December 16 2011 08:29PM
December 16 2011 04:15PM
When Pat asked me for a preview of the Panthers on OT last night, I mentioned the top line is running very hot. What I neglected to mention is that Jose Theodore is having his best season since 2001-02, sporting a .923 SV% through 22 appearances so far. The last time he was anywehre close a .920 SV% overall was 2003-04 (.919).
Florida picked up Jose out of desperation this summer for 1.5M after Vokoun flew the coop. Now he's got a better save rate than most of the starters in the league.
You just never know with goalies.
December 16 2011 11:09AM
Seems like there's a bit of a groundswell in support of the idea of sitting Mikael Backlund for a few games. Points haven't been coming for the 22-year old center since his return and his rough second period last night probably lends credence to the notion.
I contend Mikael has been mostly excellent since he was re-activated, however.
December 15 2011 08:23PM
Final score: 5-4 OTL
December 15 2011 04:51PM
It's been a much tougher second season for neophyte GM Steve Yzerman. I thought he made a lot of good bets in his first summer in Tampa Bay, but this off-season was mostly spent grappling with Stamkos' contract extension and bleeding away some of the better, middle-tier pieces he had the year before. Bergenheim left, Gagne left and Mike Smith is suddenly a capable starter in the PHX.
Throw in the recent St. Louis injury, Roloson finally playing his age and Lecavalier proving to be grossly overpaid and you have a bit of a mess. The Bolts deph up front is limited and no one on the club is a proven ES performer in terms of possession.
Stamkos is a dangerous sniper and is a guy to look out for on the PP, but he's not a player who can play at both ends with aplomb yet. The Flames have a good chance at vicotry tonight if they can play mostly at ES and keep the kid off the scoreboard.