Absolute Mediocrity: Can The Panthers Battle Back?

Sergei Bobrovsky got paid approximately $1.1 million dollars for each save he had on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers were down in the series 2-1 heading in to a pivotal game 4 and the team’s highest paid asset decides to lay an absolute goose egg. I understand that Cirelli had a breakaway and then Gourde and Pallat had their tip in goals, but for the type of money Bob is getting paid, he needs to perform better than giving up 5 goals on 14 shots for a .642 SV%.

This entire series, Bob has failed to make the big save when the team needed him. I get that the defense has left him out to dry at times; however, when you sign a big ticket, you need to be able to steal a game in a playoff series. It has been so bad that Coach Q has opted to go with Dreidger for 2 of the 4 games instead of the tendy who was supposed to come down and be the goaltending savior of South Florida.

There was a lot more wrong with the Panthers’ performance on Saturday than just goaltending, but that has been the biggest issue of the series for the Cats in my opinion. Especially when they paid through the nose to get Bobrovsky and he has just been mediocre at best the past 2 seasons. He certainly has not lived up to a $2-million per year deal, let alone a monster $10-million. Bob’s contract makes Rick DiPierto’s look like a fair deal!

Rumor has it that Spencer Knight will get the start between the pipes for game 5 tonight. Which in my opinion, you might as well give the kid a shot. It isn’t like either tendy above him can stop a beach ball at this point. Hopefully this will be the start of him overtaking Bobrovsky for the #1 spot moving forward.

All the fans were talking about how the Panthers outshot the Lightning; however, it is like anything else in life, would you rather have quantity or quality? The Bolts chose quality and got 6 goals on 26 quality shots. The Panthers didn’t have many good looks and were just shooting to put pucks on net. Their shots were mostly from a distance and/or bad angle which makes Vasi’s life so much easier.

Furthermore, as Coach Cooper said, it quit being a hockey game after the 5th goal and became just an absolute shit show. The Panthers were trying to take out their frustrations in a physical sense and it just got ugly. A perfect example of the idiocrasy, would be the slash Duclair gave Kucherov late in the 3rd period. The Panthers finished the game with 13 penalties for 50 minutes.

What did my article focus on going in to game 4? Having decent goaltending and staying out of the penalty box. What did the Panthers do? Ignore my advice and give up 2 PP goals, albeit one was late and when the game was already out of hand.

Overall, to say I am disappointed in the Panther’s performance this postseason would be the understatement of the century. The Panthers owned the Bolts in the regular season and should have been able to capture their first playoff series victory in 25 years. Yet, this will be another disappointing ending to a good season.

What to Look for in Game 5:

The first thing, who will get the start? With Dreidger and Bobrovsky playing mediocre as hell, why not go with Knight and see if that sparks something? What do you have to lose at this point?

How will the Panthers respond? Will they come out playing hockey and trying to claw their way back in to this series? Or will they have their heads hung and roll over admitting defeat? I hope they do not come out and try to physically beat the Lightning as they clearly cannot afford to keep giving the Bolts more PP chances.

I am not optimistic about coming back from a 3-1 series deficit; however, I just hope the Panthers rally together and give it one last push so as to not fade back to irrelevance.

Gambling with the Goalie:

Here are a few of my picks and tips for tonight’s line up. Take them for what they are worth:

  • Panthers Lightning – Hammer the Over
  • Islanders ML +120 – they have been keeping it close all series and with odds of +120 it would be worth the money
  • Jets ML +100 – Jets have been all over the Oilers and came back from a 4-1 deficit to win last night in OT
  • I may have more action and can always update the blog later

Let me know if you guys like the gambling portion as I can post more frequently inclusive picks, stats, etc. Who is riding with me on this?

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