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Bad News for Florida Panthers: NHL's Best Teams Coming to Sunrise ... Dmitry Kulikov OUT v Sharks, Joe Callahan On Way


With the way things have been going of late, it's hard to believe the Panthers actually seem excited about their upcoming schedule.

In the next week, the Panthers won't be playing any of the league's bottom feeders. Instead, Florida gets some of the NHL's best.

The Panthers begin a four-game run Sunday afternoon against teams that are either leading their division or close to it.

Flyers San Jose, Sunday's opponent, has won nine of its past 11 games. The Sharks' loss to New Jersey on Friday was San Jose's first in regulation since Jan. 15. The Sharks came into Saturday trailing Dallas by two points in the race for the Pacific Division title. San Jose is the only of Florida's next four opponents to not be atop their division.

“I think this is a great opportunity. We're playing the best teams in the league and we're going to find out where we're at,'' defenseman Mike Weaver said. “As a player, you don't want to play in the boring games. You want to play against the best. You want to challenge yourself. You have to go through these teams in the end anyway. It's a great challenge for us and I'm looking forward to it. It should be a lot of fun.''

The Panthers have lost nine of their past 11 games but have usually fared well against the league's better teams – especially those elite teams coming up.

Florida will play host to San Jose, Philadelphia (Wednesday) and Detroit (Friday). The Panthers won in San Jose last season and have split the two games played in Philadelphia this season. Florida won in Detroit last year, the first time the Panthers have done so since 1996.

Wings And playing those three teams at home doesn't really matter much. San Jose, Philadelphia and Detroit came into Saturday tied for the league lead with 17 road wins apiece.

On Saturday, the Panthers visit Tampa Bay. Florida has won two of three against the Southeast-leading Lightning this season.

With the playoffs still a remote possibility, Florida needs every win it can get. This is probably not the best way about getting them.

“This is a big test for us. San Jose, the way they're playing, might be the best team in the league,'' coach Pete DeBoer said. “We have four of the top 10 teams in the Lightningnewlogo league on our plate this week. It's a good test. We've risen to the occasion when playing the top teams this season. Our attention to detail has to be in the right spot.''

Added Stephen Weiss: “This is going to be fun. You want to play those teams at this time of year. If you want to get in, you have to get through the best teams. I'm looking forward to it. It's a challenge, but we're all excited. It's different playing teams like Philly, Detroit, San Jose. You have to bring everything you have, be sharp or they'll make you look pretty bad.''


Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov won't play Sunday because of his injured ankle, but winger Cory Stillman will be back in the lineup.

Stillman participated in his second straight practice and was back on his usual line with Marty Reasoner and Radek Dvorak.

Defenseman Bryan McCabe took part in a full practice Saturday but is still a few days away from returning. McCabe has missed the past 11 games because of a broken jaw suffered during a game Jan. 15 against the Devils.

“He's working through some things but it's a big difference between going in a day-before practice and playing in a game,'' DeBoer said. “He's lost some weight and his game legs aren't there. But he's close. As hard as he works, he'll be back sooner than later.''

With Kulikov out, the Panthers recalled defenseman Joe Callahan – who played in one game for the Sharks last season – from their AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y.

When, Where: 5 p.m.; BankAtlantic Center
TV/Radio: FSNF; WKIS 99.9 FM
The series: Sharks lead 9-6-7
The game: Florida has won the past two meetings against the Sharks with the Panthers winning on Bryan Allen's overtime shot last March. The Panthers are 5-7-1 against Western Conference teams this season, and have won just one of four games against teams (Phoenix) from the Pacific Division. While San Jose is tied for the league lead in road wins, the Panthers 11 home wins are fourth-lowest in the NHL.


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this slate of games will put us as sellers

5 straight home losses, 9 out of 11 losses, and we still have the same junior coach. geeze

fire the coach- You will get your wish or close to it when the the Panthers fail to make the playoffs and Tallon doesn't resign him. There should be some good free agent coaches available after the season.

