TORONTO -- Good afternoon all. Hope you had a nice All-Star break.
The Florida Panthers gathered in Fort Lauderdale this morning and flew up to the frozen tundra of Ontario. Practice is today at the Air Canada Center.
With the team taking some time off, how about we go back to where we left off, eh?
-- Center Shawn Matthias busted up his ankle pretty bad going into the boards during last Wednesday's 2-1 loss at Boston.
He's not on the trip, so it must be pretty bad. Matthias is a local kid, so missing out on a free -- albeit very cold -- trip home must mean he's hurting something fierce.
Will talk to Pete about the injury today at the skate.
-- After losing to Washington on January 8, general manager Dale Tallon told me "I'm not giving up on this team.''
The Panthers then went out and finished up 4-2-3. The Panthers probably could have done a smidge better had it not been for those pesky two-goal meltdowns that led to the three overtime losses.
If the Panthers want to stick together, they're going to have to play at that type of pace -- only better -- in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline.
That deadline is at the end of this month.
-- To get more wins, the Panthers sure could use a few more goals.
Since losing 3-2 Boston on Dec. 27, the Panthers haven't scored much of anything.
During this span of 16 games, the Panthers have been held to two goals or fewer nine times – losing each of those games.
During Florida's current run (1-2-3), it has only scored more than two goals once (in the win at New York).
Dating to Dec. 1, Florida has been held to two goals or less 13 times, winning just once. The Panthers have scored three or more in 14 games since Dec. 1, winning 11.
So it looks like we've found the Panthers magic number.
-- So where's the scoring going to come from?
For one, Michael Frolik really needs to get things going.
Haven't noticed him much lately, have you?
Frolik comes into this unofficial second half of the season mired in a huge slump. Frolik hasn't scored a goal since Dec. 17 -- that's 19 straight games.
Frolik had three assists in the month of January -- all of them coming in the first week of the month.
So that's no points -- zero -- in 11 straight.
-- Hate to dump on Frolik, and he's not the only reason the Panthers aren't scoring.
Stephen Weiss, the Panthers front line center, hasn't scored a single point in the past five games.
Weiss, the Panthers leading goal scorer last season, has just two goals this month -- both of which coming in two of Florida's first three games in January. Weiss hasn't scored a goal in 11 straight.
-- David Booth also could be of some help. Booth has gone four straight games without recording a point, but he does have five goals this month and he did have a run of five assists in four games earlier this month. More from him, however, sure would be nice.
-- Rookie Evgeny Dadonov has cooled off after a nice start. Dadonov has two goals this month but doesn't have a point in his past six.
-- Mike Santorelli has been putting up some points of late and that's been a little bit of a help. Santorelli has three goals and eight assists since the month started.