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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.


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Habs lost, record tied, Panthers still in 9th

Thanks for the commentary this season George. We'll have to wait another year to see how you perform under playoff pressure. At least we'll get to see how Olli does.

Was the Herald going to run a special section or anything if the Cats made it in? I'm still holding out for conference standings in the print edition, next season?

Thanks again! Looking forward to your non-cat playoff commentary....

Go BU...is Martin looking at signing Matt Gilroy? I understand he is an UFA?

George, you are the best hockey media guy in South Fla. Thanks for the insight this year. I am getting Center ice next year, as I am not renewing my season tix while JM remains GM. But I'll have Center ice and your blog. Have a good offseason and keep us posted on Panthers acquisitions, etc.

Better get used to it, Bill. JM is here to stay and I love it!

hehe. good comment jj and good riddance, bill - the average hockey IQ in sunrise just shot up a few points.

I know that people don't always agree with JM and think he is a bad general manager, but he did make some key trades.

I think that PDB should have went with Anderson sooner than he did in the end run. We all knew that Vokoun couldn't stop a third period puck to save his life towards the end.

Jay is gone in July. It wouldn't shock me if he was looking at packing up his apartment now... Maybe he could use some of those "Panthers Promise" banners at the BankAtlantic Center to pad his breakable things... I wish I had purchased that package!!! We should probably wish him luck in his future endeavors and not hold our breath on any of our other defensemen except for McCabe.

We should keep Weiss, but Horton we can probably trade. He was lazy until February. And for gods sake, WHO thought we need Eminger?!?!?!?! He did what for us again? Oh, yes. He kept a seat warm in the press box. Good going buddy! Well worth the money...

So the average IQ in Sunrise went from beinf a negative integer, much like a void only sucking in the fans' money for nothing, to maybe being zero? NO pun intended on that one.

This franchise was set back 6 years with the arrival of Martin.

Thanks again GR for a good season of coverage. Glad my wife and I got to meet you at the Flyers game; it was good to talk Panthers with someone other than a Flyers fan!

Take care and we're looking forward to next season's coverage (as well as off-season of course).

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