rest was nothing but good for Vokoun. We'll sure find out.

-- Not a whole lot else. Oh, the lights went out at II and the Panthers never skipped a beat. It felt very cozy in there with only the emergency lights on.

-- Friday's Games (and how they affected the Panthers): Buffalo wins, now two back of Los Panteros. Bad loss for the Cats, bad loss.

Sabado -- Saturday's Games (and who the Panthers would be rooting for if they weren't so busy watching Sabado Gigante)

@ Bruins 1, Rangers 0: Another big loss for the Blueshirts. Rangers have dropped two straight, scoring two goals in the process. Florida still trails by two, but has one game in hand but two fewer losses. Again, Friday night's loss was huge. Panthers with a win would be tied in points with a game in hand.

Devils @ Sabres, 7: Sabres probably get two and even things withFlorida as the Devils have hit a real rough patch. Panthers hope NJs wake up tonight.

Penguins @ Hurricanes, 7: Doesn't really matter to Panthers, but they sure would love to see this one go deep into a shootout. Pens are here tomorrow at 5.

Canadiens @ Maple Leafs, 7: Canadiens are probably too far gone, but one never knows.

-- The Standings (presented by the NCAA Final Four and courtesy of TSN.ca. Does not include Rangers/Boston game from earlier today.)

Eastern

Rank Team GP W L OT PTS GF GA Home Away Last 10 Streak
1 y-Boston 77 50 17 10 110 259 181 27-6-6 23-11-4 7-2-1 Won 5
2 y-Washington 78 47 23 8 102 254 230 28-9-3 19-14-5 6-2-2 Lost 1
3 x-New Jersey 78 48 26 4 100 234 199 27-11-1 21-15-3 3-6-1 Won 1
4 Philadelphia 77 42 25 10 94 252 225 23-12-4 19-13-6 5-5-0 Won 1
5 Carolina 78 43 28 7 93 224 216 24-13-1 19-15-6 7-1-2 Won 7
6 Pittsburgh 77 42 27 8 92 245 226 24-13-3 18-14-5 7-1-2 Won 3
7 Montreal 77 40 27 10 90 235 231 24-8-7 16-19-3 4-3-3 Won 2
8 NY Rangers 78 40 29 9 89 201 212 24-11-4 16-18-5 5-4-1 Lost 1
 
9 Florida 78 38 29 11 87 219 221 20-12-7 18-17-4 4-4-2 Lost 1
10 Buffalo 77 38 30 9 85 233 224 22-13-3 16-17-6 5-3-2 Won 1
11 Toronto 78 32 33 13 77 238 281 15-14-9 17-19-4 5-5-0 Lost 1
12 Ottawa 77 33 34 10 76 203 222 20-12-6 13-22-4 6-4-0 Lost 2
13 Atlanta 78 34 38 6 74 243 265 17-19-2 17-19-4 7-3-0 Won 4
14 Tampa Bay 78 24 36 18 66 201 260 12-16-11 12-20-7 2-4-4 Lost 5
15 NY Islanders 77 25 43 9 59 193 254 16-16-6 9-27-3 3-6-1 Lost 3
 

Western

Rank Team GP W L OT PTS GF GA Home Away Last 10 Streak
1 y-San Jose 77 51 15 11 113 247 189 31-3-4 20-12-7 7-2-1 Won 3
2 y-Detroit 77 49 19 9 107 283 230 26-8-4 23-11-5 5-4-1 Lost 3
3 x-Vancouver 77 42 25 10 94 236 210 22-11-5 20-14-5 7-2-1 Lost 1
4 x-Chicago 77 42 24 11 95 249 208 23-9-7 19-15-4 5-3-2 Won 2
5 x-Calgary 78 44 28 6 94 244 237 25-10-4 19-18-2 4-6-0 Lost 1
6 Columbus 77 40 29 8 88 214 212 25-12-2 15-17-6 6-2-2 Won 1
7 Anaheim 78 40 32 6 86 230 225 19-17-3 21-15-3 8-2-0 Won 3
8 St. Louis 78 38 31 9 85 220 226 22-13-5 16-18-4 7-2-1 Won 1
 
