Sports Outside the Beltway

Florida Panther Coach Jacques Martin gets his 500th victory

He is only one of 10 NHL coaches to win that many games. From AP-

NEWARK, N.J.– Jacques Martin joined a club so exclusive, its members numbered in the single digits.

Until he joined, anyway.

Martin became the 10th NHL coach with 500 wins after Radek Dvorak and David Booth scored early in the third period to lift the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday. Backup goalie Craig Anderson made 31 saves and the Panthers ended a three-game losing streak.

“I’ve been very fortunate to work in this league, the best league in the world and to have some good players to coach,” said Martin, who is also Florida’s general manager.

Dvorak and Booth scored 1:17 apart in the third to give Florida the lead. Dvorak got the equalizer 2:28 in. Brett McLean unloaded a hard shot on Martin Brodeur who made a stick save. Dvorak pounced on the rebound for his first goal in 11 games.

Before taking over the Panthers, Martin coached in St. Louis and Ottawa.

Friday’s win was Florida’s 2nd triumph over Martin Brodeur this year in three tries. At present the Panthers are mired in a slump that leaves me doubtful about the team’s prospects for winning the weak Southeast Division. The team losing 5-3 to a weak Washington team on Saturday night. The team isn’t scoring and Goalie Tomas Vokoun is in a slump. I’d let Craig Anderson start versus Ottawa on Tuesday night, but Martin seems reluctant to use his #2 goalie much.

If Florida doesn’t get their act together soon the 2007-08 year can be marked as just another disappointment for the team’s fans.

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The Panthers have a great recruiter in the way of Scott Luce, son of Buffalo star Don Luce.
I wish FLA continued success.
Peace….Iron Mike

Posted by Educated Bet | January 22, 2008 | 05:20 pm | Permalink

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