Just as this team has done all season, the Florida Panthers continue to hover around the .500 mark, and go on a limited win streak after losing usually about the same amount of games. Last night’s 4-1 victory over the Maple Leafs was Panther’s goalie Scott Clemmensen’s second consecutive start and win (Sunday night he was victorious over cross-state rival Tampa Bay). This game saw David Booth find the back of the net twice and Bryan McCabe continue his excellent offensive performance in March and over his former team.
Leaf’s forward Phil Kessel was everywhere in the first period. He dictated play with his speed and had several chances to score in the opening frame. It was Booth that took advantage with a beautiful goal that is better appreciated by seeing it:
Booth found the net again in the 3rd period off a deflection from a McCabe shot from the blue line. Booth has 4 goals in his last 4 games. One can only wonder where this team would be at right now if we had him and Nathan Horton healthy all year.
The Panthers continued to press and scored again to make it 3-0 nothing, courtesy of a wicked wrister from Panther forward Michael Frolik, his 18thof the year. Jason Garrison would seal the victory with a pretty impressive empty net goal that he banked off glass in his own end and in to the Toronto goal.
All in all a good game. Would have liked to see fewer shots on goal (the Maple Leafs had 43 shots) but shot total did not affect the outcome. After the first period the Panthers dictated possession and seemed to have better offensive chances throughout.
It was good to see Clemmensen get the win and, more importantly, consecutive games played. I made note of this last blog that now is the time to see what he can do with THIS team for an extended period of time (not a New Jersey team who plays a defensive trap scheme that benefits the goalie). If Tomas Vokoun is gone next year, chances are he is going to be the starter.
I CALLED IT: Ok so maybe it was just a playful thought but in my last blog I wrote about the Panther’s horrendous power play and how by possibly adding an additional forward would make the unit click better and, well wouldn’t you know, that they did. The Panthers had 4 forwards on the ice and 1 defenseman on the power play for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay and last night’s game against the Leafs. It has looked world’s better. The top power play unit had Stephen Weiss, Cory Stillman, Booth, Horton and McCabe on board and the puck movement was sharp and over all the team had better chances and got more pucks to the net.
FACEOFF WOES: The Panthers won only 26 of 74 faceoffs in the game, 35%. An area to look at in the offseason?
UP NEXT: The Panthers continue their road trip and take on the Montreal Canadiens, Thursday night at 7:30 PM.
IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Great website for all things comic book movies/dorkdom
About the Author
Written by Jack Powell
My name is Jack Powell. I'm 26 and work for a civil contracting company in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I've been a Panther fan since the team was formed in 1993 and don't ever plan on not being one. Looking forward to see what new Panther GM Dale Tallon is going to do to rebuild this franchise and make us a Cup contender!!