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It Puts the Loss in the Basket: Buffalo Runs Over Panthers 6-2

BuffalobillSABRES 6, PANTHERS 2

BUFFALO – Losing never looks good, but for the Panthers, it may be the only way they get any better.

Winning obviously isn't in the franchise's best interest right now as the Panthers should be playing for draft position. With the playoffs long out of reach, Florida should hope to be bad enough to get into position to have some lottery luck in snaring one of the top junior players.

Just don't tell that to coach Pete DeBoer.

“I could give a [expletive] about draft position,'' DeBoer spat after Florida's ugly 6-2 loss to the Sabres at HSBC Arena. The loss was Florida's fourth straight and seventh in nine games.

“We have young players who aren't learning how to win. That's destructive.''

The Sabres, who clinched a playoff spot on Saturday, played like a team trying to wrap up their division as they scored two goals in each of the three periods. Florida actually led 1-0 after Jeff Taffe got his first NHL goal in more than two years.

After that, however, the Sabres scored four unanswered goals including two in a second period in which the Panthers looked lifeless, lost and lethargic. The Panthers failed to get a shot off for the first 11-plus minutes of the second and were outshot 20-2.

The Panthers were outshot 41-15 for the game – and 31-5 in the final two periods.

“When you are standing behind the bench for that, you would like to be anywhere else,'' said DeBoer. “We had a good first period, did a lot of things well. Then the wheels fell off and we have to evaluate why. .-.-. There's no excuse for the last 40 minutes.''

Before the game, DeBoer talked about playing some of his seldom used players a bit more because “we're not in a position where a playoff position is on the line.'' Rookie defenseman Keaton Ellerby, who had been averaging 4:38 of playing time over the past 13 games played 12:12 on Wednesday. Shawn Matthias got 17:37. Nick Tarnasky 12:27.

“That's going to happen at the end of the year and, sad to say, when you don't have a chance to winning the game,'' said Taffe, who came up from the minors on Wednesday afternoon. “It was good to see those guys get some time.''

Florida cut Buffalo's deficit in half early in the third period when Stephen Weiss worked the puck behind the net and passed to Nathan Horton. A slick pass from Horton across the ice found Michael Frolik and he buried the shot for his 19th goal of the season.

The Sabres, who have won seven of eight, got goals from Jason Pominville and Tim Kennedy in the first period, with Nathan Gerbe and Adam Mair scoring in the second. Tyler Ennis and Henrik Tallinder scored within a 33 second span during the third period to make it 6-2.

“It's deflating when you are in this position time and time again,'' Weiss said.

OLESZ HURT

DeBoer had winger Rostislav Olesz working hard during Wednesday's morning skate, running 'suicide' sprints from the dots between the blue lines to the red line dozens of times. At one point, Olesz was resting on the ice when DeBoer skated up to him and chastised him. “You've only been doing this for five minutes,'' he barked.

It appeared Olesz was being bag skated because of his lack of production. Well, not entirely. Olesz injured his hand last week in Toronto and played through the pain. According to Olesz, the hand went numb Monday against Nashville despite taking a shot. “I could only move two fingers,'' Olesz said, showing off the swollen hand.

Olesz didn't play Wednesday and isn't expected to play Thursday in Boston.

“We wouldn't skate him like that before a game,'' DeBoer said of Olesz, who has one assist and no goals in his past 25 games. “There's nothing broken. I would classify it as a pain tolerance thing.''

-- Taffe hadn't scored in the NHL since he did so against the Sabres as a member of the Penguins on March 12, 2008.

-- Winger Steve MacIntyre assisted on Taffe's goal to earn the first assist in his NHL games. MacIntyre has two goals in 39 games – both coming with Edmonton last season.

THURSDAY: PANTHERS AT BRUINS

When, Where: 7 p.m.; TD Garden, Boston

TV/Radio: FSNF; WAXY 790

The series: Panthers lead 29-27-6

The game: The Bruins are clinging to the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and have played erratic in the past month. Last in the league in scoring, the Bs are coming off a 1-0 win over New Jersey on Tuesday. Last month, Boston never had a winning streak of more than two games. Boston went into the Olympic break with four straight wins. The Panthers have lost four straight and seven of nine but Tomas Vokoun beat the Bs 1-0 in Florida's last trip to the Garden.