9 Nashville 78 38 32 8 84 198 214 23-12-4 15-20-4 5-2-3 Lost 2
10 Minnesota 78 37 32 9 83 200 189 21-11-7 16-21-2 5-4-1 Won 1
11 Edmonton 78 36 33 9 81 222 238 16-16-6 20-17-3 4-6-0 Lost 3
12 Dallas 78 34 34 10 78 218 244 19-16-5 15-18-5 2-6-2 Lost 1
13 Phoenix 78 34 37 7 75 197 236 22-14-3 12-23-4 6-3-1 Won 3
14 Los Angeles 77 31 35 11 73 194 224 16-15-8 15-20-3 2-6-2 Lost 3
15 Colorado 77 31 44 2 64 193 250 18-20-0 13-24-2 2-7-1 Lost 8

April 03, 2009

LIVE! Friday Night in Sunrise: Atlanta Thrashers 3 @ Florida Panthers 1 (FINAL) ... Now, With More Goldie! ... Gregory Campbell (FLA); Rich Peverley - 2; Todd White (ATL)

Foxnews Good evening and greetings from atop the Billboard here in Sunrise, the place where the sun meets the ice.

The Panthers play the Thrashers twice in the coming week, Florida playing host to the Atlantians tonight and then traveling to the 'ATL' next Thursday.

Looking forward to that off day in Atlanta next week. Hope to go to the Fox News Tower and take the Fox News tour. I hear it's pretty cool. I've never been in a newsroom before.

-- Will have the starting lineups when they are made available to us, but expect the CPR Line to get the nod for the homestanding Panteros. I asked Pete DeBoer today about there being a concern that those three are just whipped right now, and he said no; with the team rolling out four lines, everyone should have fresh legs.

Only Gregory Campbell, Ville Peltonen and Radek Dvorak are all logging big-time minutes and with the exception of Campbell, are doing so with some serious miles on those skates. They are also three of the team's best penalty killers and usually match up with the opposition's top line.

DeBo says he's been encouraged by the way that trio is playing, saying they are still creating a lot of chances (agree with him there) and don't seem to be slowed despite the heavy workload. We'll see. I was just wondering, at least offensively, that well has been pumped dry.

Birthdaymouse -- A special birthday greeting goes out to South Florida's favorite No. 9: Stephen Weiss. Robert Marve once wore No. 9 for the Hurricanes, but he's gone.

We'd give Weiss the nickname 'Niner,' but Jeff Conine would probably object. Or not care at all.

-- Keeping with the Georgia theme: Pregame music sounds a little bit country, not much rock n' roll.

-- By the way, the Iron Maiden fans left the arena in quite a mess. Came in this morning and there was sticky stuff all over the floor in the lower bowl, with a lot of food containers and stuff behind the goal. Hope they cleaned it up by now. Don't want any four-legged friends paying a visit during the game. Unless they are rubber and being tossed onto the ice.

-- CPR Line getting the start as expected; Craig Anderson in net; Bouwmeester and Skrastins on D to start things off. ATL throwing Johan Hedberg...

-- As usual, On Frozen Pond offers you 100 percent more Steve Goldstein than those other hockey blogs...

Goldie --THE BONUS GOLDIE PREGAME REPORT: The gameplan is to give Atlanta no hope early in the game. They have offensive talent and they have beaten teams who are in the playoff race lately. I'm looking for a strong start, heavy on the forecheck and hopefully draw some penalties and continue the superb power play. See you at the intermission Panther fans!

-- Thanks Goldie...

-- GAME ON -- GAME ON -- GAME ON

-- Good opening shift by the CPR crew...worked it in deep...keep checking back..

--So far, a good opening period on both sides of the ice. Panthers getting a lot of chances, ATL putting some early pressure on Anderson. 10:38 left and shots 7-6 ATL...

-- Lot of good chances on both ends, but it's time for an intermission. FLA and ATL scoreless through 20 in Sunrise...

Goldiecuba GOLDIE REPORT, FIRST INTERMISSION: That was an exciting 20 minutes to watch with quality scoring chances both ways. Especially for the Panthers -- including getting the one goal from Michael Frolik disallowed on a high stick.

The Panthers are doing exactly what they need to go on the forecheck -- and they are getting some huge stops from Craig Anderson. Offensively,if the Panthers keep this up, you have to figure they'll break through Hedberg.

