CORAL SPRINGS – Before the Panthers sat down to turkey Thursday afternoon – many at the home of Cory Stillman – they had a film session here at incredible
ICE and had an optional skate that most players took part in.
For coach Peter DeBoer, the trick is keeping a “really good balance of energy and preparation” as his team continues playing a hectic schedule this weekend with games Friday at BankAtlantic Center against the Maple Leafs and Saturday in Nashville against the Predators.
The Panthers will play seven games in 11 days from Nov. 20-30 and nine games in 13 days through Dec. 3.
Despite missing leading goal scorer David Booth since Oct. 24, the Panthers are 8-2-3 in their last 13 games and are 5-0-3 in their last eight. Despite the schedule, and losing Wednesday in a shootout to the Rangers, DeBoer and his players say fatigue has not been an issue.
“I don’t think it’s a factor,” said Dominic Moore, who scored the Panthers only goal Wednesday against New York.
“I thought our third period and overtime was our best (Wednesday), our most energy, which is a good sign,” DeBoer said. “I don’t think we came out early with a lot of energy, but I thought as the game wore on…we started to get real good legs, which is a good sign for me that we still have some gas in the tank and, hopefully, we’ll have the same this weekend.”
DeBoer said he’ll decide Friday if Gregory Campbell (upper body) plays Friday against the Leafs. He also said goalie Scott Clemmensen
, who Nov. 20 won in Detroit, will play one of this weekend’s games. MAC MAKES HIS MARK
Three years ago, Steve MacIntyre said he “never, ever would have thought I’d be playing in Florida.” He could have added anywhere else in the NHL, too.
While playing in 2006-07 for Quad City of the United Hockey League (UHL) – his sixth different team in fifth different leagues in five years - MacIntyre put away the skates and quit hockey for three months.
“When I started out the year (in 2006) and quit for three months and then I came back, I never really thought I’d someday be playing for an NHL team.” He said. “But I thought, ‘Shoot, I’ll play and have fun with it.’ But at the same time I was having fun with it I tried to put myself in a position where I’m going to be in the best shape I can be and do what’s asked of me.”
It’s all worked out for MacIntyre, who not only made his Panthers debut Wednesday after being claimed off waivers Nov. 10 from the Oilers, but lived up to his reputation as an enforcer when he took on Donald Brashear.
MacIntyre, originally signed as a free agent with the Panthers in the summer of 2008, played only 22 games in Edmonton last season (due partially to a broken orbital bone) and only four games this season before being put on waivers. But Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said MacIntyre was a player who knew his role during his short stay with the Panthers. In retrospect, MacIntyre thought he did well during that camp.
“Maybe they saw something in me…maybe that’s why I’m back here,” MacIntyre mused.
As for knowing his role, MacIntyre said he’s adjusted to it over the years.
“I didn’t really like it at start of my career because I thought, ‘Oh, I’m just a big goon and that’s all he does.’ But now you get paid to protect your teammates and then once you establish your relationship with your teammates its like they’re part of your family. You kind of take it personal when someone starts screwing around with your family.
I’ve learned a long the way some valuable lessons about sticking up for your teammates and what it takes, and sometimes it’s a tough thing to do but it builds character.”KOISTINEN CLEARS
Defenseman Ville Koistinen, who was placed on waivers yesterday, has cleared the waiver process and remains on the Panthers active roster. ROCHESTER ROLLS ALONG
The Panthers’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate is now 15-2-1-0 and lines to get tickets last week approached an hour long. Their latest victory came Tuesday when goalie Alexander Salak stopped 28 shots to lead the Amerks to a 5-2 victory over Hamilton. Salak, who earned American Hockey League (AHL) Rookie of the Month raves in October, has 12 victories in 13 decisions. The 22-year-old rookie has allowed two goals or fewer in 11 of 14 games and has a 1.89 goals against average.