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Sunday Coffee: Returning Home?

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
(Getty Images)

"It’s hard for me. I just want to push right through those things and just get back out there. Part of me wants to do something, but I have to look at what will happen if I do." - Panthers forward David Booth on trying to return from a concussion.

Before the season started, David Booth admitted he had circled the Nov. 20 game in his hometown of Detroit on his calendar. But after suffering a concussion in Philadelphia three weeks ago, the only way Booth is going to make that game is if he watches from the stands at Joe Louis Arena.
            “I would love to be there,” said Booth over the weekend. “I just want to be there for that game. It’s a special game, and we only get to go there every other year. I’ve talked to the (trainers) about it. Maybe I’ll be able to go.”
            Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said Saturday morning he has talked to Booth about taking the trip with the team and would monitor Booth’s condition over the next week.
            Booth, who was blind-sided Oct. 24 by Mike Richards, said he was doing some light exercise but recently had to take a step back. “I wasn’t feeling right…just didn’t feel normal,” he said. “You would usually feel better after exercising, and I wouldn’t. So, you know, it’s hard for me.”
            Booth said teammate Cory Stillman, who suffered a concussion last October, has helped him in defining symptoms. “He’s been helping me a lot,” Booth said. “I’m like, ‘Hey, Cory, I kind of feel like this,’ and he’s like, ‘Yes, that’s exactly how I felt.’ ”
            “You know, it’s hard for me,” he added. “I just want to push right through those things and just get back out there. Part of me wants to do something, but I have to look at what will happen if I do. I have to get to a point where I’m symptom free. It’s tough because some people come back sooner and some people come back in six months. You just don’t know. You evaluate your body every day and it gets to be a pain. It’s like, ‘How do I feel today?’ If it’s a leg injury, I can work on the upper body. But with this, you can’t do anything that will raise your heart level.
            “Hopefully, things will get better here soon.”
Marc Cheverie
            There are a lot of teams out there looking enviously these days at the Panthers current depth in goal.
            Certainly, Tomas Vokoun, who went in Saturday’s game with three shutouts in his last four games, and Scott Clemmensen make a strong duo with the big club, but consider:
            *Jacob Markstrom, ranked by The Hockey News recently as the NHL’s No. 2 prospect, is once again tearing it up in the Swedish Elite League with a 1.82 goals against average and .931 save percentage with two shutouts in 17 games.
            *Alexander Salak started 9-1-0-1 in Rochester of the American Hockey League (AHL) with a 1.95 goals against and .927 save percentage and was named the league’s top rookie for the month of October.
            *Now comes the news that Marc Cheverie, the Panthers seventh-round pick (193rd overall) in the 2006 Draft has been named National Division 1 Player of the Month for October.
            Cheverie, a junior at the University of Denver, posted a 4-0-0 mark with a .959 save percentage and 1.27 goals against average for the Pioneers. He also recorded 2.33:51 of shutout hockey to break the previous mark of 2.08:42 set in 1995. The Nova Scotia native also became the first goaltender to record consecutive shutouts (both 3-0) in consecutive games over Minnesota. Cheverie is expected to return next weekend for a series against North Dakota after suffering a lacerated calf late last month.
            While his team was on their way to a franchise-record 14th consecutive loss last week, Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice gave the Association for Corporate Growth in Cary, N.C., a luncheon speech on building a winning team.
            “My timing,” Maurice said, “has always been impeccable.”
            The $25 a plate pep talk was well received by those in attendance.
            “Sometimes it’s better to hear winners who’ve been through trials and tribulations rather than people who win all the time,” local business Jeff LeRose told the News and Observer.
            When one CEO in the crowd made a request to ride the Zamboni, Maurice quipped, “That’s the one thing I might be able to fix.”
            ”We’re not winning in the same fashion as we won in the past, that’s very apparent to everybody. We’re just finding a way to grind them out, and that’s what we’re going to have to do.” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock in the Free Press.
            Rangers rookie Pierre Parenteau, called up a day earlier from Hartford of the AHL, scored in the seventh round of the shootout Saturday to give the Rangers a much-needed 2-1 victory in Ottawa. The Rangers are 4-7-1 in their last dozen games and have been hurt with injuries to Chris Drury (concussion) and Brandon Dubinsky (broken hand)…How badly are the Rangers looking for warm bodies? Vinny Prospal logged 28 minutes Thursday in the team’s 5-2 loss to the Thrashers…While everyone ponders a ban on hits to the head, Lightning coach Rick Tocchet offers another idea – eliminating the instigator rule. “Players out there know nothing can happen to them,” he told the St. Pete Times. “Those are the guys who increase the percentage of head shots. I’d like to see the players control that. You have somebody out of control, then the player is going to have to pay the price.”...The Canucks went Saturday night into Colorado 3-8 on the road…The Avalanche went into the weekend second in the Western Conference despite being outshot in 16 of their first 19 games… During their five-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s game against the Sabres, Flyers goalie Ray Emery had a 1.39 goals against and a .954 save percentage. It sure didn’t hurt the Flyers had outscored their opponents in those five games 23-7…According to Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, there was some thinking involved in his diving, first period save last week on Nathan Horton. By not sticking out his blocker until the final moment, Thomas says he convinced Horton not to shoot upstairs. “I don’t want to put (the blocker) down too early, because I don’t want to show him that he should just go up,” he told the Boston Globe. “It’s about timing. It’s kind of suckering him in to shooting low. At first you keep your stick about eight inches in the air, so you can sell it that if he’s going to lift it, you can just whack it. Then it goes on the ice, and then it’s just timing.” That’s a lot of thinking in two seconds…On ebay now: An Upper Deck Kenndal McArdle rookie, three color, patch card: $149.99… 
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