Ottawa Senators: 19-12-6 (42 PTS.) vs. FLORIDA PANTHERS: 12-20-6 (30 PTS).
Game Day Song: Entertainment (Official video)
With not much time to dwell on last night’s 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals, the Florida Panthers are right back at it this evening against the Ottawa Senators here in Sunrise. Head coach Paul MacLean of the Senators is calling this game a “must win” for his club, and based on the recent trend between the two, it may not be an issue. Ottawa has won 11 of the past 12 meetings against the Panthers, and they’ll be looking to take an early lead to set the pace. You have to give a great deal of credit to Ottawa for the position that they find themselves in. Ravaged by injuries to key players like Jason Speeza, Milan Michalek and Erik Karlsson, the Sens are still in the thick of the race in the Eastern Conference.
The Senators will also be looking to snap a three game losing streak as they are now in 6th place in the Eastern Conference, and unless they turn this around, the spiral they’re on could land them in a dogfight for the final playoff spot overall. Two points separates the Senators from both the New York Rangers and New York Islanders, while the Winnipeg Jets sit four points back. MacLean is stressing urgency to widen the gap:
“We can’t do anything about the last three, all we can do is something about the next one we play,” MacLean said. “It’s a must-win to make sure that we stop the bleeding type of thing.”
Please Read the rest of this entry
If you want a bright side to the Florida Panthers 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators Thursday night, the only may be that they only have to face them and Craig Anderson, the Cats early season nemesis once more The former Florida netminder followed up Monday’s shutout by stopping 25 of 26 shots for his second win against the Panthers this week.
After falling behind early in their past two contests, the Panthers needed to play well off the opening face off. And while, they didn’t do that, they were successful in getting the first goal. Tomas Fleischmann’s first period, power play goal eight seconds into a Sergei Gonchar penalty gave the Panthers their first lead in a game since last Saturday. The lead would be short-lived as Chris Phillips would drive home his own power play goal three minutes later.
Read the rest of this entry
FLORIDA PANTHERS: 1-0-0 (2 PTS.) vs. OTTAWA SENATORS: 1-0-0 (2 PTS.)
Game Day Song: Badlands by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Tonight the Florida Panthers will visit the Ottawa Senators in the first of back to back games as they continue their stretch of five games in eight nights in the first week of the season. Coming off a thrilling and convincing opening night victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, the Panthers will look continue their winning ways versus the Senators. In order to do so, they will need to display the same type of work ethic and aggressive play that worked for them Saturday night against what appeared to be a sometimes lethargic Hurricanes club.
The second line of Florida, consisting of rookie Jonathan Huberdeau, Peter Mueller and Alex Kovalev will again look to show off their skills and lead the way for the Panthers. Because of the heavy schedule Kevin Dineen will likely need to roll his four lines a bit more consistently to keep his players fresh. A problem that all teams will need to address this season due to the condensed schedule. Brian Campbell as expected led the Panthers in ice time Saturday night with just over 25 minutes, followed surprisingly by Keaton Ellerby with 22:16.
Stanley C. Panther will have plenty of time for vacation these days.
Yesterday, it was announced by both the Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald that the Panthers’ mascot had been laid off earlier in the day by the organization. Or probably more accurately, the man inside the suit was laid off. He was among twelve other employees of the team that were shown the door that day. According to George Richards of the Miami Herald, most of the people let go were from the arena operations and sales departments.
The lockout, of course, is affecting more than just the players and owners. These recent layoffs are exactly what happens when income stops rolling in from the team. These scenarios are being faced around the league, especially for the smaller-market teams like the Panthers. Yesterday the Ottawa Senators also were forced to get rid of employees, while some other teams have cut back salaries as a response to the lockout. It’s expected that other teams will face the same dilemma involving their employees, and not all teams will be able to pay for salaries without any other income.
For the past couple of years there has been speculation that the Columbus Blue Jackets were interested in trading their best player, All-Star forward Rick Nash. The plan for the Blue Jackets was to trade Nash and in return, obtain enough pieces to help the team build and hope to become contenders. Many people were wondering just what the Blue Jackets could get for Nash. Since Columbus was dealing their star, they wanted a lot in return. For a while, there was talk that the Jackets wanted a top six forward, a top prospect, and a first round pick, which is certainly a hefty price to pay for just one player. Unfortunately for Columbus they were unable to move Nash and after continuously hearing from teams about Nash, general manager Scott Howson decided it would be best for the team to keep Nash.
Last season the New York Rangers were one of the best teams in the National Hockey League. After earning the number one seed going into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, expectations were higher than ever in New York. After defeating the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the playoffs, the Rangers then shifted their attention to the Washington Capitals. Just like the first series, it took the Rangers seven games to close out the series and eliminate their opponent. The Rangers were in a spot that they haven’t been in in over a decade, the Eastern Conference Finals. Heading into the conference finals, the Rangers had to match up with the red hot New Jersey Devils. With two teams left, only one was able to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Just like in the 96-97 season, the Rangers were unable to secure a victory to reach the Finals.