Consistency, hard work, more scoring, forechecking and pressure deep in the opponents zone. And please, please, please, play for a full 60 minutes! Alot to ask for? Well, I don't think so, but I have high expectations!
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I want a playoff push that starts now by putting a string of wins together, and coming out of "The Gate" with some passion and purpose. The Panthers cannot continue to expect Vokoun to give up one or 2 goals a night. There just isn't enough scoring for that to work.
Tonights game against Atlanta has me worried. The Panthers have been off for 4 days (less any practice) and while they should come out with alot of energy, history tells me they will start sluggish, and wait for Atlanta to determine the pace of the game. Staying out of the penalty box is paramount to any success they are going to have tonight. Atlanta has too many goal scorers and we can't get generate anything if we spend the night killing off penalties. Vokoun has been excellent most nights and if not for him they would be in trouble, so I would expect him to be very solid tonight as usual.
Last but not least, what the heck is going on with Anthony Stewart?? If Jacques Martin is trying to find out if he has the talent for the NHL, how can he tell if he averages less than 5 minutes a game, and is on the 4th line? With David Booth being hurt it was a perfect opportunity to put him in his place for at least 3 -4 games and give him about 15 minutes of ice team and find out if he can handle it. I just feel at that this pace we may never find out.
I want the Panthers in the playoffs this year! The wait has been too long, and Ollie deserves it! But, our youngsters need to mature quickly, and we have to have some balanced scoring. If not they will be making tee time reservations instead of airline reservations!
Let's start out with a win tonight!
P.S. Anyone seen Nathan Horton lately?
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