Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Sun-Sentinel,
And now with the Panthers guaranteed to miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season, Jokinen knows that when he does make it, if ever, he will have waited longer than anyone in NHL history.
Panthers assistant coach Guy Charron, who played for four franchises during his 12 NHL seasons (1969-1981), is No. 1 all-time in most NHL games played (734) without a playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau….
“It’s definitely not a record you want to hold,” Jokinen said. “The last few years at the deadline, I had a chance to go somewhere if I had opened my mouth and said, ‘I want to move.’ But nothing has changed. I want to win here.”
from the Florida Panthers Blog at the Sun-Sentinel,
It has become quite clear in recent days that Jacques Martin and Olli Jokinen can’t co-exist beyond this season. One of them will be gone this summer, so now owner Alan Cohen has a tough decision to make.
—- He can’t have Martin step down has coach and remain as GM because the GM picks his coach and he’d likely pick someone with a personality similar to his, one that players both in Ottawa and Florida contend doesn’t relate well to them.
—- He either has to keep Martin in both positions or in neither.
via the Miami Herald,
Questions about Jokinen’s leadership have surfaced, with coach and general manager Jacques Martin deflecting comment about that Thursday, saying it was something best addressed after the season.
‘‘I look back over the past 19 games and he hasn’t scored even strength,’’ Martin said.
“He’s a minus player right now. I think he has to be better and he knows that. If you want to win, your best players have to be your best players. We go a lot of nights with the Stephen Weiss line as the top line.”
from the Miami Herald,
Olli Jokinen, the captain, the leading scorer, the name most associated with Panthers hockey, understands the stakes for his team because he agrees this is the ‘‘biggest game,’’ of the season.
But he also has to have a clear understanding of what this means to him. Personally.
And that is this: He must keep the Panthers winning and pointed toward the playoffs, because if he doesn’t his reputation as a guy who can’t get his team in the postseason will only mushroom.
‘‘Every year you feel like a failure if the team doesn’t make the playoffs,’’ Jokinen said Wednesday. ``All the goals and points—that’s all stuff you want to put away. If the team doesn’t make the playoffs, it’s a failure.
From Chuck Gormley at the Sporting News,
Break out the sun screen and beach chairs. The Florida Panthers are in hot pursuit of a playoff spot.
With a franchise-record seven-game win streak, the Panthers are biting at the heels of the eighth-place Philadelphia Flyers. And with two games coming up against the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, they’re even flirting with what was unthinkable two weeks ago: a South-least Division title.
“There’s a good energy going around,” Panthers defenseman Steve Montador said. “There’s a little bit of a buzz.”
Update 4:28pm ET: Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail wonders if this is the Year of the Panther.
Update 5:33pm ET: Apparently Florida is the story of the day. Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca also checks in with some thoughts.
from On Frozen Pond,
The Panthers have officially suspended Chad Kilger without pay, word is retroactive to March 1. That’s probably a nice chunk of change. Figure he makes $800,000 per season, so during a 28-week season, that’s $28,571 per week on that scale; $15,384 over a 52-game pay period minus taxes, etc.
I now expect Mr. Kilger to clear up those personal issues rather promptly and find an Air Canada flight direct to Fort Lauderdale..
a little more on the Panthers…
from the Miami Herald,
(Craig) Anderson hasn’t surrendered a goal in 2 hours, 27 minutes, 46 seconds of game time. Philadelphia’s Daniel Briere was the last to beat him, on Feb. 23. Anderson, Florida’s backup to Tomas Vokoun, has also stopped 105 consecutive shots. Since the new year began, Anderson has won five of six starts.
‘‘This could happen to anyone, I’m just trying to work hard in practice to make sure I’d be ready when I did get the call,’’ said Anderson, who made 40 saves Tuesday after making 53 Sunday against the Islanders. ``It starts by working hard in practice and battling for the guys there. The guys are definitely pulling together. It’s good to see. These last two have just been terrific.’‘
more on the Panthers…
from the Miami Herald,
‘‘I thought we made progress every season, but I can’t say that about this season. It’s been a major disappointment to date,’’ Panthers majority owner Alan Cohen told us—and that was before Friday’s defeat left Florida one of only three teams with more regulation home losses than wins. ``Not making the playoffs this year is simply unacceptable to management, to our fans, and it should be to our players.’‘
I have been discerning owner-speak for a few decades now, all the way back to Dolphins patriarch Joe Robbie, and I can testify that when an owner publicly calls his team’s season a ‘‘major disappointment’’ and states that not making the playoffs is ‘‘simply unacceptable,’’ that owner might have a beheading in mind.
Chad Kilger, acquired by Florida in a trade with Toronto, was granted a leave of absence by the Panthers on Wednesday due to personal reasons.
Just one day after Kilger was sent to the Panthers by the Maple Leafs, the forward sat out when Florida faced his former team at home.
Kilger flew back to Toronto after meeting with Jacques Martin, the Panthers coach and general manager, and team officials said it wasn’t known when he would return.
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
Olli Jokinen, favorite son of Canadian rumor mills, remained with the Panthers—as he fully expected.
He was so worried about being traded, he said Tuesday would be pretty routine. ‘‘I’m going to go home,’’ he said, ``eat some lunch, pick up my kids and go to the park like always. Nothing’s going to change.’‘
Florida coach and general manager Jacques Martin said teams asked about Jokinen, but ``from Day One, as I’ve said, you always try to improve our club and I wouldn’t make a deal that wasn’t good for the organization.’‘
‘‘Olli’s here, he should have piece of mind that the trade deadline is over,’’ Martin said. ``But the mandate hasn’t changed. We expect him to get us into the playoffs.’‘
more on the Panthers…
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