The Panthers jumped out to the lead in the first period, but surrendered four unanswered goals.
It could’ve been worse for the Panthers. Forward Jussi Jokinen was on the receiving end of a high, late hit from Ottawa blue liner Jared Cowen in the second period. Jokinen remained down on the ice, but did stay in the game.
Cowen was handed a minor penalty for interference. He fought Shawn Thornton two seconds after stepping out of the box.
Tyler Seguin continues to work back to full health after suffering a knee injury last Friday that will keep him out of the Dallas Stars lineup for three to six weeks.
Speaking on the Stars website, Seguin offered an update on his treatments with the team’s medical staff, as well as his opinion on the Dmitry Kulikov low hit that injured Seguin and landed the Florida Panthers defenseman with a four-game suspension.
The 23-year-old Seguin, who has 29 goals and 59 points in 55 games this season, admitted he expected Kulikov to get more than a four-game ban.
“It’s only been a week, so there hasn’t been too much progress or setback. It’s just been how it is. Every night I go to sleep and in the morning I’ll wake up and see if it hurts at all, to see if I was cured overnight. Maybe I will get over that soon.
“Everyone, including him, knew it was a dirty hit. It’s a fast game. I don’t know if he intended to, but I don’t think he would. It’s really not in our game as much anymore. It’s not that league anymore. I was talking after the game to Shawn Thornton, who used to be in Boston, and he said [Kulikov] was choked up about it.”
There were lots of people celebrating on New Year’s Eve. In a way Milan Lucic was among them, but not for the conventional reasons. By the sounds of it, he wasn’t in the mood to rejoice over the start of a new year so much as he was simply glad to be rid of the last one.
“It wasn’t a good 2014,” Lucic said, per the Boston Globe. “I’m happy it’s over. I’m looking forward to 2015 and hopefully we can turn things around.”
When 2014 start, the Boston Bruins were leading the Atlantic Division and seemed poised for another lengthy playoff run after making it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013. Instead they lost in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals to the rival Montreal Canadiens and cap problems forced them to principally subtract over the summer. They entered the 2014-15 campaign without forwards Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton as well as defenseman Johnny Boychuk and those losses have taken their toll as the Bruins are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
No huge surprise to hear that. When the Bruins went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2013, they had players like Jaromir Jagr, Nathan Horton, Shawn Thornton, and Johnny Boychuk. All four of those players, since departed, brought size and strength to Boston’s lineup.
While the B’s aren’t exactly a bunch of pipsqueaks now, they did intentionally go into the season with more speed and skill up front, and there’s a feeling they’ve lost that “big, bad” identity that accompanied their rise into the elite category of NHL teams. On Boston’s current active roster, only four forwards are listed at 200 pounds or more — Milan Lucic (235), Carl Soderberg (216), Matt Fraser (204), and Daniel Paille (200).
In yesterday’s mailbag, Haggerty suggested Columbus forward Nick Foligno (210 pounds) as a potential target for Chiarelli.
We’ll suggest another one, courtesy TSN’s Bob McKenzie — Jordan Nolan (221 pounds) of the Los Angeles Kings.
Count the Panthers in the ‘rolling all four lines’ category
Here’s an interesting stat — after 13 games, the Florida Panthers don’t have a single forward who’s averaging less than 10 minutes of ice time.
That compares to last season, when enforcer/media critic Krys Barch averaged just 5:58 in 55 games, and the season before that, when tough guy George Parros was playing a similar pugilistic role.
Tuesday against San Jose, the Panthers got two goals from its fourth line of Tomas Fleischmann, Derek MacKenzie, and Shawn Thornton in a 4-1 win over the Sharks. No Florida forward played less than 12:28 that night.
“We’ve got four lines that can play,” new coach Gerard Gallant said Wednesday, per Fox Sports Florida. “Our so-called fourth line went out and scored two goals last night. People call it our fourth line but it isn’t a fourth line and I’ll say that all year.”