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Power Outage in Sunrise (Not Talking about Special Teams) ... Pete DeBoer's Bounce-back Guys


The BankAtlantic Center suffered a complete power outage Saturday afternoon during the second half of the Miami-UCF basketball game.

The main lights were off for a good 10 minutes following the power coming back on.

Michael Yormark told me there was no damage done to the ice power plant and that all is well. Florida doesn't play here again until Dec. 27 when the Boston Hortons come to town.

Enjoy your day.


Pete DeBoer admits he took a calculated risk by taking it easy on his team after Wednesday's epic collapse against Carolina.

In the day following that 4-3 loss, one in which the Panthers held a 3-0 lead less than six minutes in, DeBoer held a film session before conducting a normal practice. Prior to Friday's game against Buffalo, DeBoer gave his players an optional morning skate. DeBoer took his option and didn't take to the ice.

“Sometimes the coach does a lot of talking behind the scenes in meetings,'' he said with a smile. “Sometimes they don't need to hear you. Sometimes you need to take a step back for their mental health.''

The plan worked. On Friday night, the Panthers came out flying and scored four times in the opening period before rolling to a 6-2 win over the visiting Sabres.

DeBoer decided against going with a heavy hand in good part because he had faith in his team's internal leadership. Captain Bryan McCabe spoke up and had a spirited message for his teammates.

The Panthers also feel more secure in their personnel for handling such adversity. Florida didn't make a big splash during the offseason, but general manager Dale Tallon and assistant general manager Mike Santos made a point of bringing in players with some character.

“They didn't feel good about the last game,'' DeBoer said. “The big question is whether we can reproduce this every night. I really liked how we handled it. The Carolina game was very disappointing for everyone in the room. We woke up the next day and dealt with it and pressed the reset button. Right from our warm-up through the full 60 minutes, we were focused and ready.''

On Friday, the Panthers bounced back after a crushing loss. In the past, the sulking may have continued into the next night.

“We have a lot of good guys here. Regardless of our record or what happens during a game, I like playing with these guys,'' said goalie Tomas Vokoun, who's poor clearing pass Wednesday set up the winning goal. On Friday, he made 41 saves to get his 12th win of the season.

“No one in here was pointing fingers on what went wrong. Everyone makes mistakes. That's one of the most important thing. We have a real team. I like  the feeling around here. This season isn't over yet. We can still turn this thing around.''


The Panthers had a small part in HBO's first installment of its latest 24/7 series, this one featuring the Penguins and Capitals as they prepare for the Winter Classic on New Year's Day. The Panthers beat the Capitals 3-0 in Washington on Dec. 9 and highlights (or lowlights to the Capitals) were included in the hour-long show that is drawing rave reviews.

“That was a big win for us, we worked real hard for it,'' DeBoer said. “It was cool that we were a part of it.''

DeBoer added that he would welcome having cameras follow around the team on an around-the-clock basis. No word from HBO on whether they will do something on the Panthers in the future. The Panthers will probably be included in the third episode of the series as well; Florida makes its first visit to Pittsburgh's new arena next Wednesday.

“It is intrusive, but the more access – as long as its not every day – in which you can show people what goes on is good,'' DeBoer said. “I don't think the coaching fraternity gets enough credit from the average fan on what goes on each day. I think that's true in all sports. The football guys sleep at the stadium. It's a nice peak into our world.''

-- The Panthers took Saturday off but will return to practice Sunday morning in Coral Springs before boarding a plane to Philadelphia. Florida will play three straight on the road this week leading into the Christmas break.

“We have some tough games in some tough buildings,'' said DeBoer, whose team visits Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Buffalo in a span of four days.