Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Panthers goalie controversy brewing

Those are the words of Harvey Fialkov of The Sun Sentinel, not me.

And as a fan, what Dineen said here (there are some plays over the course of the season that I’d like to see him make some saves for us) really irritates me. I guess he expects perfection, even if the team in front of his goalie isn't.

Here's the blog:

January 31st, 2012 | 2:56 PM

CORAL SPRINGS On the day before arguably their most important game of the 2011-12 season against the Washington Capitals, the Panthers may be on the brink of their first goalie controversy of the year.

While Panthers coach Kevin Dineen verbally quashed that notion by firmly stating that Jose Theodore is his starter, his actions prior to the All-Star break spoke otherwise when he started Scott Clemmensen against the Philadelphia Flyers over a rested, uninjured Theodore.

“You always start looking at the immediate games in Colorado and Chicago,’’ said Dineen when asked to assess Theodore’s season. “They were disappointing to all of us. When you look at the big picture he’s had a real positive effect on our lineup. He’s been a guy whose won some games for us. That’s what you need out of your goaltenders.

“Saying that, there are some plays over the course of the season that I’d like to see him make some saves for us.’’

Theodore, 35, is 14-9-5 with a 2.50 goals-against-average, which is one shy of his victory total last season with Minnesota and his best GAA since 2007-08. However, since sustaining a minor knee injury on New Year’s Eve against the Canadiens, Theodore sat out the next 18 days before losing 4-3 in overtime to Colorado and 3-1 to the Blackhawks.

“We knew down the stretch you need two goalies to be good,’’ said Theodore, who admitted he’s rarely 100 percent healthy. “Clemmensen’s playing great now. We had a good break to refocus for the last stretch.’’

Clemmensen, 34, who has notched at least a point in 11 of his 13 decisions (6-2-5), played the final two games before the break, earning a 4-3 shootout win over Winnipeg before losing in a 3-2 shootout versus Philadelphia.

“Any time you’re given an opportunity to play you’ve got to make the most of it,’’ said Clemmensen, who has started six of the previous nine games while going 2-2-2. “Right before the break I was playing quite a bit. That goes to show that my belief in [Dineen] and his belief in me are justified.’’

Dineen reiterated that Theodore is his No. 1 guy, but …

“I’m looking to win every game I can and [goaltender coach Robb Tallas] and I talk every day to try to build a consensus and decision who’s going to get the net,’’ he said. “Sometimes that’s a very easy decision to make. Other times, it’s a challenge.

“Jose Theodore is our starter. We can’t have success down the stretch without Jose playing good hockey.’’

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