Thursday, February 26, 2009

Peepin' Foes: Florida Panthers

Nothing like getting right back on the horse, is there? The Rangers can't dwell on how much they screwed up John Tortorella's debut because they are back in action Wednesday night against Florida at the Garden.

Where We Are: Not in a very good position, especially since Tom Renney is finally realizing now how he screwed up. Too little, too late.

Where They Are: Including the Panthers 2-1 win over the Rangers Feb. 13th, they have gone W-L-W-L-W-L. Following that pattern, we're screwed. But, if it is of any help, after beating the Bruins 2-0 on Saturday, the Panthers last game was a 6-1 slaughter at the hands of the B's on Tuesday when big Byron Bitz made them his bitch and got vengeance for the loss with two goals of his own. Tomas Vokoun, who had played nine straight games, actually rode the bench for that one so odds are good he will be in the crease across from Henrik.

Who To Watch For: Stephen Weiss regularly does well against the Blueshirts, Nathan Horton is growing into a No. 1 center (finally) and David Booth is a dangerous sniper. But the main guy to watch is Jay Bouwmeester. Bouwmeester is a stud and will trigger a huge bidding war this summer if the Panthers don't re-sign him. There is all sorts of talk about him being dealt at the deadline but I can't imagine Florida will do it, not when they have a playoff spot all but wrapped up.

What To Watch For: Another effort like that in Toronto where some players don't try, some players try hard and others try too hard. Bad habits don't just go away.

What We'll (Hopefully) See: More ice time for Colton Orr, Scott Gomez to manage to not cause a single offside all game long (haha), Wade Redden to keep his scoring streak alive and Markus Naslund to keep the gloves on.

Also Check Out: On Frozen Pond (not the fantastic Caps one, this is a good MSM one by a Miami Herald writer who writes from his heart and loves the game) and Litter Box Cats over at SBN.


Anonymous said...

I liked the analogy for Gomez that was used during the game. He's like the wide receiver who thinks about getting a touchdown before he even catches the pass. Its nice to finally hear something worthwhile when watching a game.

Patrick Hoffman said...

What do we have to do to score some goals, Scotty?

Anonymous said...

It's kinda funny that, in the NY Post article, Renney didn't mention Henrik when thanking the players for "helping to bring the franchise back." It's obvious he should be at the top of that list, well ahead of Sean Avery....

Think Renney and Hank had a falling out?