I will be brief, but to the point. I did not watch the Panthers game against Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon. I however did see the hightlights, or low lights if you will, and read the sunday paper. Once again a slow start did the Panthers in and in no time they were trailing 2-0.
Tomas Vokoun was again vocally frustrated saying that his teammates keep doing the same thing, coming out sluggish and giving up too many odd man rushes, and taking too many shots from far away that result in easy saves for the opposing goaltender. His message to his team was when you play like crap you feel like crap. Another comment was these guys need to step it up, or we need to get some people who will!
Cant' say that I disagree. For years this team has struggled to find an identity, develop consistency, and has a very hard time scoring goals. They also suffer from a lack of mental toughness, which can be attributed to a number of factors, one of them being they are too young and aren't willing to pay the price to win! I continue to say there is not enough veteran leadership on this team. The oppositions' game plan, score early and control the game, as they (Panthers) don't have the firepower to bounce back most of the time.
I would hope that Vokouns' teammates wake up soon and realize he is right, and get something going. Vokoun has suffered through his aches and pains when he first started his career with the Predators, and I imagine he is not about to relive those moments again.
Quite frankly I don't blame him!
On another note and completely different, yet related. Kristian Huselius made a play last night against the Kings that I thought I would never see him do. Chasing after the puck from the Kings blue line late in the game, he chased the Kings defenseman behind the net and almost back to the blue line, stole the puck away and shot it into the empty net to ice the game for the Flames. This is tough for me to say, but I am glad to see Huselius has changed his ways, and is showing that he does have the skills, and is working hard. Backchecking? Keenan must love him now!