The Panther Report

The Florida Panthers (7-8-6-4)are off to a surprising start this year by staying around the .500 mark and near or in a spot for the playoffs for the first quater of the season. This is due to a number of reasons.
One of the reasons is the most obvious to the average fan; Olli Jokinen. Olli is a whole new player this year. His confidence has sky-rocketed. Keenan has spent the time to work with Olli this season to develop him into the player he and the scouts that believed he was 3rd overall in 97′ they know he can be. Olli is in the top 5 in scoring this season, with more time on the PP and PK. Watch for him to keep this kind of play up for the rest of the year.

The main reason the Panthers have more points this year is because over half their games this season have gone in OT. With the new rules, going into OT automatically gets you a point. As long as the Panthers can keep having close games and forcing their opponets into the extra frame they should keep up their pace.

As for their trading of defenseman Dimitri Yushcavich to the LA Kings for rookies Bednar and Lilija, it has looked good so far. Bednar is a forward who can play all positions and is great both ways. Lilija is still learning, but seems to be comfortable along side super smooth Jay Bowmeester, who looks matured beound his years. This was a good trade for the club because they were going to lose Dimitri for nothing if they couldn’t trade him before the deadline.

In other Panthers news today left wing Peter Worrell received a 10-day jail sentence, one year of probation and a five-year suspension of his driver’s license after pleading no contest to driving under the influence. This is also not the first time Worrell has been caught driving under the influence. Worrell is to Worrell to report to jail on April 7, 2003, one day after the Panthers’ regular-season finale. This could hurt his convidence on the ice, I’m not really sure. Hopefully Peter has learned his lesson.

18 Responses to The Panther Report

  1. mikster says:

    The Panthers are quite a surprising team this season.

    ***By the way Mantaray***

    Jay Feaster made the Pavel Bure trade to NYR for Novak and Ulanov. Not Dudley!

    Hurme was a great acquisition. Bouwmeester appears to be quite solid. Hagman will be a big time player. Jokinen is also doing well.

    I mean, things are going the right way for the Panthers. Considering they could have been worse…things are going just fine. They are not an easy team to beat, and that’s the good thing.

    As for Worrell, what a retard. That’s all i can say….

  2. SabresFanB says:

    Will Worrell receive any type of punishment from the league for what he did?

  3. Gothamcityblueshirts says:

    Really?? I thought it was Fletcher or whatever his name was, who made that deal with the Rangers.

  4. Gothamcityblueshirts says:

    Im not sure about that, but im sure some fans will not chant Jail bird at him for now on.

  5. Johnny_Canuck says:

    we must’t disregard the effect that the crackdown on obstruction has had on the game… it has allowed quite a few players (and teams) come to prominence this season.

  6. mikster says:

    Yeah Fletch, not Feaster. Woops!

  7. cecilturtle says:

    Say what you want about Mike Keenan. It might all be true! But one thing for sure, he is a winner! I don’t care who is on the roster… His team at worst will be competative. Anyone who does not do exactly what Iron Mike says or does not give 100% every shift is gone!

    When the Rangers won the cup in 94 led by Keenan… This was the last time the the Rangers played good Defence. Seeing replays of the games from 94 on classic sports network – every opponant when in the Rangers zone was covered hard and tight EVERY NIGHT & EVERY SHIFT. The Rangers have been playing great D as of late – now that the all the new players are learning to play together. But some nights the Defence and team just don’t show up to play. This does not happen with Keenan! Keenan always starts each game playing with 4 full lines. By then end of the game he is using 3 lines made up of the best 9 players that game. It does not matter who you are or what you have done in the past… Its how your playing that game.

    He even had the balls to bench Messier, Graves, & Kovalev game 5 against the Devils in 94. People in NY say the Rangers won the cup dispite Keenan. If it were not for Messier taking controll of game 6 and a luckey Motteu goal in OT game 7 people would still be chanting 1940 when the Rangers came to your town! I don’t buy this 100% Keenan did some thing no one could do since 1940! You might not like him and 3 players are going to be pissed off every game… But ya gotta give the guy credit. He knows what it takes to be a winner!

    Cecil Turtle

  8. mikster says:

    and then leaves under contract 😉

  9. Enchilada says:

    As a suggestion if you had added some criticism to this article it would have been better. You can not just tell us about the silver lining without telling us about the cloud.

    How is the absence of worrell in the playoffs going to affect them when they are in the conference finals? I think they will miss his penalty minutes and the oppurtunity to be on the power kill two or three times a game which can be crucial in the later rounds of the playoffs.

  10. wrightstuff77 says:

    Who misses getting penalty minutes in the playoffs and what is the power kill?

    Just wondering.


  11. Enchilada says:

    Let me explain, when you get deep into the playoffs like the Panthers will you need that thug on the ice who will be drawn into a stupid penalty therefore putting your team down a man. And without Worrell to provide man advantages for the other team Florida will be in trouble come game seven in the conference finals against the Maple Leafs. I did mean to say penalty kill in my first post.

  12. montrealbruinsfan says:

    Panthers in the Conference Finals?!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAA What are you smoking? The Panthers won’t even MAKE the playoffs.

  13. Enchilada says:

    After reading this article it seems as though there is no stopping this Team, no down side what so ever, are you trying to say that this article is one sided and that the Panthers are still years from contending?

  14. Johnny_Canuck says:

    yeah… deep in the playoffs…. lol

  15. cecilturtle says:

    Keenan cannot coach a team for more than a year or two if his team is comprised of established veteran players who have been successful in the NHL outside his system. A team like Florida though, is a perfect fit for Keenan because he was able to get rid of the “few” (IE:Bure) established players who might not agree with his demanding and restrictive coaching style.

    Keenan was able to replaced them with his guys. Veteran players who he has developed from the start of their careers and have followed Keenan around the NHL playing for just about every team he has coached. Players like (IE) Motteau and like 5 or 6 others – I don’t have their roster in front of me – All know they play by far their best hockey under Keenan’s management because their style of play is perfect for his system. When Keenan has these types of players “ONLY” leading his team… He will always be successful. These loyal veterans will not only motivate all the young players to buy into his system 100%, but also teach them to love playing it!

    This is how it has to be for Keenan to stay in one place long term. I can only see him staying in Florida long term if these young players develop into good NHL players and always stay loyal to Keenan. Looking at this Panther roster… He has every thing lined up the way it needs to be for this to happen.

    Cecil Turtle

  16. cecilturtle says:

    Next time I’ll proff read…

  17. montrealbruinsfan says:

    Yes, that is what I’m saying. The Panthers will not make the playoffs. The article is the definition of one sided.

  18. Enchilada says:

    Then you have seen through the sarcasm, have you?

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