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Panthers Mailbag: 01.15.10

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Welcome to the Panthers Mailbag, a feature that can be found only on

Questions from around the world came in for our players and coaching staff so look below to see if your question was answered. If not, don't worry, it could be answered in future mailbags. And if you haven't submitted a question or would like to, just fill out the form found on this page.

Questions can be found in bold. And if something needs additional commentary or clarification, it will come in italics before the player provides his answer.

And away we go.

Question for Tomas Vokoun - Why is it that on the road the team seems to work together better than at home?

Henry Bauman - Sunrise, FL

Vokoun - "I don't know. I wish I knew. Maybe we don't feel the pressure that we have to put on a show in front of the home crowd when we can just play our game. It's hard to say. That's just the way it is sometimes. Last year we were really good at home and not very good on the road. I wish I knew the answer because I would tell the guys so we could be good on the road and at home also."

Question for Bryan McCabe - At the December 31st game against the Canadiens, it felt like you were the visiting team in your own building. Were the players expecting that, and how do you prepare when the home building is tilted that much in favor of the visiting team?

Evan Berner – Boca Raton, FL

McCabe - "That’s alright, the building was full. We actually like the atmosphere, whether they’re cheering for us or not. It’s always that way with original-six teams. When they travel, they have a big following. It’s a great atmosphere to play in."

Question for Peter DeBoer - What is the rationale for dressing Steve MacIntyre and then not playing him? Are you keeping him available "as an option," in case things get heavy?

Ron Peeleman – Summerland, CA

DeBoer - "I think MacIntyre’s value to our team is his presence in the lineup. When the other team sees that he’s dressed, they have to think twice before they take any liberties. It’s not necessarily playing him a regular shift or having him out there. The fact that he’s dressed and in the lineup and on the bench is enough of a deterrent most nights to let our skilled players play and that’s really his role."

Follow up: Is it better to keep a guy like that on the bench or making the lineup so that you have four lines going?

"That’s something we discuss on a daily basis and that depends on the team we’re playing. Obviously I would like to play four lines every night. With our schedule and how condensed it is and how tough it is, that would be the perfect situation (going with four lines) but there are a handful of teams and opportunities where they have some physical players in the lineup that we sacrifice playing four lines in order to have a physical presence in the lineup."

Question for Jordan Leopold - If you weren't a hockey player what would you want to be?

William Donovan – Whitby, ON Canada

Leopold - "Obviously any athlete would pick to be a rock star or maybe a golfer or some other profession, but in all reality if I didn’t go to college, I probably would have gone into some kind of trade. I don’t know what it would be – plumbing, electrician, - something like that. I like to work with tools. Who knows. It all worked out about as planned. Maybe I’ll make a career out of what I’m doing now."

Question for Stephen Weiss – What is a typical day off like for the team?

Scott Altman – Boca Raton, FL

Weiss - "I can't tell you what everyone else does but for me, a day off would be to get up, have breakfast and just find something to do and get some rest. This time of year, I really just take advantage of the day off, get a lot of rest and food and that's about it really."

Question for Keith Ballard - What is the biggest difference between playing in the Eastern Conference versus the Western Conference? Are the systems different? ?P.S. We can't wait for you to come back to Atlanta!!

Arlen Block – Gainesville, GA

Ballard - "I think it's a little bit more open in the East. Maybe not more open, I should say but it seems that the top end talent, the guys like Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby, Kovalchuk, Gaborik the guys you see every night are all in the Eastern Conference. The west is a little bit of a different game. It's more physical.

"Playing over here, it's a little bit different. I think the biggest adjustment for me was just getting used to the different players. Not knowing guy's tendancies, that's something between last year and this year I've picked up on a little bit more."

Question for Scott Clemmensen – What is your favorite type of car?

Grant Lee - Coconut Creek, FL

Clemmensen - (Laughing about the question)…"Having a 19-month old baby girl, an SUV comes in pretty hand now a days with all the stuff that we carry around with us. It seems like a simple trip out to the grocery store or out to eat requires three or four bags, a booster seat and the whole bit. We have to have at least one SUV between my wife and I. It’s a necessity if you have kids."

Follow up: So what would your dream car be?

It would have to be a ’69 red Ford Mustang convertible. Something you can drive from here to Key West with the top down, take it easy and listening to Jimmy Buffett on the radio. Very classic.
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