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Panthers Insider

Theodore Making A Difference

Monday, 03.12.2012 / 5:00 PM
By Glenn Odebralski - FloridaPanthers.com / Panthers Insider
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Panthers Insider
Theodore Making A Difference

Goaltender Jose Theodore makes one of his 34 saves against Carolina on Sunday for his third shutout of the season (Getty Images)
A lot of times in hockey, the best player on the ice has to be the goaltender. For the Panthers lately, Jose Theodore has certainly been that.

"I can basically give you a one word answer there and I think he's played excellent," said Panthers Head Coach Kevin Dineen regarding Theodore's recent play following practice at the BankAtlantic Center on Monday. "He's a difference maker right now."

Theodore has missed time this season due to a knee injury but has been fantastic for the Panthers since returning on February 12. While his record in the 12 games he has played is just 5-4-2, Theodore has posted a .928 save percentage and a 2.20 goals-against average. In his last seven games, the netminder has registered a 4-2-1 record. A free agent signee this past off-season, Theodore has allowed two goals or less in nine of his 12 games since returning from the injury.

"I think coming back off my knee injury the second time, I just felt really, really good," said Theodore following Sunday's shutout of Carolina, his third of the season. "I've been practicing hard with (goaltending coach) Robbie (Tallas) and the last 25 games, it's why you play for.

"It's the most fun of the year and you want to make the best out of it. Right now as a team, we're responding well."

His teammates know that Theodore, or even Scott Clemmensen for that matter, have their backs, especially down the stretch. Case in point came with Carolina coming at Florida in waves, specifically in the second period when they posted 19 shots Sunday night.

"Theo was, just like all year he's been extremely great for us," said defenseman Jason Garrison following the Panthers victory. "He made some huge saves and kept us in it."

"Theo is playing unbelievable right now," said forward Tomas Fleischmann. "We have got to help him."

"When you look at the scoreboard and you're up by one goal, you know every save is big," said Theodore of his performance Sunday. "I was just seeing the puck well. The guys played well in front of me. This time of year, it's all about competing, playing playoff hockey and that's what we did."

With just 14 games left in the season, the Panthers will rely on the netminders in winning games. With games becoming more closely contested, a strong goaltending performance can be huge for the rest of the team in propelling them forward. Or on the opposite spectrum, a poor performance can dash playoff hopes.

"If we keep winning, that's all that's going to matter," said Theodore. "Honestly, you do look at the other teams. It's going to be a battle and it's not going to be easy."

"It's pitching in baseball. It's a goalie in soccer. It's a quarterback in football," said Dineen. "It's a key position and when you have that player playing at the top of his game, not only on the prevent side, but I also think it is great for the confidence of your players."
 

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 46 16 13 -1 29
A. Ekblad 46 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 43 9 17 1 26
J. Jokinen 45 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 44 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 1 20
S. Bergenheim 35 8 9 2 17
A. Barkov 35 5 10 -5 15
B. Campbell 46 3 11 -1 14
D. Kulikov 41 1 13 -3 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 18 11 8 .920 2.42
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96
 
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