I'll keep it brief, seeing how we just played these guys Friday. The Panthers head north to take on the New York Rangers. These 2 teams played to a 3-3 draw just 2 nights ago before the Rangers took the extra point in a shootout.
Couple noteworthy notes. Shawn Matthias is still with the team. Even he admitted to being tentative in his first game back on Friday. Again, the only thing that builds confidence is time. Look at Michael Frolik. Through the first 10, 15 games he looked lost at times, out of place and unsure of himself. The last week or so, he's started to find his groove. Let's hope Matthias does the same.
David Booth continues to be a consistent bright spot offensively for this team. His goal, with just 1:33 left, sent Friday's game to OT. He's scored in 4 straight games now. Coincidence that the Panthers have earned at least a point in 3 of those 4? Bouwmeester is starting to find himself as well. Goals in the last 2 games, he's finally starting to produce as expected.
You can't help but wonder what this team would be like if they were fully healthy. Granted, every team deals with injuries, it's not an excuse. But it's a pretty good reason why this team has struggled. Nick Boynton made his return Friday night, but a full scoring line of forwards remain out. Nathan Horton, Richard Zednik, and Cory Stillman were being counted on to fuel the offense. The sooner they get healthy, the better.
Vokoun or Anderson? Flip a coin, there hasn't been much difference in their performances of late. Maybe start Vokoun just to give the Rangers a different look? Puck drops at 1. No local coverage for Panthers fans, so put your NFL game on mute and warm up that AM tuner.