Friday, February 13, 2009

Panthers 2 - Rangers 1 (SO)

Florida Panthers fans, welcome to playoff style, high intensity hockey!

-One of my favorite games of the year. Physical, high speed, high stakes, fight filled, serious, meaningful hockey. Just imagine this game, in the postseason, no shootout, play until someone scores. Think it was intense tonight? Just imagine...

-Tomas Vokoun continues to be the savior in nets. He went through a cold stretch in late November\December, but since regaining the trust of Pete DeBoer in early January, he has responded with nothing but confidence inspiring goal tending.

-David Booth has my vote for MVP. Not only is he a leading goal scorer, he plays with a level of intensity and determination I haven't seen since Brian Skrudland and Scott Mellanby were on the ice together. I mean Booth is just awesome.

-Oh yea, Booth's linemate, Richard Zednik, is pretty good too. He scored the only goal in his shootout, and oddly enough it was his first attempt in a shootout this season. Something tells me he may be in the top 3 in any upcoming SOs.

-Karlis Skrastins is quickly becoming another personal favorite. He isn't the quickest or most offensively minded defenseman on the team, but he more then makes up for it in his own zone. He must have had at least 4 or 5 blocked shots tonight, and he just always seemed to be in the right place.

-This team is starting to excite me in ways that hasn't been done since... well I'll leave that one to the imagination. But thanks to tonight's win, the Panthers are now a full 5 points ahead of the 9th seeds, Carolina and Pittsburgh. 1 point behind the 6th seed Flyers, 2 points behind 5th and 4th seed Canadians and Rangers. Unfortunately, the schedule just gets harder from here. Division leading Washington comes to the BAC on Sunday. Hopefully the Panthers learned something from the 3-1 beating the Capitals gave the Cats last week in D.C. I, for one, can't wait. Until then...

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