The trade deadline has passed, teams lineups are locked, and all eyes are set on the playoffs. There's just one thing, are you comfortable with the team GM Dale Tallon has put on the ice? With the departures of Forwards Sean Bergenheim, and Tomas Fleischmann, newly acquired Jaromir Jagr has been a glimmering star. His presence in the locker room and on the ice have changed the momentum, and could lead this tenuous Florida team to the playoffs. The Florida Panthers currently sit 2 points behind the Boston Bruins for the final wild card spot, with just 18 games left in hand there's still a lot of work to be done.
The Panthers lost an odd one to the Leafs on Tuesday. Goaltender Roberto Luongo left the game in the 1st period after taking a shot to the neck / side of the head area. Al Montoya was in to start the 2nd period for the cats but didn't last long after tweaking his lower body on a Nazem Kadri rebound goal. Montoya was in obvious pain but decided to stay in goal while Luongo was at a nearby hospital. With the question mark lingering at goal for the Panthers there was talks of forward Derek Mackenzie suiting up for the remainder of the game, and to our amusement Florida Panthers goalie coach Rob Tallas was seen in full uniform stretching in the tunnel. Tallas hasn't played an NHL game since the 00-01 season with the Chicago Blackhawks. Whether the coach was serious about putting him in or not, you have to admire Tallas dedication to the team. The game then took a brief pause before Bobby Lou came back half way through the 3rd to finish the game. The Leafs ended up stealing a crucial 2 points from the Panthers in a 3-2 final. Aaron Ekblad wasn't too pleased and had this to say after the game;
"I’m not going to [downplay] that for any reason, but obviously we lost and that’s much more important. A team game is what we’re all focused on here, especially coming down the stretch. We’re so close, yet so far away and we’ve got to realize that. It’s time to push and make sure we’re doing all the right things.
he then continued
"We’re right there and not even close to happy about anything that happened tonight. We want to be in that playoff spot.
The Florida Panthers will be hosting the Dallas Stars tonight at the BB&T centre where the cats will be looking to gain some ground on the Boston Bruins for the final wild card spot. the starting goalies will be Dan Ellis for the Panthers and Kari Lehtonen for the Stars. Ellis will make his first start of the season. He has gone 22-11-3 with a 2.70 GAA and a .906 SV% with San Antonio Rampage (AHL) this season.
Well that's all for now,
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