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Hahaha, love the picture/title, GR. I needed a good laugh after this game. I know DB doesn't care about the draft, but he above all should know this team needs a Hall/Seguin more importantly than a couple wins down the stretch here.

So Basically, the Panthers traded two of there best Defensemen for a couple of second round pics.....

So the season was worth throwing away over 2 secound round pics....


Great move....

the one thing DeBoer is right about is that the culture has to change and that starts with the top.

Keenan said there is no pressure on the players to perform in Florida and that shows on the ice.

Where is Michal Repik, he should be up here as well learning what it takes to play in the NHL.

I hope this organization learns the right way to develop players otherwise the headlines will be 2020, panthers on a record 20th straight year of not making the playoffs, the free agent signins are character guys to lead our young core, Yormark announces that the Bank Atlantic Center was voted the best venue in the US a graet accomplishment for the organization

tee spot, it was obvious they were out of it before they made that trade.

Repik should stay in Rochester unless absolutely necessary. Rochester is playoff bound. Why taint any of the AHL kids with this Panther hockey team who is in self destruct mode right now.

I'm glad Ellerby got ice time finally. They need to see if he can fill a spot next season or not (or they will have to signa nother 35 yr old journeyman to take his place).

Is it time for Sexton to be fired already? Why is he still there?

since they traded sidenberg and leapole i haven't seen one d-men block a shot yet. all those blocked shots might have been goals like vokoun is now giving up

At this point, I'd take draft picks for just about EVERY team member on the current roster outside of Weiss, Horton, Booth, Frolik, Matthias, Ballard, Allen, Ellerby, Kulikov, and Garrison...No matter WHAT round the pick was in.

Its not that I want them to go, Mase, but I'd bet my bottom dollar that either Weiss or Horton will be wearing a diferent sweater in October.

"the headlines will be 2020, panthers on a record 20th straight year of not making the playoffs, the free agent signins are character guys to lead our young core, Yormark announces that the Bank Atlantic Center was voted the best venue in the US a graet accomplishment for the organization"
THIS SAYS IT ALL !!!!!!!! I AM ALLREADY SICK OF IT.

p.s. 2020 NY NETS NBA CHAMPIONS - BRETT YORMARK


Read more: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/flapanthers/2010/03/it-puts-the-loss-in-the-basket-buffalo-runs-over-panthers-62.html#comments#ixzz0jrZQaHp1

Boys, a few comments here. Yes, Keenan was absolutely right that there is no pressure to win. Why do you think he left. For everyone who thinks he was such a jerk, all he wanted to do was put a team together to challenge for the Stanley Cup. Sometimes that requires making an unpopular decision. You can cry about Luongo all yhou want, he still wouldn't have made a difference if he was here. So you can forget talking about trades that didn't work out, the Panthers can't deal with anyone because no one takes them seriously.

Holding on to Bow, knowing that 18 months prior he said he wasn't sure about staying was a bigger mistake then the Luongo deal.

Explain to me why guys like Stillman, Weiss and some other have no trade clauses? Why do we of all teams give them out? This isn't a retirement community!

A culture change is aboslutely necessary. Weiss, Horton, Olesz, Campbell, Kreps are all associated with this losing atmoshphere and have not lived up to expectations. The team would do themselves some good by moving these players.

The other problem is that when we acquire players, we have to acquire players that know how to win, and are hungry for more. No more 33-35 year old journeymen. Meaning Reinprecht and Stillman. Even Moore was a stretch.

The reason the kids aren't learning to win is the lifeless statue of a coach we have here in Rochester. The ONLY reason we are anywhere near the playoffs are the decent vets they signed last summer.

Rochester's coaching staff is definitely part of the losing culture here in Florida.

You hardly see Deboer go ballistic anymore on the players, probably because there is a lack of talent there to begin with.

"Keenan was absolutely right that there is no pressure to win. Why do you think he left." -- He didn't exactly leave on his own...

Is Deboer actually singling out Olesz? It's seemed like it lately - he's basically calling Olesz a wuss for not playing because his hand has gone numb. "Nothing's broken" - yeah, because he probably has carpal tunnel syndrome, idiot. It's not going to help him hold his stick just because you're being an ass about him not playing when the games don't matter one damn bit. How about some constructive coaching for a change? And about damned time he gave Ellerby and Matthias some minutes.
Frankly, as good as he seemed last season, Deboer has seemed unable or unwilling to coach well this season.

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