Skip to content

Could Florida’s playoff starter be…Scott Clemmensen?

Apr 8, 2012, 10:07 PM EST

Scott Clemmensen Getty Images

Following Florida’s 4-1 defeat of Carolina on Saturday — clinching the first-ever Southeast Division title in franchise history — Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen had some interesting things to say about his goaltending.

Most interesting? He doesn’t know who his Game 1 playoff starter will be.

After backup Scott Clemmensen stopped 34 of 35 shots against the ‘Canes, Dineen said it’s going to be tough to decide who will start Florida’s first-round playoff matchup against New Jersey — Clemmensen or Jose Theodore.

“Clem made a real statement with his game tonight, as well as in the last month,” Dineen told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Those two have made it a very tough decision to see who’s going to get the start in Game 1.”

More, from the Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov:

At 34, Clemmensen played a huge role in the Panthers’ success this season, going 14-6-6, or earning points in 20 of 26 decisions, with a 2.57 GAA. When Theodore was in and out of the lineup with a knee injury from Jan. 5 to Feb. 11, Clemmensen stepped in and went 7-3-3.

“It’s always special when you play your ex-team and not in a negative fashion. I don’t care [who starts],” said Clemmensen, who is 3-0-1 with a .962 save percentage in his last four starts.

“It’s always special “Whether it’s Jose in there I’m rooting for him because I want everyone on this team to win, so regardless if it’s him or me I’m going to be ready to play and be on my best game.”you play your ex-team and not in a negative fashion.

The narrative of Clemmensen facing his former Devils mates has not been lost on the Panthers. Clemmensen had been the backup in New Jersey until 2008-09, when Martin Brodeur went down with an injury. That opened the door for a temporary starting gig and Clemmensen didn’t look back, posting a 25-13-1 record with a 2.39 goals-against-average, which was good enough to earn a $3.6 million, three-year free-agent deal with the Panthers.

“Most people might be surprised, but I’m not, to be quite honest with you,” said Panthers center John Madden, who played with Clemmensen in New Jersey. “I remember when Marty [Brodeur] went down [in 2008-09] and he came in for three-quarters of the season and he won 30-something games for us.

“He was unbelievable back then.”

Which begs the question: Can Clemmensen be unbelievable now?

Latest Posts
  1. Julien talks up Bergeron as next Bruins captain

    Mar 4, 2015, 6:18 PM EST

    patricebergerongetty Getty Images

    “It’s probably undeniable that down the road when [Chara] is done with his career, if Bergeron is here it would be pretty hard to not make him the next captain.”

  2. Get your game notes: Rangers at Wings, Rivalry Night

    Mar 4, 2015, 5:30 PM EST

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptyzogi1mdrmnjbmndc0odgwmzmyyzm5mmi3zdzjodlj AP

    An Original Six matchup at the Joe.

  3. Season over? Clarkson out 4-6 weeks with torn oblique muscle

    Mar 4, 2015, 4:43 PM EST

    New Jersey Devils v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Has appeared in just three games for the Blue Jackets since being traded from Toronto.

  4. TVR to play this weekend for Rockford (AHL)

    Mar 4, 2015, 4:13 PM EST

    Trevor van Riemsdyk Getty Images

    ‘Hawks are hoping he can “recapture” his early-season form.

  5. Wings clear Zetterberg (upper body) to face Rangers

    Mar 4, 2015, 2:04 PM EST

    Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    Detroit captain draws in for the first time in four games.

  6. Boyle, Tanguay to play in 1,000th NHL games tonight

    Mar 4, 2015, 12:49 PM EST

    Colorado Avalanche v New York Rangers Getty Images

    Boyle and the Rangers take on Detroit (on NBCSN), Tanguay and the Avs will play Pittsburgh.

  7. Anyone notice the Preds are slumping?

    Mar 4, 2015, 12:34 PM EST

    Nashville Predators v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Just two wins in their last eight.

  8. Video: Isles’ Martin to face hearing for ‘stupid’ knee-on-knee hit

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:56 AM EST

    Trevor Daley, Matt Martin Trevor Daley, Matt Martin

    Incident occurred Tuesday night, on Stars defenseman Trevor Daley.

  9. After ‘nightmare’ start for Markstrom, Canucks face goaltending conundrum

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:55 AM EST

    Jacob Markstrom AP

    “Not the start I wanted or the team wanted, and I’ve got to be better than that.”

  10. Ryder, Havlat don’t sound thrilled about still being Devils

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:15 AM EST

    New Jersey Devils v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    Both were viewed as candidates to be moved at the deadline, but neither got shipped out.

  11. Andersen ties record for quickest to 50 wins

    Mar 4, 2015, 9:57 AM EST

    Kyle Chipchura, Frederik Andersen AP

    It took him just 68 decisions.

  12. Kessel’s defense ‘means a lot’ to Phaneuf

    Mar 4, 2015, 9:21 AM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs Players During Practice Getty Images

    The captain is still proud to be a Maple Leaf.

Featured video

Reactions from NHL trade deadline
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Giordano (3181)
  2. K. Okposo (3004)
  3. F. Andersen (2955)
  4. H. Lundqvist (2908)
  5. N. Horton (2892)
  1. T. Seguin (2786)
  2. H. Zetterberg (2558)
  3. T. Hall (2299)
  4. P. Sharp (2036)
  5. D. Clarkson (2001)