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Changes to Panthers: Dominic Moore IN, Shawn Matthias OUT

Matthias2 Not five feet from where Dominic Moore was sitting twirling his brand new Florida Panthers baseball cap sat Shawn Matthias' stall. Matthias had his pads and helmet sitting there all by its lonesome.

Matthias and his skates were gone, off to Rochester.

The Panthers returned Matthias to their minor league team on Wednesday, coach Pete DeBoer saying everyone within the organization is where they should be. DeBoer wants Matthias to dominate play in the AHL although my bet is he'll be back soon enough.

''He needs to earn his ice time and score some goals,'' DeBoer said. ''He had a good training camp but hasn't had a good season in the [AHL] yet. He needs to do that.''

Even with Moore on the practice ice Wednesday, the Panthers only dressed nine forwards. Radek Dvorak was out with the flu; Nathan Horton and Steve Reinprecht were out with undisclosed injuries. The Panthers are going to start playing the injury game now, making us guess on what's wrong.

So here's my guess: Reinprecht's foot is still hurting from getting hit with a puck last week and Horton has a sore knee. I don't know if that's true or not, but the Panthers can't argue it since they won't give us anything anyway. Horton was walking around the locker room on Wednesday, however, and nothing looks wrong. His ankles weren't swollen or anything, that's where I came up with the knee thing.

Moore says he's happy to be with the Panthers and feels this is a good fit. He's been watching the team since signing with them last Monday, so he knows he can only help. The Panthers were horrible in the face off circle Monday against the Lightning, so Moore will definitely be an upgrade there.

Florida's faceoff stats are just like most of the Panthers stats this year: Bad. The team is ranked 27th in the league currently, winning 46 percent.

''I've watched a lot of hockey over the past few weeks,'' Moore said. ''When I made the decision to join the team, it was because I thought it was a good fit for both myself and the team. The kind of game I take a lot of pride in is what this team is trying to build an identity around.''

-- Couldn't tell what was going on with the lines since only three were out there. How strange was that? Ville Koistinen was up on the top line as Horton's replacement.

Here's how I see things going: The Sawgrass Express stays the same as does the underperforming second line (which DeBoer basically said hasn't done much since the Chicago opener). The third line is now Moore's, with Dvorak and Rostislav Olesz on the wings. Gregory Campbell now becomes the fourth line center, piloting Kamil Kreps and Koistinen. Kreps can take faceoffs on that line when needed.

-- DeBoer also said that he hasn't decided if Scott Clemmensen will play Friday against the Flyers, but ''he's going to get [a start] soon.''

-- Craig Anderson on XM Home Ice channel 204 today at 12:45 p.m. FYI...


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Stat to watch as the season wears on.
As of the morning of 10/14/09.
Vokoun $5.7mil 5GP 1-4-0 3.80GA .903%SP 0SHT
Anderson $1.5mil 6GP 4-1-1 1.98GA .940%SP 1SHT
Reach your own conclusion on the key personnel decision of this past off-season.

GP, not sure if you're aware of this but hockey is played by teams, not just goalies. Same as last season (only maybe this time you'll understand it), Vokoun and Anderson play behind two different teams. Just look at the goals scored. Pucks being cleared in the crease, the supporting cast is different and affects performance.

That being said, yes, Andy's definitely outplaying Vokoun right now. The numbers are just aren't 1:1 indicators.

no question the team should of kept Anderson, but in the salary cap world they just couldn't, again we pay for a huge mistake by JM the GM, he gave up way too much for Vokoun and we lack depth throughout the organization with more dead weight then just about every team in the NHL.

Sell the team Cohen it is clear you are not interested in winning, the commissioner is at your arena and you aren't. your team is in Europe and you wait for them to get back before you go over there.

RoadDogg-As you yourself I believe have admitted, that the Panthers played better in front of Anderson last season than Vokoun, though you used that as an excuse for Vokoun, could it not be true that the Panthers, as a team, just don't perform as well consistently with Vokoun in net? And if that is the case, then a change in goal and Vokoun's departure are required? As I've said, it will be interesting to see how the team performs with Clem in net.

Vokoun has a no trade clause and Anderson wanted to be a starter... We had no choice but to let him go... A spark needs to happen with this theam.. Last year it was the CPR line, The Dolphins brought out the wild cat . . . thats the kind of spark we need, Maybe Clem, maybe moore on the 2rd line... maybe Horton not playing.. who knows what it will be but the team needs something to be changed... Still very early but these games coming up will be a big test. After the next 4 games.. we will know if we are gonna be ok or if its start to panic time.

Vokoun said he would not want to be someplace he wasn't wanted last year when asked about waiving his NTC. I think he'd want to get out of hockey purgatory if he could.

So the wave of players with the flu continues its resurgence. Now it's Dvorak. With dozens of official team doctors being advertised at the billboard, hasn't any of them ever administered a flu vaccine?

GP, please give up on the goalie outlook.. We can't live in the past, and let's not even get into some sort of voodoo curse when T-vo is in net...Frankly even if Luongo was still here, the team would still be AVERAGE...Luongo made 90% of the saves, but also still had greasy goals against here and there...So maybe we would have one more win with ANDY or LUONGO or whoever in net, but they still have way too many other issues to resolve for now...I think we all agree with your point that we'd rather have ANDY's contract than T-vo's, but we're stuck, so where do we go from here??

Moore will help short-handed and faceoffs. It may be the best thing if Horton misses a few games, as it forces them to break up the lines a bit....Maybe even put Campbell on the top line to dig in the corners on the top line in place of #16...They also have to figure out a way to get Stillman going...Maybe they should make the 3rd line the top line with Dvorak, Moore, and Olesz to send a message..

