Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Panthers 5 - Leafs 4 (OT)
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say after that one. Down 4-1 with about 12 minutes left, the Panthers were done. Finished. Kaput. I was getting ready to flip to the Florida\Kentucky rivalry basketball game. But for some reason, I kept it on the Panthers. I was amused that Horton scored an easy rebound goal to make it 4-2. I was almost angry that Peltonen scored to make it 4-3. Getting my hopes up for nothing, thanks a lot, Cats. All game, they couldn't get anything going. Now, they score twice to get back within a goal, but they surely couldn't come all the way back. Where was this effort the first 50 minutes? Then it was 4-4. Zednik fighting to a rebound and tying the game. Wow. So they come all the way back, just to let down and lose the points in the end, right? Thank you, Tomas Vokoun. Overtime, great. We'll go to a shoot out and lose the bonus point. Richard Zednik. No doubt. Game over. 2 points. 8th place.
"We want people in the seats, we want people here. We're going to do everything we possibly can to make sure these last 30 games are our best." -Pete DeBoer before tonight's game.
Well, Pete. I'm not sure what more you can do to get people in the seats. All season long, it's been a team that has refused to quit, no matter the score, no matter the time on the board. There was an atmosphere in the barn that leaked through my TV for the first time in years. It probably helped there were thousands of Leafs fans egging the home team faithful after it went to 4-1, but whatever. You want fans to show up, keep putting games like this together. Well, the last 10+ minutes anyways. We'll conveniently overlook that 2nd period. For now. Try coming back from 4-1 against the teams coming up on the schedule... well you'll be making tee times by mid-April, no doubt. But there is no question that Florida should come out of this game feeling good. 2 points is 2 points. They'll look at the tape of the first 2 periods, compare it with the final 5 minutes, see the difference, and learn from it. Hard work = offense. Tenacity = goals. Laziness = 4-1 deficits.
Unfortunately, there's not much time to soak up this win. The Panthers travel up to Carolina for a mammoth contest with the Hurricanes. Florida now holds a 1 point lead over the 'Canes in the standings. And with Buffalo, New York, and Montreal all idle tonight, Florida gained a giant 2 points in the standings.
Oh yea, did you know today was the 1 year anniversary of Richard Zednik's near-death experience...?