The Panthers are continuing to regroup after a rigorous 4 game in 6 night stretch, that as the team go 2-2. The Cats played tough against 3 highly talented teams (Montreal, Ottawa, and San Jose) and then laid an egg against the Blues.
More importantly, though, is the injury bug that has been infesting the Panthers locker room since day 1. On opening night in Carolina, Brian McCabe went down with a back injury. He appears closer to a return, although it is still at least a week away. Since then, the blueline has continued to thin out. Bryan Allen had knee surgery today and is out indefinitely. Cory Murphy hurt his shoulder in the St. Louis game.
That leaves Jay Bouwmeester, Nick Boynton, and Keith Ballard as the healthy, experienced defenseman. Noah Welch and Karlis Skrastins will have a chance to make a name for themselves, as they are sure to pick up increased ice time. Depending on Murphy's MRI results, the Cats may be forced to recall Jason Garrison, who played respectably on Saturday in St. Louis.
Almost all of the off-season attention went to solidifying the blueline. Now, it appears to be a good thing, although for completely different reasons. Hopefully, the team can rally around the inexperienced and come out on the other side that much stronger. The Panthers head back to practice tomorrow, with Ottawa coming to town on Thursday.