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Center Of Attention For Frolik

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Panthers forward Michael Frolik (Getty Images)
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com


CORAL SPRINGS – Michael Frolik’s excellent adventure continues.

The 20-year-old rookie, who has nine points in his last 10 games, has been moved from the wing to center by coach Peter DeBoer. And like everything else he’s faced this season, Frolik has acclimated well to the change judging by his performance Sunday in the Panthers’ 3-0 victory over the Avalanche.

Playing alongside veterans Cory Stillman and Richard Zednik, Frolik had another solid game.

“It was good,” said Frolik of playing center, a position he played during last year’s World Juniors. “Of course it’s different, but it’s nothing new for me. I’ve played everything. I’m a young man and I have to play where they tell me and try to do my best.”

DeBoer said he decided to try Frolik at center because of the team’s need for centermen.

“We have a need at center,” DeBoer said. “I’ve been impressed with his vision. He’s got some size, which is important up the middle. He skates well. He’s not afraid to get physically involved down low with body contact.

“We’re going to try it. We experimented with (Nathan Horton). Now we’ll try with Michael and see if we can find a fit somewhere. I thought he played well (Sunday). He’s a good player. I think you could stick him on defense and he would find a way to contribute.”

Frolik, who’s ice time has gradually increased from the start of the season, says he’s slowly gaining confidence.

“I feel comfortable,” Frolik said. “Every day it’s getting better and better, especially if you win and you’re getting good ice time.”

STINGY PREDS COMING TO TOWN


The Panthers continue their three-game homestand Tuesday evening when the Nashville Predators come to BankAtlantic Center. It will be the Panthers’ last game before a two-day holiday break.

The Predators, who Nov. 1 beat the Panthers 3-2 at Nashville in a shootout, are eighth in the Western Conference and come to the BankAtlantic Center with a 6-3-1 record in their last 10 road games. The Predators also feature one of the league’s best defenses. In fact, the Predators have allowed more than 30 shots only twice in their last 14 games.

“They have a lot of speed and great defense,” DeBoer said. “Their defense is the backbone of the team. They have three or four all-star caliber defensemen with (Shea) Weber, (Dan) Hamhuis and (Ryan) Suter. I’m not surprised they’re not giving up a lot of shots. We have to find a way to generate some offense against them. It will be far from an easy game.”

NOTES

Defenseman Jassen Cullimore was undergoing tests Monday to determine the extent of a hand injury he suffered in Sunday’s game. DeBoer said if tests are negative, Cullimore, who missed practice Monday, could play Tuesday… Zednik’s fourth goal of the season Sunday against the Avalanche was an example of what the veteran forward can bring to the Panthers, according to DeBoer. “He gives us exactly what we need, which is some speed,” he said. “He has that dynamic ability when he’s on his game and competing hard and battling. He’s an effective guy. I think I can say that for everybody on our team. If we bring that kind of attitude to the rink every night, we’re in good shape. If you show up and work hard and compete you get rewarded.”…
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