I hate tampa what the hell are you talking about? Im making a valid poing about the epic failures of this team that could come back to haunt them later in the season. Anderson and Vokoun cant bail them out for ever. Those guys need help and like I said, they have scored less goals than the Islanders and would be worse than tampa if it werent for the goalies. Evidently by implying Tampa was aweful that meant I loved them in your eyes. Nice.
It seems to me like all that I've been reading is that this team does nothing but "epic fail".
Come on man, do you even watch the games? Yes this team has given up 40+ shots more then a few times this season, but watch them play. I mean, REALLY watch them play. The 40 shots that they've been allowing have been mostly from the perimeter. This defense is remarkable when it comes to taking away the rebounds. In the last 2 games, the Preds and Avs did not have a single solid rebound opportunity. It's not so much a case of TVo and Andy making the team look good, but more so the team making our goaltenders look good. NHL goaltender's will stop shots from the boards and shots they see clearly at a .930%, it's a fact. Our defense is just executing so well.
As for the rest of the team, it's really a combination of so many little things. Frolik, like stated already, is the best prospect this team has ever had. He just has "it". That superstar quality to almost slow down everything else around him when he's on the ice.
Horton needs a kick in the ass. His last game was full of tons of effort and I liked what I saw. He really just needs to pot one and I see things going better for him. You can tell the problem lies in his confidence (remember when he hesitated to shoot an OPEN SHOT from the slot last game). He's second guessing himself. I mean, who wouldn't when the team happens to start playing great hockey once YOU are out of the lineup.
PDB has this team believing in themselves. The biggest difference is that the team plays to win now. They use to play not to lose, now we play to win.
In the article, PDB praises Belak's work ethic but it's kind of clear to me that he got tossed under the bus. You guys were right, Belak was too slow for this team and he was made an example of. Good call.
But my thinking too, is that PDB is attempting to get one of his forwards going (Horton), which would be a lot more productive than giving up assets in the obtaining of another forward. Makes sense to me.
When the season started, our gameplan IMO was that we have great teamplay (which we have never had, since the good old days at least), have the guys root for the team and each other (the Panthers of last couple years usually didn't), very solid D (something we haven't had) and goaltending, and a couple guys to pot the odd goal now and then so we can win 2-1, 1-0 etc. Since (aside from Horton and Stillman) I didn't know who the scorers were going to be, I didn't buy into our playoff chances then. I'm not yet totally sure if they can keep this up (Panther fan paranoia), but something has changed.
Now our guys are playing real well together and you can see they are rooting for each other (winning is a strange thing). They play very good D (shots against is not a good stat, like many here have pointed out). Now, this would not be enough, but at the moment we have this guy Frolik who is giving us that extra offensive punch we need (I was wrong about him earlier saying he wasn't ready yet). If Frolik keeps this up, and Horton gets his act together, we may not necessarily need any new forward from the outside to make the playoffs.