Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A SCORELESS SCRIMMAGE: #FlaPanthers Goalies Look Good -- As Usual

On Frozen Pond
by George Richards (@GeorgeRichards)

The Panthers finished 27th in the 30-team National Hockey League in goals scored last season.
Was anyone expecting them to transform overnight?

Florida held a 40-minute scrimmage in Coral Springs on Wednesday night and no one in the red home jerseys nor anyone in the white road jerseys scored a goal.

The Panthers goaltending, however, was good as usual.

"I was really happy with the goaltending,'' coach Kevin Dineen said. "There were some quality scoring chances that the goalies had to make big saves on. They both look like they are ready to go. We accomplished everything we wanted.''

Florida's two goalies -- Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen -- didn't give up a goal in either of the two, 15-minute periods nor the two five-minute overtime sessions.

There were some goals scored during the shootout exhibitions that followed each regular period but, hey, those didn't count.

Carol inserts (José only had one shootout goal scored against him, and stopped 5.)

The Panthers, like the rest of the NHL, will not play any preseason games before opening up the regular season this weekend. For the Panthers, Wednesday will be their final taste of game-like conditions before the lights go on for real Saturday against the Hurricanes.

"It was fun to have a game kind of,'' Theodore said. "Playing at 7 really changed it up, get ready for the regular season. It was fun. It's a building process and it's going to happen quick.''

Theodore and Clemmensen were one of the top goalie combos in the league last season and helped lead Florida to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Yet this offseason, most of the talk surrounding the Panthers involved a rumored return of All-Star goalie Roberto Luongo.

As of Wednesday, Luongo -- who still lives a few miles away from the Iceplex -- remained in Vancouver preparing for the Canucks' season opener.

Are Theodore and Clemmensen playing with a touch of attitude thanks to all the Luongo talk?

"I would,'' Dineen said. "If someone keeps on talking about someone else who is a world-class player, I would say, 'you know what? Bring it on.' You are talking about professional athletes. They know what the situation is. They can't wait to get the season started.''

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