I don't care if Scotty Bowman was coach, this team would be no better...Pete is the least of this team's problems...when I say 'least,' I mean he is not at all

George is correct. The problem is the players. You have players that have been here so long, that even tho they have a desire to win, they have grown accustomed to losing here. And then you have players that are here just for a contract, and do just enough to collect it. Panthers need a completely fresh start player-wise. Trade everyone, even if they're a fan favorite. You can always make new favorites by finding someone new who wants to work hard and prove himself.

This team is garbage. it's not the coach's fault. blow this thing up. there is ZERO talent on this team. trade VOKOUN and get a some players who can actually score .


Tallon says he's waiting until after these 5 games (now 3) are over before deciding to become a "buyer" or "seller." Duh, we lost the last 2 games, albeit one in OT, and I think we'll lose tonight. We're sellers, but we already knew that! Let's get on with the inevitable! Time to get some more draft picks and 3rd and 4th liners...oh goody!

I don't know why you're singling out David Booth when there are so many other dissapointing players on this team.

we clearly don't have enough NHL talent here and haven't for a long time.

Rochester wants out of the agreement with the panthers because the talent level throughout the organization is so poor.

We have had the wrong ownership if you want a team committed to winning. The owner from Tampa who lives in Weston is committed to winning and has changed the culture in Tampa completely by hiring a new COO, a new GM and a new Coach.

Tampa was also a laughing stock (Yormark use to work there as well) and now are one of the most respected teams in the league, they are considered a class organization, the panthers meanwhile are still considered a joke.

Yes we need to clean house as far as players but we need an attitude change in the organization and it starts with ownerhsip and Yormark until that happens the names of the players/coaches and hockey operations will change but the results will still be the same

Deboer said at training camp that Grabner had world class speed but couldn't finish. Grabner now has twenty goals. Deboer has no sense of talent nor how to keep his players happy. They need to get rid of him and his assistant flunkie Mr. Hulton. Bring Brian Skrudland as head coach and let's go back to out blue collar, lunch pail work ethics.

pete gets the most of his players! and the players that he has to put on the ice on a monthly basis are ahl caliber ! when florida had a chance in 2008 he actually had some players like zednick boumeester booth horton weiss, this year and last year are the worst roster on paper i have ever seen, he has absoulutly NO ONEEEE!
tallon just signed a couple guys to plug in to get this season through next year this club will be done tallon style!

Deboer couldn't do any thing with Horton, Buwmeester, Zednick on any other world class hockey player including Vokoun. Did you see them get into the playoffs? He needs to go back to his law practice.

I'm with Clash. The Panthers haven't had an inately talented player on this franchise since Pavel Bure. Our players are mediocre at best, for lack of even one self-determined player willing to distinguish himself from the rest. Booth shows some of that confidence, Santorelli does too, but nobody brings it night after night. Pete DeBoer can only do so much. There's a reason why a coach stands behind his players. It's symbolically obvious that he's at the mercy of those players sitting in front of him and even the greatest of coaches in the league knows instinctively that our roster is uninspiring and unenviable. No man in this circumstance can do anything with this situation but bear it, looking toward his GM for an obvious fix. That's coming.

This season is a record-breaking bust and the sooner Tallon wipes the slate clean, the better. I'd part with anyone on this roster right this moment if it brings a merciful end to this decade-long disaster.

Joe Callahan

that's all you need to know

5-0 sharks.

panthers are stupid bring him up

Maybe we should get Deboer Sydney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Ryan Miller. How stupid, Deboer cannot instill passion in his players, nor does he show it himself. It like a bad college professor who doesn't teach you only present the material before you then he blames you if you fail. Deboer is a junior league coach nothing else.

Joe Callahan gets called up... Amerks win 2 in a row.

Please KEEP HIM.

Hey f u:
3-2 Panthers.
Now, F U !

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