Coral Springs,Florida – 05/23/2022 : This is not a good moment for hockey. The #1 team ends up playing golf tomorrow, and it’s highly paid million dollar players – choke. I am talking about Tampa Lightning sweeping the Florida Panthers 4-0, and players like Alexander Barkov and John Huberdeau slacking off during the playoffs.
If you are a hockey fan, this type of stuff makes you want to turn the channel and watch Lacrosse. There was no excuse for the ‘Cats’ as they are called by the ownership to not play with the same intensity that got them the Presidential Cup – the highest point scoring team. The same team that produced the most goals in the franchise history, could not put it together to score more than 1 goal a game and get shut out in critical game 4.
I am not sure where Alex Barkov, the team captain was during the playoffs. He was not the same person as during the season. No intensity. No drive. Same deal with Huberdeau – they both looked like they did not want to even be on the ice and that they did not care. It was bad enough the rest of the team was dormant , but when the captain of the team does nothing- no intensity on the ice to lead the team – how can you expect any different from the rest of the players ?
Time to demote him – for his lack of leadership. A non-inspiring player has no business being the captain of team. Time maybe to trade him to Montreal for the first round draft pick – since the Panthers gave up their other draft picks to put together a team that knows how to lose.
How about our Coach ? Brunette was out-coached during the playoffs. He continued to play the same players on the power play, even though they did not produce going 1 and who cares anymore on the power play . Pathetic hockey to say the least. Coach Brunette never heard of the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again expecting the same result. His answer to the lack luster performance of the used to be top line, was to keep playing them.
Time to get a new coach. A coach that knows.
With the best players in the league and the lack of performance from the best players the buck unfortunately stops at the Coach. If he was not able to motivate the players, adjust to the game presented before him, then he has to go.
What other answers can the Florida Panthers present to their loyal fan base ( like me) ? What were we missing during the playoffs that we did not have during the year ? Nothing. We had the best players money can buy – the best team – and the team couldn’t come out to play for during the playoffs.
This is all about coaching. That is the only place where anyone can say needs to be improved.
Think about it. We would have been better off finishing 3rd than finishing 1st. We would not have gone against the Lightning.
Think about it . The last game home game, we lose to Tampa – 8-4 . The last game of the the season we lose to Montreal 10-2. This is all about coaching. Momentum is everything in hockey. Tampa played their best players even in the last game of the season. Brunette decided to give Barkov and Huberdeau a holiday on the last game of the season against Montreal. They sat the two regular goal tenders as well. They lost the momentum of the season and this mistake, made by Brunette, almost lost the first series to Washington and definitely lost the series to Tampa. They needed to finish the season – winning. Any coach will tell you this.
As a season ticket holder I can only say that I was suckered into believing in a team that did not want to come out and play during the playoffs. I am not sure how I will be able to get excited for a bunch of slackers and chokers next season. I hope they trade some a few top players and get rid of this coach. At least bring back a team that wants to win. Then if they lose , at least they tried hard.
As a fan, our expectations would be less, and I would be less frustrated with the team that could have done a lot better than choke.