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by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

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

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 - I would like to know why you play your defense different than most teams? I notice they do not go after the player behind the net, but other teams will chase your players and hit them when they are behind their nets.

Pete Holliday – Homestead, FL

DeBoer – “I think that our philosophy is to protect the scoring area which is the front of the net. As a staff, I don’t think we’ve ever seen a guy score a goal from behind the net so we make the decisions at that point that that’s the least dangerous man on the ice and we box up and protect the front of the net. And when we get an opportunity, we push them to the outside.”

Question for Bryan McCabe – What specific things do you do as a captain?

From several people

McCabe – “Nothing. With or without the “C”, my game hasn’t changed that much. I’m a very vocal guy. I love to come to the rink every day, compete and just try to keep everyone upbeat.”

To Anyone That Can Help – I went to the game in Tampa on Thursday, and I got a broken hockey stick and I was just wondering if there is a player on the Panthers that uses the Easton S19 (lefty).

Lynzee Janowitz - Davie, FL

Panthers Website Team – “That stick belongs to Michael Frolik.”

Question for Dennis Seidenberg – Hi Dennis, how do you feel playing in sunny, at least most time of the year, Florida compared to your previous stops in the NHL and how do you see the chances for the Panthers to clinch a playoff spot this year?

Looking forward to see you and the Cats playing in April when I come over the next time.

All the best from Germany

P.S.: Enjoy the Olympic Games.

Michael Schoen – Wesseling, Germany

Seidenberg – “It's obviously nice playing in a nice climate. You go outside the rink and most of the time it's nice, you can go out and wear shorts. It's easier on the body too. It's definitely a great thing.

“Of us getting into the playoffs? I think we have a good chance. We've got a good young team. We have to be a little more consistent. If we keep playing like we are and keep getting wins then I think we should have a good chance.”

Question for Stephen Weiss - What position would you be other than center?

Grant Lee – Coconut Creek, FL

Weiss – “Probably a defenseman just because it's way easier to play. It's definitely not as much work as a centerman.” (laughing)

Question for Keith Ballard - Do you have any pre-game rituals? If so, what are they?

Amanda Klaristenfeld – Lake Worth, FL

Ballard – “No. I don't think so. I just do stuff that's necessary to do. It's not really a superstition kind of thing. Playing 82 games a year, you kind of get used to doing the same things, the same habits. I play soccer after our meeting and before the game with a bunch of the guys and then we do an active warmup after that. That's about it.”

Question for Tomas Vokoun - What is your favorite food?

Lynzee Janowitz - Davie, FL

Vokoun – “You know what? My biggest thing is that I like all kinds of food. I like to experience different kinds of food. I like pretty much everything. The best thing about food is the variety. Obviously I have a lot of favorites. Everyday is different just like your moodswings. You feel like something different. You can't have all the same stuff over and over, and I think that's the great thing about food. There's so many choices you can choose from different cultures and stuff like that. That's the great thing about North American food. You drive down the block and there's six/seven different kinds of food besides American food.”

Question for Radek Dvorak – It seems like you always have chances on the penalty kill to score goals shorthanded. How do you create those chances?

Patrick Kelley - Santa Clarita, CA

Dvorak - “First of all you want to get the kill. You want to make sure that they don't score.

"Obviously getting my chances are a little bit easier because of my speed. Every time I see a loose puck, I can get there a little bit quicker than anybody else. The other thing is the timing of the chance and when taking it. But the main thing is to make sure that they don't score and all these chances is a big plus, a bonus.”

Follow up - Do you know when to exactly go?

Dvorak - “We have a plan before the game. Kitch (assistant coach Mike Kitchen), he always tells us what to do against their power play. We have a video session and we know exactly what they are doing on a power play and he tells us what to do to eliminate their chances. We know exactly what we have to do before we step on the ice and you can kind of guess what they are going to do and when to take a chance. We face the same teams all the time so you know the players, and know what they are doing and stuff. Every time you go on the ice, you have a plan and that's all because of the preparation before the game.”

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