Tim Thomas

BluesPanthers

Panthers face Blues for first time after ‘real good kicking’ in St. Louis

3 Comments

Seven goals is the biggest losing margin in the NHL this year, and only two teams can lay claim to the dubious distinction — the New York Rangers (a 9-2 loss to San Jose on Oct. 8) and the Florida Panthers, who lost 7-0 in St. Louis on Oct. 5.

Tonight, the Panthers are looking for revenge as they host the Blues in Florida.

“You get beat bad, a team spanks you, you know what? We’re all professionals, we all have pride, we know we took a really good kicking there,” head coach Kevin Dineen told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “So, that’s how you react.”

The blowout loss saw the Blues score five goals on 28 shots against Tim Thomas, then two on six shots against Jakob Markstrom, who came on in relief for the third period.

It was, as you’d expect, an embarrassing moment for the Panthers.

“It was a man’s game and we didn’t rise to the occasion tonight,” Dineen fumed following the contest. “We got outplayed in every aspect of the game.”

“Obviously, our whole entire game wasn’t there. We just had a lesson in how you’re supposed to play. We should take a page from their playbook,” said Florida defenseman Mike Weaver. “They came out hard, finished checks, won every puck battle. We should be watching their video next game in what they do and learn from it.”

Markstrom will get the start in goal tonight for the Panthers, who are mired in a tough home stretch that’s seen them lose four of five — though they were able to salvage points with shootout losses to Chicago and Tampa Bay.

St. Louis heads into tonight having won two straight. Tonight also marks the first in a mini three-game roadie that sees the Blues go to Florida, Tampa Bay and Montreal.

Panthers coach doesn’t exactly praise Markstrom

stamkosbeatsmarkstromgetty

In an ideal world, the Florida Panthers would have the present (Tim Thomas) and future (Jacob Markstrom) covered in net. In reality, Thomas is injured and Markstrom’s playing like a guy who isn’t ready for the NHL.

When asked by the Miami Herald if he was “happy” with Markstrom’s work as of late, Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen wasn’t exactly emphatically in his young netminder’s corner.

“Well,” Dineen paused for a few seconds. “It’s always easy to sit there over the last couple of days. I go back to what I said. I have healthy bodies out of the lineup and it’s easy to always be explaining why and to lean toward the negative. At the end of it, we need a win versus St. Louis and goaltending is a big part of that.

“I’ve seen Jake go out and win us a hockey game and the two points versus St. Louis, he will have to be a big part of that if I decide to go that way. [Scott Clemmensen] is always an option.”

Not exactly an A+ on the report card, there.

One cannot blame Dineen considering Markstrom’s numbers, which are bad both team-wise (1-4-2 record) and individually (.887 save percentage and 3.19 GAA). It’s hard to imagine the St. Louis Blues making life a whole lot easier for the big Swede, either.

It wouldn’t be shocking to see Markstrom sent back to the AHL – the first year of his current deal would allow it – as it seems like now isn’t the right time for Markstrom. Much like with Winnipeg and Ondrej Pavelec, Florida’s brass must be getting at least a bit nervous about a guy who’s supposed to be the goalie of the future.

Dineen says ‘quick healer’ Thomas won’t be out long-term

TimThomas
5 Comments

Tim Thomas’ latest injury isn’t cause for major concern.

That was the word out of Florida on Thursday as Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen said the club doesn’t expect Thomas, 39, to miss much time with his second lower-body injury of the year.

“We’re confident that he’s not going to be [out] long-term. He’s a quick healer,” Dineen told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Unfortunate, but the short-term situation is we’ll give [Scott Clemmensen] a call, and goaltending depth is becoming a factor in our season already.”

The Panthers put Thomas on injured reserve Wednesday with a leg injury, roughly one week after he returned from a groin injury that cost him four games.

The former Conn Smythe and Vezina winner suffered his latest setback during a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago on Tuesday, exiting the contest with three minutes remaining in regulation.

Because of Florida’s schedule — the Panthers play Buffalo on Friday, Tampa Bay on Sunday, then have four days off — it’s possible Thomas will only miss a pair of games before getting activated off IR.

After Sunday’s game against the Bolts, Florida doesn’t play again until Friday, Nov. 1 against St. Louis. So there’s a chance Thomas will be activated in time for rematch against the Blues, who whipped Florida 7-0 earlier this season.

On the year, Thomas has posted a 3.11 GAA with a .905 save percentage, but those numbers are skewed thanks to a two-game stretch in which he allowed five goals on 28 shots the blowout loss to St. Louis, then followed it by allowing two goals on five shots against Philly before getting yanked due to the aforementioned groin injury.

Over his last three games, Thomas has actually played quite well — he stopped 37 of 40 in the loss to Boston, 30 of 31 in a shootout win over Minnesota and 25 of 27 against Chicago.

Goalie nods: Johnson to make B’s debut vs. Sabres

ChadJohnsonBruins
7 Comments

News and notes from the crease…

Boston goes with Ocho Cinco

Chad Johnson, acquired this offseason to back up Tuukka Rask, will finally get his first game for the Bruins tonight against Buffalo.

Johnson, 27, spent last year with the Coyotes and was impressive in a limited amount of work, going 2-0-2 with a .954 save percentage and 1.21 GAA.

Rask has been in goal for all seven of Boston’s games thus far, posting a 5-2-0 record with a 1.29 GAA and .954 save percentage.

Elsewhere…

Cory Schneider will make his third straight start on Thursday against his old team, the Vancouver Canucks.

Cam Talbot will make his NHL debut for the Rangers on Thursday against Philadelphia, in place of the injured Henrik Lundqvist.

The Flames will go back to Karri Ramo on Thursday against Dallas. Ramo was in net for Monday’s 3-2 win over Los Angeles while Joey MacDonald was on the hook for Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Phoenix.

The Panthers put Tim Thomas on IR. He’ll miss Friday’s game against Buffalo and Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.

Panthers put Thomas on IR

timthomashighfivesgetty
22 Comments

The Florida Panthers put goalie Tim Thomas on injured reserve Wednesday, one day after he left a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago with under three minutes left in regulation.

According to Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen, Thomas (groin) will not play in either of this weekend’s games against Buffalo (Friday) or Tampa Bay (Sunday).

Thomas, 39, has already missed time this year with a groin injury, but returned on Oct. 17 to face his former team, the Boston Bruins, in a 3-2 loss.

On the year, Thomas has posted a 3.11 GAA with a .905 save percentage, but those numbers are skewed thanks to a two-game stretch in which he allowed five goals on 28 shots in a blowout loss to St. Louis, then followed it by allowing two goals on five shots against Philly before getting yanked due to the aforementioned groin injury.

Over his last three games, Thomas has actually played quite well — he stopped 37 of 40 in the loss to Boston, 30 of 31 in a shootout win over Minnesota and 25 of 27 last night against Chicago.

After Sunday’s game against the Bolts, Florida doesn’t play again until Friday, Nov. 1 against St. Louis. So there’s a chance Thomas will be activated in time for rematch against the Blues.