Another loss to Pittsburgh this time on home ice where the Panthers have now lost 4 in a row and 8 of 10 since November. They have also lost 5 of their last 6 games. Just a couple weeks ago we were pretty excited about the way they were playing and that first place was actually within reach. What a difference a few games make. This game started out badly with the Panthers having to kill 2 penalties within the first 5 minutes. While these calls may have been phantom, it still doesn't take away the fact that their start was defintely hurt with these calls. They were outshot 15-4 in the first period and only had 11 shots after 2. There is no way that this team or any for that matter is going to win with this type of effort. Ollie Jokineen the team captain summed it up best when he called this performance and their performance of late "embarassing". Defensive lapses and and a very poor effort to generate any kind of constant pressure against Pittsburghincluding a shorthanded opportunity by Greg Campbell that could not be closed put them in this position. The game turned worse very quickly during the 2nd period in less than 5 minutes when the Pens scored 3 quick goals and at that point had complete control of the game. I feel at that point the Panthers had given up. They stopped skating, there was no emotion, and there was no desperation which is where they should be right now.Being at this game it was frustrating to watch. I will give Pittsburgh credit, and Ty Conklin, while not really tested, played very well. But, Jacques Martin should be getting nervous. From what I see, and from some of my season ticket mates around me, he is losing this team and I feel a change needs to be made. He needs to replace himself behind the bench as soon as possible. They need a fire lit under them and he is not the right guy to light the match. Whatever message he is sending is not getting across. Actually quotes by Tomas Vokoun where he has been calling out his mates are appreciated by Martin, but it should not be your starting goalie making statements after every game. To me while Vokoun is right, Martin should be blowing a gasket by now. While the Panthers are not a Stanley Cup contender, they should be playing better than they are. Not that I am expecting them to be winning all their games, but the lackluster performance night after night is inexcusabile, and quite honestly it is tough to watch!Too many nights players are invisible, making the same silly mistakes and showing no energy, or emotion. It has been said before, and it will be said again, this team does not have the mental capacity to play playoff type hockey when needed!!Do something now to try and save the season before it's too late, otherwise Trade Ollie to Calgary so he gets a chance to go to the playoffs!
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