Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Panthers 1 - Bruins 6

Ouch. I guess what they say about payback is true after all...

Not much positive to take away from tonight's game. Boston dominated from the first drop of the puck to the final horn, skating away with a 6-1 win. Craig Anderson got the start in goal for the Cats, but never really showed up.

Yes, Anderson was starting his first game since February 3rd.

Yes, the first goal was a near breakaway. As Jay Bouwmeester went to gather a pass off the boards, the puck seemingly developed wings and fluttered over Jay's stick, right into the path of Patrice Bergeron. But Anderson was nowhere near making any attempt at a save. Despite Bergeron never really making a move, Andy went to the butterfly early, and the Bruin simply skated around and found the gaping corner.

Yes, the second goal was somewhat of a fluke, coming off a 3 on 1. Mark Stuart took the pass in the high slot, and whiffed on his shot. Yet Anderson was already sliding across the crease expecting a pass, so Stuart gathered himself in time to weakly poke the puck past Andy's split leg.

In Panthers' tradition, there was no quit in the boys early. Kamil Kreps found space and ripped a wrister past Tim Thomas to get the Panthers back within 1. That was the last time Florida looked like they were a part of this game.

The Bruins 3rd goal was bad. Somehow a pass from the corner found an unmarked Byron Bitz, who somehow redirected the past over Anderson and under the crossbar. Really Andy? The 4th goal was awful. An 80 foot, unscreened slap shot that Anderson kicked out straight to a waiting Bitz, who easily got his 2nd goal. The 5th was horrendous. This time, the 80 foot, unscreened slap shot beat Anderson cleanly. Game, set, match. To be honest, I turned it off at this point to focus on the Sabres and Hurricanes' games. Remember when there was a "goalie controversy" in South Florida? Everyone has bad nights. Moving on...

By the time the 3rd period started, it looked like Florida was already looking forward to the Ranger game on Thursday. Lots of coasting, lots of spectating, not a lot of "Panther hockey" going on. Give credit to the B's. They clogged the neutral zone, never allowing the Panthers' forecheckers to enter the zone with any kind of speed. Oh well. Lick your wounds, regroup, learn, and focus on the next one. No time to feel sorry for yourselves, a huge clash with the Rangers is waiting, and then a probable meeting with the returning Marty Brodeur and the Devils.

Despite the 6-1 score line, there is a bright spot tonight. Both the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes suffered defeats, so the Panthers remain locked up with the Sabres, and one point ahead of the 9th seed 'Canes, one point behind the NY Rangers.

The trade deadline continues to draw near... Do the Cats need to make a move? Where will Bouwmeester be on March 5th? The countdown continues...

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