Matthias, brought up on emergency recall, just might not be sent back down. After recieving a call while interrupting a game of NHL 08 he quickly packed his bags and was on his way to New Jersey. Needless to say it was not long at all before Matthias was impressing the players, Jacques Martin and the fans.
Matthias played a great game in New Jersey although not scoring a goal or assisting on one, he created chances and also saw powerplay time, just from that game, most of our fans were already impressed with how solid he looked, especially after just joining the team on short notice. Who knew it would only get better?
Two days later against the Washington Capitals, Matthias scored two goals on Brent Johnson to give the Florida Panthers hope in returning to the game. I found it astonishing that Shawn Matthias was carrying the Panthers on his back every shift. His two goals sparked a come back which tied things up at 3-3 when Jokinen's wrister went high glove side. Although we couldn't match Washington's effort in the third, I thought it was an eventful game.
I believe Matthias is just what the Panthers need to spark some energy and maybe even some wins. "He's ready to be in this league" Jokinen said of Matthias and I totally agree, although some touch up in the AHL wouldn't hurt this future top 6 center.
Martin said before the game in Washington, that after the game he would look to send Matthias back to the Belleville Bulls. I think the status quo has changed in this situation and of what Olli said about Matthias only puts more pressure on Martin to keep him in the NHL. Why wouldn't he want to though? Matthias after two games has already proved that he belongs here more than some other roster players that have been here all season. Speculation says that Matthias might even stay past his 10 game tenure.
We will see in the near future whether Matthias stays with the Panthers to help a hopefully playoff run, or back to Belleville were Matthias said "I will continue to dominate". Pretty strong words coming from Matthias, and us Panther fans, love it.