Most impressive has been Anderson. He's cool, calm and in position on every ATL scoring opportunity. Panthers have also really tightened up the defense in the final 10 minutes of the first.

-- Atlanta gets the first goal of the night, Rich Peverley beating Craig Anderson, it's 1-0 Thrashers...Goal at 2:23...

Airplane7 AND THE PANTHERS TIE THE SCORE...GREGORY CAMPBELL SHOOTS AND SCORES... ELAINE, YOU'RE A MEMBER OF THIS CREW..CAN YOU FACE SOME UNPLEASANT FACTS? IT'S 1-1...

-- Panthers back on the power play, Nate Oystrick for holding the stick at 10:30...

-- PS: The CPR Line started the game, but after the first shift, Kamil Kreps was put at center replacing Campbell...

-- And that's two complete here in Sunrise...FLA 1, ATL 1

-- THE GOLDIE REPORT (AFTER TWO):  If the Panthers don't win this one, it won't be because of a lack of scoring chances. Nathan Horton has had numerous opportunities, Richard Zednik had a breakaway but the Panthers are having troubling finishing tonight. Overall, Anderson is strong again and the Panthers did a better job in the second in front of him on defense. Disappointment on the two power plays after being so good on the power play the past few games. But, this is clearly now a game the Panthers should win. They need it more. They need to show that in the third.

-- In the third, 13:03 left...shots: FLA 31-30...

ATLANTA RETAKES THE LEAD AS PEVERLEY SCORES HIS SECOND AT 11:06 OF THE THIRD...ATL 2, FLA 1....

-- Atlanta later adds an almost-empty net goal as Craig Anderson retreats and doesn't quite make it to the bench. He gives it the old college try, but it's good and the Thrashers go on to beat the Panthers 3-1.

Bad loss for the Panthers who now need the Rangers to completely collapse. Could happen, but, good luck with that.

The Boys Are Thirsty In Atlanta: Thrashers @ Florida Panthers ... LIVE! Later ... Same Lineup ... Scoreboard, Standings

Thrashboard Today's post is a little late because I had some errands to run. Then I started watching Superbad. So, there you go.

Nice, easy practice at the Billboard today, and like I've said before, not much going on. Winning means no changes, no controversy, not much news.

Pete DeBoer talked today about how the coaching staff doesn't need to pull out any rah-rah speeches at this time of year, and that the room kind of takes care of itself.

Asked if he's leaning on the veteran guys anymore than usual, and he said not really. He did stress that the ''guys who have been here'' really bring an even keel to the room. Good not to get too high, nor too low.

Someone asked how big the win in Philadelphia was, and well, you can guess what DeBo had to say about that. It may have only saved the season, that's all.

Didn't speak to too many players today because, well, there weren't many of them around. Did talk to Cory Stillman about his favorite Stanley Cup memory, but you'll have to wait until Sunday for that. Was pretty good.

-- Since tonight's game isn't on local tv (on on Center Ice and various streaming internet channels) I'll be going LIVE! from the Billboard tonight.

-- Thursday's Games (and how they affected the Panthers): Florida got a big jolt when Carolina scored twice within 30 seconds to beat the Rangers. Florida got no help from their friends on the Island and Montreal rolled the Isles.

-- Friday's Games (and who the Panthers would be rooting for if they weren't so busy watching last night's ER finale)

Sabres @ Capitals, 7: Buffalo is behind the Panthers, and Florida would like to keep it that way.

-- The Standings (brought to you by The Varsity and courtesy of TSN.ca/nhl)

Eastern

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-Boston7750171011025918127-6-623-11-47-2-1Won 5
2x-Washington774723710125022528-9-219-14-57-2-1Won 2
3x-New Jersey77472649822919526-11-121-15-33-6-1Lost 6
4Carolina78432879322421624-13-119-15-67-1-2Won 7
5Philadelphia764125109224422022-12-419-13-65-5-0Lost 2
6Pittsburgh77422789224522624-13-318-14-57-1-2Won 3
7Montreal774027109023523124-8-716-19-34-3-3Won 2
8NY Rangers78402998920121224-11-416-18-55-4-1Lost 1
 
