Thursday, November 6, 2008

Panthers vs. Kings: Preview

The opponent: Los Angeles Kings. This seems to becoming the norm for Panthers opponents, and the similarities between the two teams are eerie. Through 11 games played for both teams, the Panthers are just 1 point ahead of tonight's opposition. The Kings come into tonight's game suffering through a 5 game losing streak. The Panthers have lost 4 in a row. Like the Panthers, the Kings have struggled scoring goals so far. They sit just one spot above the Cats, at 28th, with 27 goals for. The Panthers are 29th, with 25 goals. The LA Kings' power play is last in the Western Conference, at 13.6%. The Panthers, as we all know, are last in the East, operating at a meager 11.4%.

Unfortunatly, the past few teams the Panthers have gone up against managed to find their game just as Florida came to town. Let's hope Florida finds its game tonight against the struggling Kings. Stephen Weiss and Greg Campbell will be back in the lineup, hopefully adding to the hard-working, gritty, grinding scorers we need right now. Bryan McCabe will be back on the blue line tonight as well, a welcome addition to our woeful power play. Unfortunately, Cory Stillman is out. Getting 3 guys back just as 1 goes out seems to make sense in the early goings of the season.

Something to watch tonight: the first line will consist of Nathan Horton, Brett McClean, and Michael Frolik. Frolik has yet to get on the score sheet for the Panthers, but should get a few chances tonight. Who knows, maybe his work ethic will wear off on Horton and spark something.

Tomas Vokoun will get the start. Game time is 10:30. If you have the NHL Center Ice package and don't live in Florida Panthers territory, you can see it live. Otherwise, get those AM tuners out and listen to Randy Moller and Billy Lindsay.

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