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10-10-2006, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Panthers Rock View Post
These last two games have been bad yes, but let's look at the positives. For one, Auld has been great, last night was an amazing effort and it was like, if not better than what Luongo had done. I'm not saying he can keep that up, but if Auld can play anywhere near that level, than we did the right thing in trading Luongo. Because it gave us another offensive and defensive weapon in Bertuzzi and Allen. Now yes, the defense is still not good enough but it's certainly better than last year, Allen saved a goal from going in last night that clearly would have, great effort. Bertuzzi has 5 points already on the season and gives us an extra dimension we needed. Granted we were only without Peltonen though we don't know what he can offer us yet...losing Olesz and especially Newy hurts, then again Newy getting hurt is nothing new. The team has always had injury problems, few teams don't. Saturday's game was a total team meltdown and Belfour made it worse. Last night, at least we know we can count on Auld and a few defensemen who play well. Jackman took two stupid penalties and right now I don't know that there's a worthy #6 guy, Montador probably did the least stupid things but none of them have impressed. With these two injuries, I assume that Kiwi will play a forward spot and we'll have to recall a forward (can't imagine 8 defensemen playing), and with that let's see if we can't give Semenov a look. Also the top line is not clicking as well as it should, after Stumpel got sent into the boards he hesitated for much of the game. Not enough shots on net, the reason they won on Friday was not just because the Bruins and Thomas weren't all that good, but because we got well over 30 shots on net, giving us some good chances. To be fair, Toronto just did not give us powerplays, and there were a few missed holding calls. I'm far from giving up yet, not going to hit the panic button this early, especially when other teams in our division like Carolina can't even win a single game yet.
Finally a well thought out post. We're only 3 games into the season and people are already giving up? Sheesh. Even if the Panthers continue their road woes yet are dominant at home it still gives us a very good shot at the playoffs (just like last season if you throw out November).

The top line is not showing the same force as last year right now. Jokinen seems to be creating his own chances but isn't getting much from Roberts and Stumpel. I saw Martin change up the lines which I expected to happen anyways (not just because of injury) to give these guys a different look. We're pretty deep so the injuries shouldn't affect us like early last year. Horton can easily move up to 2nd line RW and you can even move Stumpel to center if Niewy misses time. I'd like to see Jokinen and Bert get more time together and we saw Martin put them together on the PP.

Losing Olesz is a big blow though - I hope he's okay. Either way, this is still a deep team and should be able to hold their own at home. It's only on the road where they have problems and last night was still a game that they could have and should have won.

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