After trading its best player, Florida is among the NHLs worst teams Ah, but it hurt to say goodbye to Olli Jokinen, the hard-charging Fin who had been our best Pantherfor quite some time. He had, by dint of his dedicated service to such a crumb-bum team, set the NHL record for most career games played without ever reaching the playoffs (now at 700-plus and counting). Hes now in a marginally better place: Phoenix, where the Coyotes are at least approaching respectability.
The Jokinen-less Panthers, meanwhile, are the ones wandering the desert. After 14 games, the Panthers had only one player defenseman Keith Ballard, acquired with Nick Boynton in the Jokinen trade among the top 100 in points scored in the NHL. Its worth debating whether the Panthers would know how to score at all if David Booth (he of the Boooooooth! cheer from the arena rafters) werent slapping the biscuit into the basket once every other game. Watch the Panthers feel around for the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:30 p.m. on Monday at the BankAtlantic Center (2555 Panthers Parkway, Sunrise). Tickets start at $17. Call 954-523-3309, or visit panthers.nhl.com.
Mon., Nov. 24, 2008