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Panthers Mailbag: 03.05.10

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 Peter DeBoer - What happened in February? Like what happened to my team? I demand a perfect March & April.

Matt Shub - Plantation, FL

DeBoer -
"I don’t think that there’s any secret that our losing streak coincided with Nathan Horton getting hurt. I think we were in a pretty good spot. We were playing some good hockey, we were winning through January and scoring goals. At that time, I think we were in the top half of the conference in goals scored. The dozen games that Nathan’s missed, we’ve been averaging 1-2 goals a night and it’s tough to win in this league when you can’t score."

Question for David Booth (more like a comment) - I just wanted to say, I know you probably feel bad about the fight w/ Mike Richards on March 3, but it needed to be done! I am glad & proud you stood up for yourself. I will ALWAYS be proud of you & CONGRATULATIONS on your hat trick against the Flyers!! Love, Aunt Karen

Karen Booth - Montrose, MI

Booth -
"Thanks. She’s always been a big fan. Through everything, she’s always shown her support. At (Michigan) State, she would come to every game and now she still watches every game as she can. It’s good to have family members like that behind you."

Follow up - Any text/phone calls from the family about the fight?

- (laughing) "Just a couple. Nothing big. Just like good job or you should play like that more often."

Question for Gregory Campbell - Hi, I've noticed that you always seem to fight when playing against the Flyers. Do you have an on going confrontation with that team or any particular player on their team?

Kristina L - Boynton Beach, FL

Campbell -
(laughing) "No. Personally I think they have a lot of guys that play that gritty style. It usually is 'I either get asked and it’s the right time of game to do it' or 'I feel like the team needs a spark' so I feel like when you’re playing a team like the Flyers who play that rough style or are a hard team to play against, you show that you’re not going to back down early or any time of the game because it’s a good message to send, especially with went on earlier in the year with Boother and what not. I think this team needs to stand up for ourselves."

Question for Byron Bitz - What do you do in your spare time, and is there a specific reason why you choose to wear #12? Welcome to FLORIDA!

Oscar Sandstrom - Falkenberg, Sweden

Bitz -
"I get my rest. I play the odd video game, mostly Call Of Duty, and hang out at home. But obviously in Boston, most of the winter you can’t go outside so I’m sure my hobbies and free time will change down here.

"Well 12 is going back a ways. 61 was gone (Stillman) and 29 was gone (Vokoun). The number I wore in college so 12 was the number I wore before that, back when I was playing midgets so I thought I would go back to that."

Follow up - The last 12 that was here was Olli Jokinen...

Bitz -
"Yeah I didn’t think about that when I picked it so I have some big shoes to fill."

Question for David Booth - Do you ever get recognized out in public?

Ashley McCloskey - Davie, FL

Booth -
"Not really no. It’s not bad down here. You can leave your hockey at the rink and then go out and be a normal guy."

Question for Radek Dvorak - What has it been like playing for the Panthers for so many years, seeing them go through slumps and highs and what not? What do you think the Panthers are doing wrong/right?

Andrew Adkins - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Dvorak -
"Every year is different. Personally I think it’s all about the start to the season. Once you have a good start of the season, everything goes from there. The last few years we didn’t have a good start and it seems like we’re always catching up. In this league right now, whoever has a good start, usually has a good finish because you gain points and it’s easier to play a season after.

"Right now, we’re making good progress lately. I think even before the Olympic break, the last couple of games, we've played well. The game against Boston, we played hard and we showed a lot of character. And then with the mini training camp after the Olympics, we did a good job. Even against Atlanta, we played hard. We just had a bad break on the one goal there and it was the deciding goal and then against Philly, we played a solid game. We played defensively and every time you play good defensively, your offense will come.

"Obviously going through a season, you go through ups and downs but right now we have to make sure it’s no more downs. We have to keep building on the last game. We have 19 games left and there’s no time for a let down. We have to be ready for the next 19 games."

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