Panthers

With Florida Panthers’ goalie situation tenuous, fans clamoring for young Jacob Markstrom

 

Jose Theodore, now injured, and backup Scott Clemmensen have struggled, and fans are clamoring for Jacob Markstrom.

Tuesday: Jets at Panthers

When/where: 7:30 p.m.; BB&T Center.

TV/radio: FSNF; WQAM 560.

The series: Winnipeg leads 41-30-5.

The game: This is the first of two meetings between the pair in Sunrise this week as the Jets travel to Tampa Bay before returning Friday. Since beating the Jets on Jan. 31, Florida has lost 11 of 15. Winnipeg has won five of seven.


Special to The Miami Herald

After yet another loss left his Florida Panthers last among15 teams in the Eastern Conference, coach Kevin Dineen was in no mood late Sunday night to discuss which goaltender would start Tuesday’s home game against Winnipeg.

“I never make my goalie decisions until later,” he said.

Many of the fans, though, already have made their choice: Jacob Markstrom.

“We want Markstrom” was the chant heard Sunday after every goal allowed by Scott Clemmensen, the backup who was filling in for injured starter Jose Theodore.

But even before Theodore got injured Saturday, the Panthers’ defensive numbers were ugly. They entered Monday last in the league with a 3.68 goals-against average.

Out of 72 goalies who have seen action this year, Jose Theodore is 66th in GAA (3.29) and 59th in save percentage (.893).

Clemmensen is 72nd in GAA (4.15) and 69th in save percentage (.859).

All signs, then, point to Markstrom, 23, who on Jan. 23, 2011, made his NHL debut and became the youngest goalie in Panthers history. He is 2-7-1 so far in his brief NHL career.

This year, he has played two games for the Panthers and ranks 28th in save percentage (.915) and 60th in GAA (3.05).

The Panthers lost both games despite Markstrom’s solid efforts.

It appears that Markstrom is the Panthers’ best hope at reprising last season’s surprising march to their first division title. The Panthers ended their decade-old playoff drought largely on the backs of Theodore and Clemmensen — Florida was 12th in the league in goals-against average (2.63) last season.

But much has changed since then for the Panthers, including the defensemen assigned to protect those goalies. Jason Garrison, a key piece, left as a free agent, and veteran Ed Jovanovski has missed 17 of the team’s 22 games.

The latest bad news for the defensemen came in the past couple days, when injuries hit Dmitry Kulikov and Mike Weaver.

That’s half of their top-six defensemen out of action.

Add to that the injury-related lack of productivity from last year’s top offensive line of Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann, and it’s easy to see why the Panthers are in last place.

But, just in case, here are some more of the Panthers’ ugly numbers:

• Their penalty kill ranks 29th in the league at 75 percent.

• When they have outshot their opponents, they have not been rewarded often enough, posting a 3-5-2 record and a .300 win percentage that ranks 29th in the league.

• Many of their losses have not been close: They lead the league with eight three-goal defeats.

• They can’t blame the refs. Their power play minus penalty kill time is plus-8:03, which ranks 15th of the league.

There are no simple solutions to the Panthers’ problems, but a better start would help.

They are playing .556 hockey when scoring first, and they are dead last at 1-9-3 (.077) when allowing the first goal.

Read more Top Sports Stories stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond reacts furiously after the safe call at the plate by the umpire in the eight inning during their game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park in Miami on July 31, 2014.

    Reds 3, Marlins 1

    Miami Marlins left raging after replay review helps Cincinnati Reds to victory

    The Marlins lost to the Reds after a play at the plate, in which Cincinnati’s Zack Cozart was thrown out at the plate, was reversed.

  •  
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice answers question during a news conference after NFL football training camp practice in Owings Mills, Md. on July 31, 2014.

    In My Opinion | David J. Neal

    David J. Neal: NFL fumbled on Ray Rice punishment, then tried to justify it

    Baltimore Ravins running back Ray Rice spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since security camera video and NFL discipline transformed him into the latest domestic violence national talking point. Rice occasionally came off as self-centered. He also indulged in some self-victimization. Generally, however, he seemed seriously ashamed of the actions toward his wife in February that got him charged with felony aggravated assault.

  •  
Joey Grosso was added to the UM football 105-man roster Tuesday and died Wednesday while scuba diving during lobster miniseason.

    UM FOOTBALL

    Man who died scuba diving was added to Miami Hurricanes roster a day earlier

    Joey Grosso, the 22-year-old Lighthouse Point resident and former Penn linebacker who died Wednesday while scuba diving on the first day of lobster mini-season, had been added to the 105-man Miami Hurricanes football roster Tuesday, UM confirmed Thursday.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category