9Florida773828118721821820-11-718-17-44-4-2Won 3
10Buffalo76373098322822022-13-315-17-64-4-2Lost 1
11Toronto773232137723327315-14-917-18-46-4-0Won 1
12Ottawa773334107620322220-12-613-22-46-4-0Lost 2
13Atlanta77333867224026417-19-216-19-47-3-0Won 3
14Tampa Bay772436176519725512-16-1112-20-63-4-3Lost 4
15NY Islanders77254395919325416-16-69-27-33-6-1Lost 3
 

Western

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-San Jose7751151111324718931-3-420-12-77-2-1Won 3
2y-Detroit774919910728323026-8-423-11-55-4-1Lost 3
3x-Calgary77442769424423325-10-419-17-25-5-0Won 1
4x-Vancouver774225109423621022-11-520-14-57-2-1Lost 1
5Chicago764124119324620722-9-719-15-44-4-2Won 1
6Columbus77402988821421225-12-215-17-66-2-2Won 1
7Anaheim78403268623022519-17-321-15-38-2-0Won 3
8St. Louis78383198522022622-13-516-18-47-2-1Won 1
 
9Nashville77383188419721123-12-415-19-45-2-3Lost 1
10Minnesota77363298119618920-11-716-21-24-4-2Lost 1
11Edmonton78363398122223816-16-620-17-34-6-0Lost 3
12Dallas783434107821824419-16-515-18-52-6-2Lost 1
13Phoenix78343777519723622-14-312-23-46-3-1Won 3
14Los Angeles773135117319422416-15-815-20-32-6-2Lost 3
15Colorado77314426419325018-20-013-24-22-7-1Lost 8

April 02, 2009

The Countdown is On ... Lineup Remains the Same ... Friday: Atlanta Thrashers @ Florida Panthers

Finishline Well, the countdown has begun.

The Florida Panthers have five games left in this regular season and remain one point out of the playoffs.

Coach Pete DeBoer said today that nothing is changing in the lineup (shocking) as Florida prepares to play Atlanta on Friday night at the Billboard.

The 'lowly' Thrashers have won three straight and may have ended Buffalo's postseason bid on Wednesday. Panthers swear they are not taking the Thrash lightly. And they better not.

-- Doing a story for tomorrow's Miami Herald on the race to the finish. Spoke to a number of players about this, and they all seem to have their eyes on the prize. They aren't looking ahead; only looking at Atlanta. They can worry about the Penguins later.

-- Bad news in Tampa as Vinny Lecavalier will miss the rest of the season as he undergoes wrist surgery on Friday in Philly. Bad end to a bad season on the Bay. The three Bs. Could be a new slogan for the Bolts.

-- Looking Ahead

The Road to the Playoffs

No. 6 Carolina 91 (plays Rangers tonight)

Five remaining (four home, one away)

Playoff teams remaining*: Four

Vs. Rangers; Vs. Pittsburgh; Vs. Islanders; Vs. Buffalo; At New Jersey


No. 7 Rangers 89 (plays Carolina tonight)

Five remaining (two home, three away)

Playoff teams remaining: Five

At Carolina; At Boston; Vs. Montreal; Vs. Philadelphia; At Philadelphia


No. 8 Montreal 88 (plays Islanders tonight)

Six remaining (two home, four away)

Playoff teams remaining: Three

At Islanders; At Toronto; Vs. Ottawa; At Rangers; At Boston; Vs. Pittsburgh


No. 9 Florida 87

Five remaining (three home, two away)

Playoff teams remaining: Three

Vs. Atlanta; Vs. Pittsburgh; At Philadelphia; At Atlanta; Vs. Washington


No. 10 Buffalo 83

Six remaining (three home, three away)

Playoff teams remaining: Five

At Washington; Vs. New Jersey; Vs. Detroit; At Toronto; At Carolina; Vs. Boston

(*) -- Teams within seven points of a playoff spot.

-- Wednesday's Game (and how it affected the Panthers): Buffalo losing to Atlanta means the Sabres get one point, but need much more at this point of the deal. Sabrays four points behind Florida, five behind Montreal.

-- Thursday's Games (and who the Panthers would be rooting for if they weren't so busy watching The Office)

Rangers @ Carolina, 7: Florida really needs a Carolina win here. Rangers lead Florida by two points. Panthers would like to keep it at two.

