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Panthers: The kind of game great teams RARELY play


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I know I'm not alone, and I know this has been more rare this season than the previous two so far, but once again the phrase "not good enough" was the Detroit Red Wings' catchphrase after last night's game. I'll give Babcock credit: he blamed the coaching staff every bit as much as he blamed the players, and he didn't use the power outage as an excuse.

I absolutely ABHOR when they say they weren't good enough! NO ****! REALLY? LET ME WRITE THAT DOWN, because THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING!

And Brendan Smith transmogrified back into the 2013 version of himself. I wouldn't have let him play another shift the rest of the period after that giveaway. Not a good game for him. But he wasn't alone.

Babs has a VERY deep bench, and IMHO he needs to USE IT! If that happens again in the next couple of games, I'd be sitting Smith or anyone else down who isn't pulling their weight.

Honestly, we were LUCKY to get out of there losing by only one goal. Howie didn't play badly, but when you give the puck away, what...25 times, maybe?...Howie can't be expected to save your team.

Granted, I turned the game off when it went 4-1, and it appears the Wings may have played better later in the game, but WAY too little and too late.

I'm gonna try not to overreact to one game. Every team has a bad one every once in a while. But one thing has been true of late--we are giving up too many goals, and in my opinion most of it is not Jimmy Howard's fault. Our D has been slipping. It is only our PP and O that have been saving us, but over time that won't cut it. We've gotta be better with the puck in our own zone, period. Giving up this many goals will eventually come back to bite us in the butt, and will NEVER work in the SCPs. It needs to be fixed, and let the bench and the luxury suite be used as tools to ensure it IS fixed.

The problem is in between the ears. The Panthers played the night before and they looked fresh! That's a mental issue. Nothing more. So are the giveaways. Time to refocus.

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Ugly, ugly game, especially early in the first period when the Wings simply could not clear no matter what they did. Terrible play in their own zone all night with the earl first a harbinger of what was to come.


   I was VERY impressed with the kid Trochek for the Panthers. He was a shot of offense for them late in the year last season when they called him up around the deadline, He started this year with San Antonio and when they couldn't get any offense he was recalled and has like 12 points in 14 games. The kid looks fearless.


  And Ekblad! He was simply firing passes out of his own zone and working as the trailer multiple times, the kid looks for real and then some. I haven't looked at the stats but he had to have had 20 minutes or more ice time in all kinds of situations. Maybe we can talk the Panthers into trading us Soups Campbell to fill a slot on our blueline, lol. Maybe for Smith.


 Your right, Smith was wretched, simply appalling last night. And you hit it on the head saying he was not alone, the whole team kind of took the night off. Its just one game, Dallas is next, they are all out of sorts, time to get it back together.

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To their credit, hockey players and coaches have better things to do than answer stupid questions from the press.  Yes we all read the articles detailing their responses, but have you ever heard the questions?


"Can you give me your thoughts about tonight's loss?"  I mean, really, what kind of an answer are you expecting from a question like that?


"Do you think having Abdelkader in the lineup would have helped?"  No.  Matter of fact, I'm glad he's hurt.  Hope it gets infected and he's out even longer.


You've all noticed that they always use the same responses over and over again, right?  They just use the simplest response absolutely possible to answer the questions, and not queue any more.  Regardless of the level of effort, these guys have just spent the last three hours skating and playing a hard, physical game.  


"We weren't good enough.  We need to skate better and score some more goals.  We need a higher level of effort from everybody if we expect to compete.  Can I go now?"

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I dunno. For me, there are some bad games where we DO get outworked or where the opposing D forces bad decisions. There are also some bad games where we are just careless. There are losses when we play well, but we just didn't win, either because the bounces didn't go our way or because the opposing goalie was brilliant.


It's not ALWAYS about being "better." Sometimes, we play well and still lose.


I will say this about my original rant: There have been fewer losses this year, which fortunately makes these kinds of answers fewer and farther between. The last couple of years, it has driven me nuts, because they say it every time.


It is one thing to say "we need to get better" and then go out and DO it. It's another thing when you say it, go out and play no different and then say it again. And again. I've got to give them credit: there haven't been many repeats this year.


Probably just rubbed me the wrong way. I heard it, and it just took me back to last year and the year before where I heard it ALL too often. So long as they go out there next game and actually play better, I guess I can't complain too much.

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@yave1964   I've had Trocheck on my fantasy radar for a few weeks now, very impressed with his overall game, and to boot, he was immediatly inserted into his top six role. He's been piling up pts with regularity. Ditto for Exblad, we all knew he could skate and was great at the outlet pass, the one variable we didn't really know, was how his offensive game would translate into the NHL game.....he has answered that question. The sky is literally the limit for this guy. He's on pace for more than 40 pts as a rookie d-man. Depending on the talent around him (ie Huberdeau, Barkov, Bugstad etc) he could very well become a 70 pt d-man in a few years!

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