The Florida Panthers not only suffered an emabrassing loss at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, but may have lost goaltender Jose Theodore for a while due to injury as well. With the Panthers ranking dead last in the league in goals against, maybe some time with Scott Clemmensen and Jacob Markstrom between the pipes will be good for the team.
Theodore has struggled to a 4-6-3 record this season with a 3.29 goals against average and a .893 save percentage. When asked about the injury after the game, Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said, “it’s going to be awhile.” Clemmensen allowed all six goals on Saturday, a poor follow-up to a Thursday game against the Buffalo Sabres that saw him pulled in the first period. It may be Markstrom’s turn to show what he can do, he has the best marks on the team in goals against (3.05) and save percentage (.915) despite an 0-2 record. The Panthers have shown they can score this season, as promising rookies Jonathan Huberdeau and Drew Shore already making big contributions and veterans Tomas Fleischmann and Tomas Kopecky helping lead the way offensively. What the team needs is a goaltender that can keep pucks out of the net, and if Clemmensen and Markstrom don’t appear up to the task either the Panthers will need to aggressively pursue a free agent goaltender or trade for one of several appealing options (Jonathan Bernier comes to mind) if they hope to reach the postseason. Florida has dropped 10 of their last 12 games to slide to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.