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The Ice Is Gone: Close the Book on the 2008-09 Florida Panthers

Lastice Well, that didn't take long. In less than an hour, a work crew at dismantled the ice at the Billboard and the 2008-09 Florida Panthers season is officially a memory.

The Panthers won their finale here on Saturday, beating the Capitals 7-4. David Booth got two, Nick Tarnasky and Steve Eminger each getting their first goals as members of the Panthers.

''It's nice to go out on a winning streak that's for sure,'' said Stephen Weiss. ''There's not much we can do about the result now, but it was good to win.''

The Panthers will end up officially in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings, but with Montreal losing to Pittsburgh on Saturday, Florida and the Canadiens end with the same amount of points. If the Rangers lose in Philadelphia Sunday evening, Florida would also have the same number of points as the Rangers – meaning there could be a three-way tie for seventh.

The problem, however, is the first tiebreaker. Florida doesn't have as many victories as New York or Montreal, so the season is over. If the tiebreaker was head-to-head meetings, Florida would be in by virtue of beating the Rangers three of four times. Regulation wins would Lastice3 also work in Florida's favor. But alas, the current system didn't help the Panthers. And the Panthers really didn't help themselves.

"To miss on a technicality or by a point is something we have to live with," DeBoer said. "We made our own bed."

With the ice gone, there's no practice tomorrow.

Just kidding, there is.

No there's not.

All that's left now is the locker cleanout on Monday morning, with players holding individual meetings with Pete DeBoer and Jacques Martin throughouBelfour2 t that day. Then it's the player's party on South Beach (uh oh) on Tuesday and that will be that.

Been a good run, a fun run, but now it's a done run.

More later. But not tonight. Unless I think of something good.

Good night everyone.

Been fun hanging out with you this season.