« MONDAY'S GAME: Florida Panthers Special Teams not So Special: Penguins 3, Panthers 2 | Main | Welcome Back: Nathan Horton, Gregory Campbell, Dennis Seidenberg Back in Sunrise ... Jack "Quebec City" Edwards Here Too »

David Booth, Florida Panthers Power Play Both Struggling ... Greater Fort Lauderdale: Hockey Capital ... Ellerby on Way Back?

Booth There are more than a few people feeling the pain of the Panthers power play woes these days.

Not only do coaches Pete DeBoer and Jim Hulton have to answer questions about the power play's inability to score on a daily basis, everyone else on the team does too.

After Florida went 0-for-5 in a 3-2 loss to the Penguins on Monday, the Panthers power play statistically sunk even more (even though, as DeBoer pointed out Tuesday, it couldn't go any lower in the standings since it was already in last).

The Panthers have gone scoreless on their past 26 power play chances and haven't netted a power play goal since Nov.10.

David Booth is one of those players who has failed to put in a goal with the Panthers holding a man advantage, but his goal-scoring problems have bled over to even-strength situations
as well.

Booth missed all but 28 games last season because of a pair of major concussions. He came back strong this preseason and looked to regain his form of two seasons ago when he broke out and led
the team with 31 goals.

Power play or not, Booth hasn't been able to find a goal since Nov.5 against Carolina -- that's eight straight goal-less games for a player who prides himself on his hard work and getting into position to beat a goalie.

"You never want to be too negative, but chances don't win you games, putting the puck in the net does,'' said Booth, who led the Panthers with five goals in the first 11 games.

"Eventually it will come. You can't get too low when you're not scoring same as you can't get too high when you are. Things will start going in. I'm going to keep doing what I always do.''

Lately, nothing Booth has done is working. He's missed open nets, fired wide and high. Last week against Boston, Booth tied a franchise record with 14 shots on goal -- most in the league
since 2006. Yet the Panthers -- and Booth -- were shutout.

Booth has taken a team-high 81 shots this season -- no other teammate has hit 50 yet and his total accounts for 13 percent of all of Florida's shots.

Since his last goal, Booth has taken 37 shots.

"For him, like our power play, he just has to stick with it,'' DeBoer said. "You know it's going to come, he's going to get his goals. If he's getting 14 shots -- or even six, seven -- the goals are going to come.

"It's not necessarily the end result, but the process. He's doing the right things, he just have to keep with it.''

HUB OF HOCKEY

Forget Toronto, Montreal or the New York Metropolitan area. On Tuesday, Broward County was the epicenter of the NHL as three teams took up residence within a few miles of one another.

As the Panthers worked out at their training facility in Coral Springs, the Penguins were working out a few miles down the road at BankAtlantic Center.

Once they were done (the Pens packed up and flew to Buffalo), the Bruins took over the Sunrise ice.

-- Rostislav Olesz has a broken middle finger although it was determined he wouldn't need pins. That said, DeBoer said the fracture is in a bad place and Olesz is a few weeks away from being able to put on a glove.

-- Defensemen Jason Garrison and Bryan Allen missed Tuesday's practice, meaning Keaton Ellerby could be on his way back from the team's AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y. Winger Steven Reinprecht (groin) practiced.

-- Byron Bitz (sports hernia) "has had good days and setbacks,'' DeBoer said. "He's still a ways out.''

WEDNESDAY: BRUINS AT PANTHERS
When/Where: 7:30 p.m.; BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise
TV/Radio: FSNF; 560-WQAM
The series: Panthers lead 30-28-6 The game: Wednesday marks the first return of former Panthers Nathan Horton, Gregory Campbell and Dennis Seidenberg since they were traded away. Seidenberg left the Panthers near the end of last season; Horton and Campbell were shipped off in the summer. .-.-. The Bruins beat the Panthers 4-0 in Boston on Thursday as Milan Lucic recorded a hat trick. Horton assisted on all three goals. Boston won both meetings in Sunrise last year and has won five of six at Florida.

Comments