Here come the excuses. Flu, which was probably caused by all the travel right? Minor injuries starting to mount, and which goalie is the answer.
Granted Vokoun isn't standing on his head, and probably would like to have a few goals back, but this team is suffering in other areas. He makes one or two mistakes and it's magnified, while his lazy teammates make significanlty more. Rread his comments in the paper. I mostly agree and he's basically saying that he expects better of his mates in front of him, while he admits to making some errors himself.

This team is bad. Also, what does it say about our player development when Matthias has to go back to the AHL and we are going to use an extra defenceman as a forward? God I hate that tactic.

I would move Stillman down to the 4th line. We complain about TVo's salary; what about Stillman? The only reason why he's not on the 4th line is because of his salary.

rattrick, totally agree. I've been saying this since game one about using a free agent signee dman at forward. Also, let's not forget Matthias was a fourth line center. The only reason he was here was lack of bodies, obviously. That line is usually an energy line with toughness. Whose tough on that line, Matthisa, Kreps or Koistinen?

Hank, you're absolutely right. There's no energy or toughness anywhere. The Panthers had a chance to make the playoffs a few years ago when Luongo was still here with Jokinen and Roberts, and Joe N, Gelinas and Gratton. Toughness, energy and some grit. They may not have been the fastest but they had some level of skill. But, we had the wrong coach, the defensive minded Jacquestrap Martin.

DeBoer keeps telling us they are a forechecking team. Well the way I interpret forechecking is that you actually can keep the opposition from getting out of their zone because you either prevent them from getting the puck out, or you control it yourself.

So far, I'm not seeing it.

GP, yeah, the team might be better off with Anderson. Or not. Along with admitting that the team played better in front of Anderson, I said that simply getting rid of Vokoun was not the answer. What would Andy, an inferior goalie, do behind the same team Vokoun had in front of him?

Nowhere near as good as last year or this year so far, I can tell you that much. There are other problems with the team that a goalie swap won't fix. Find out what they are, keep Vokoun, and the team is better for it.

You don't change 18 other guys just to make it work with one guy was the point I was making. If the team plays better with Clem in goal as it did with Andy in goal last season, whether the reason is chemistry, system or just plain karma, then it is Vokoun who has to go.

Bottom line here is that this is the best Deboer has to work with. No depth in the minors, older defence, and a bunch of average at best players. Just take a minute and analysis our first line and compare it to most others, they are young at best. Weiss is too small and can't win a face off, Horton is no power forward(maybe a powder puff) and Booth collects junk goals. You can't tell me any team is scared of this first line.

One thing we do have going for us is that since JM is now gone, PDB won't have to feel pressured to play him because of his salary...And they can say what they want, but I'm sure at least part of PDB felt obligated to giving T-VO all the chances, as it was JM that gave PDB his job... Now if we can only hope to get him from giving all the minutes to Horton and Stillman...Make them earn their time...

As far as Clemmensen goes, I think they jumped the gun a bit, but I hope I'm wrong... He's a goalie that has finally been rewarded later in his career ala Tim Thomas, but it seemed like we jumped the gun knowing we lost ANDY... I think there's many goalies out there and knowing we had T-VO and probably stuck with that contract, there were cheaper options out there...Like Marty Biron OR Jason LaBarbera, they both come at about half the price of Clemmensen... But that's the gamble they took, so I hope it works for the best...At this point, our best hope might be that more goalies get hurt, and maybe Clemmensen plays solid and we can off-load T-VO's salary for next year...

GP, I'm not talking about trading 18 players. I'm talking about getting to the bottom of why the team plays so poorly in front of Vokoun. Getting rid of him isn't the answer because it's probably only a matter of time before the team plays the same in front of the other goalie.

Um, sending Mattias down is not really helping the overal situation. They should bring Ellerby or Garrison up to replace Leopold/Allen in the next game. Let them sit on the bench and learn from their mistakes. Koistenan should sit, and replace with Mattias on the line :) Moore should play on the second line (anything is better than Rein "HURT") right now.

lets face it, we were sold a bag of goods from JM the GM and his right hand man Sexton. The Cohen years have destroyed this franchise, they draft the wrong players, they sign the wrong free agents, they give up too much for the players they trade for and don't get enough for the players they trade and you end up with a team that doesn't make the playoffs for 9 years and an organization that has no depth.

When JM the GM took over, the flyers were below us, the Capitals were below us, the Penguins were below us. Look at the depth of those organizations and then look at the panthers and you have the answer.

The organization says we spend to the cap, but we don't spend the money on development or scouting.

Until we have new ownership you can expect the same old.

While I like the knee theory on Horton, I have another one. You say he is hurt and prevent him from suffering the public shame of being a healthy scratch since that might damage his psyche and morale more than just benching him alone.

Face it, the kids performance has been terrible and it is 100% a mental thing. You have to see if you can win without him and, if you're this team's management, have to see what the public consensus is on it before you can move him.

Why wait to see if you can win without him? If he's not a good fit, and many of us know he's not, ship him out ASAP...He should've been shipped out a couple years ago while he had maximum value, but they hold onto him in desperation...

In his defense, he did have 1 good game...But at the same time, I think we're trying to force some sort of chemistry putting him on our top line...I think that takes away from the other guys games...He does make some decent passes once in a while, but lately has been caught stick-handling too long, thus losing possession and killing momentum.. I'm not saying either Weiss and/or Booth have been great either, but everyone seems to cater to #16 for far too long...

I won't even feel bad if he goes to another team and puts up 30 goals, just dish him now and get the maximum value you can get in return...Personally I think you have a better chance getting a gritty FWD like Cogliano from Edmonton than a scoring FWD...Either way, send him packing ASAP...

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