The Florida Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning last night, 4-0. That puts the cats at 6-8-1 for the season. Next up for Florida is the defending Stanley Cup Champs, The Detroit Red Wings, at home on Friday night.
Craig Anderson, who because of his strong performance against Anaheim, was given his second straight start. While Tampa only attempted 24 shots on goal, Anderson made a couple of spectacular save. Gregory Campbell collected two of Florida's four goals. These in addition were the first goals of the year for Campbell.
*- Coach Pete DeBoer has already made it known Craig Anderson will start against Detroit. The days when Florida would ride their goaltender into the ground appear to be over. DeBoer has more confidence in Anderson than former coach Jacques Martin has ever shown.
*- Tampa was so lackluster last night that I can't avoid shaking my head when reminded of how some hockey prognosticator thought the team could dream of winning the Stanley Cup this year.
Tampa could only manage 24 shots against a Florida team that has been giving up over 40 a game on a regular basis this season. All I see in Tampa is a one-dimensional offense mostly based around Vincent Lecavalier, a
invisible man highly touted rookie Steven Stamkos who was barely involved in last night's game, a team as shallow at defenseman as Florida aka where's Dan Boyle these days?, and two goalies that would be backups most anywhere else in the NHL excluding Ottawa. Based on what I've seen so far this year, Tampa has little chance of making the playoffs and a Stanley Cup ride is pure fantasy.
*- Nathan Horton after scoring a goal and assist early in the game, didn't play in the 3rd period due to flu like symptoms. You suddenly get the flu after 40 minutes of hockey? No wonder many South Florida hockey fans question Horton's desire.