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'Nine: All-Star Break & Reflections

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Panthers center Stephen Weiss is back for another season of his blog, 'Nine. Weiss will bring you closer to Panthers action both on and off the ice as he talks about his experiences throughtout the 2008-09 season. Nine is in it's second season and can only exclusively be seen on

The popular first-round draft pick (4th overall) in 2001, is in his seventhh NHL season, all with the Cats. The Toronto, Ontario native had his second straight 40 point season, finishing with 13 goals and 29 assists in 74 games. He also set a career high in game-winning goals with four.

Nine Archive

I’m going to go to Naples for two days during the All-Star break. Just hang out here, relax for a couple days, then come back and get ready for practice again.

During the first half of the season there were a lot of good things. Obviously, our start. If we’d gotten off to a better start we’d be in a lot better position than we are now. But all and all, I thought it was a good first half. We got our feet wet with the systems a little bit. It took us a while to find our identity, but once we did we’ve played well the last couple months.

I think the difference is going back to November. That whole stretch where we had a lot of guys out and we weren’t in a good position in the standings. We went on the road trip through Canada saying, ‘If we have a bad trip we’re pretty far out of this thing. If we have a good trip we pick ourselves up and we’re still in this thing.’ I think that gave us a lot of confidence, coming back from that trip.

We won three out of four. It was real key. We got healthy again and stayed with it and kept going.

Everything can get better, but I think we’re going in the right direction. I like the way we’re playing. I think we’re just going to keep getting better. In the past at this time of year there’s been a lot of ground to make up. We know what that’s been like. We’ve had pretty good runs after the break and it still hasn’t been good enough. It’s nice to be there going into this little break. You get some rest and come back and not have too much ground to make up.

Talk to you soon.
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