Canadiens @ Islanders, 7: Well, crazier things have happened on the Island.

-- The Standings (presented by Pepsi-Cola and courtesy of TSN.ca)

Eastern

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-Boston7649171010825718026-6-623-11-46-3-1Won 4
2x-Washington774723710125022528-9-219-14-57-2-1Won 2
3x-New Jersey77472649822919526-11-121-15-33-6-1Lost 6
4Philadelphia764125109224422022-12-419-13-65-5-0Lost 2
5Pittsburgh77422789224522624-13-318-14-57-1-2Won 3
6Carolina77422879122021423-13-119-15-67-1-2Won 6
7NY Rangers77402898919920824-11-416-17-56-3-1Won 1
8Montreal763927108823023024-8-715-19-34-3-3Won 1
 
9Florida773828118721821820-11-718-17-44-4-2Won 3
10Buffalo76373098322822022-13-315-17-64-4-2Lost 1
11Toronto773232137723327315-14-917-18-46-4-0Won 1
12Ottawa763333107620222020-12-613-21-46-4-0Lost 1
13Atlanta77333867224026417-19-216-19-47-3-0Won 3
14Tampa Bay772436176519725512-16-1112-20-63-4-3Lost 4
15NY Islanders76254295919224916-15-69-27-33-5-2Lost 2
 

Western

RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1y-San Jose7650151111124518831-3-419-12-77-2-1Won 2
2y-Detroit764918910727922526-7-423-11-56-3-1Lost 2
3Vancouver76422599323120422-11-420-14-58-2-0Won 3
4Chicago764124119324620722-9-719-15-44-4-2Won 1
5Calgary76432769224223225-10-418-17-24-6-0Lost 1
6Columbus77402988821421225-12-215-17-66-2-2Won 1
7Anaheim77393268422422019-17-320-15-38-2-0Won 2
8Nashville77383188419721123-12-415-19-45-2-3Lost 1
 
9St. Louis77373198321522222-13-515-18-46-3-1Lost 1
10Minnesota77363298119618920-11-716-21-24-4-2Lost 1
11Edmonton77363298122123616-15-620-17-34-5-1Lost 2
12Dallas773433107821724219-15-515-18-53-5-2Won 1
13Los Angeles763134117319322216-15-815-19-32-6-2Lost 2
14Phoenix77333777319523521-14-312-23-45-4-1Won 2
15Colorado77314426419325018-20-013-24-22-7-1Lost 8

April 01, 2009

Possible End of an Era: Last Day at Fort Lauderdale Stadium? ... Richard Zednik: Masterton Nominee

PIC-0064 Enjoying what could me my last day off for a while, and doing it at one of my all-time favorite places: Fort Lauderdale Stadium.

The Orioles have made this little gem of a park their spring home since 1996. I can't tell you how many games I've attended to over the years, from the Yankees to the Baby Yanks to high schools to the O's.

Heck, I even went to about 20 Fort Lauderdale Red Sox games that one year they were here.

I just hope today isn't my last game here at this park.

But I think it just may be.

Miami-stadium  Pompano South Florida is probably losing another tradition, that being spring training baseball. Used to have three teams train in Dade/Broward, but those days are long gone.

Just going to enjoy this day.

If this is it, this is it.

If it is, it's a damn shame.

-- Yes, that's Mickey Mantle in Fort Lauderdale. Doesn't look much different today than it did then.

Mantleftlaud As I said before: Damn.

-- Nothing exciting at Panthers camp today. Big news is that Richard Zednik is the Florida candidate for the Masterton Trophy.

Check out my story here.

-- Marlins lead the Orioles 4-1 in the bottom of the third. John 'Ponch' Baker and Hanley Ramirez had back-to-back doubles with Jorge Cantu homering to left-center. Game is on 790 The Ticket if you want to listen.

-- Even though some people don't think I like hockey, I was listening to the end of the Buffalo-Atlanta game on my way home. The ATL gets the overtime win and the Sabres are left gasping for postseason air.

Oriolescard And the Atlanta radio guy working the postgame show came thisclose to calling the Canadiens the Montreal Expos.

Hey, we've all been there.