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Luxury Of Having Options

Tuesday, 03.06.2012 / 4:20 PM / Panthers Insider
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Luxury Of Having Options
Forward Jack Skille celebrates his third-period goal to put the Panthers up 4-2 against the Senators on Mar. 4th (Getty Images).
The Panthers have gone through their share of injuries this season.

The injury report, in fact, has been vast as 21 different players have missed a combined 291 man-games heading into Thursday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers (INJURY REPORT).

With that, Kevin Dineen hasn't always had the luxury of playing guys based off of merit. But in the last 20 games of the season or so, he has as Panthers have or are returning from various injuries. While forwards Kris Versteeg and Scottie Upshall and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov are still out for at least this week, Dineen does have the chance to play his forwards based off of their production as well as due to health.

"We have 14 healthy forwards right now so I have options every night," said Dineen following practice at Saveology.com Iceplex on Tuesday. "I wouldn't say that it's always play based but I think I'm looking for the healthiest guys right now."

Dineen feels having extra bodies will help the Panthers immensely down the stretch. Both Marco Sturm and John Madden have been the forwards on the outside looking in but they've been held out do to the play of other forwards.

"Guys are fighting for those spots right now. Whether it's Krys Barch or Jack Skille (they) are doing what they can to stay in the lineup," said Dineen.

And once Versteeg, Upshall and Kulikov return to the lineup, it will present even more players looking to get playing time. That's something that the head coach has to enjoy as he tries to keep the Panthers on top of the Southeast Division.

"It's the only way you can stay now in the lineup," said Dineen. "They can count. it's very easy to figure out bodies are options for us to use. It's a good situation for a coach."

VERSTEEG OUTLOOK

Speaking of the Panthers leading scorer, Dineen said that Versteeg is being considered on a short-term rolling basis in terms of his lower body injury.

"It's a little beyond day-to-day but certainly not considered a long term injury," said Dineen. "We don't expect him for the next couple of games and we'll re-evaluate at that time. We're kind of in that stage right now where we're looking at three and four day increments."
 
UPCOMING EVENTS

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 PIT 32 22 6 4 102 72 48
2 NYI 33 23 10 0 104 91 46
3 MTL 34 21 11 2 92 83 44
4 TBL 35 20 11 4 113 93 44
5 DET 33 17 8 8 93 82 42
6 TOR 33 19 11 3 114 98 41
7 WSH 32 16 10 6 95 85 38
8 NYR 30 16 10 4 92 81 36
9 FLA 31 14 9 8 69 79 36
10 BOS 33 16 14 3 82 85 35
11 OTT 33 14 13 6 89 92 34
12 CBJ 32 14 15 3 79 102 31
13 PHI 32 12 14 6 88 96 30
14 NJD 35 12 17 6 77 102 30
15 BUF 33 13 18 2 63 105 28
16 CAR 32 9 19 4 68 91 22

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 31 12 7 0 19
A. Ekblad 31 5 14 4 19
J. Jokinen 30 3 13 -2 16
B. Boyes 30 5 9 0 14
J. Hayes 23 7 6 2 13
J. Huberdeau 28 3 10 0 13
V. Trocheck 20 3 9 2 12
S. Bergenheim 21 5 4 2 9
S. Upshall 20 4 5 1 9
T. Fleischmann 29 3 5 6 8
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Montoya 2 2 2 .915 2.27
R. Luongo 12 7 6 .926 2.28
 
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