Finally, the Panthers have shown some pluck! After losing eight of 10, Florida won everything they played in the first half of this month, setting a franchise record for consecutive victories along the way. A couple of the scalps they collected belonged to the Rangers and the Bruins teams in danger of sliding out of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Alas, even after such a run, the Panthers find themselves a playoff bubble team, at best, in whats becoming an annual rite. Weve worked hard to get into the position to have a chance, goaltender Tomas Vokoun told reporters after the Panthers allowed just nine goals in seven games. It would be very bad if we wasted it. @body:Dont put it past them to do just that. The Panthers havent been to the playoffs since cue the futuristic falsetto from Conan OBrien the year 2000, and with just a handful of games remaining, theyre probably heading for another near-miss. A great way for them to gain ground would be to outscore the similarly bubblicious Washington Capitalsat 7:00 on Friday March 29 at the BankAtlantic Center (One Panthers Pkwy., Sunrise). Tickets start at $17. Call 954-523-3309, or visit www.floridapanthers.com.
Sat., March 29, 2008