No fun in store for Semenov

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:03 AM ET

Former Edmonton defenceman Alex Semenov still isn't with the Florida Panthers - he got held up in Toronto waiting for his work visa - but he's not going to a happy place.

The Panthers were losers of 12 straight before beating the Penguins 6-3 last night in Pittsbirgh.

Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk have been free agent busts (they've only been in the same game five times this season), they have a defensive specialist for a coach, just in time to usher in an offence-first NHL, and four times in the last 12 games they've given up a goal in the final 10 seconds to lose - with four seconds left in overtime in Montreal last Nov. 8, with 3.2 seconds left against Philly Nov. 12, with three seconds left against the Rangers Nov. 9 and with 8.1 seconds left against Montreal on Nov. 1.

The last-second collapses and climate of defeat have taken their toll: Defenceman Eric Cairns and winger Kristian Huselius were going to square off in practice last week before teammates stepped in.

"It's gotta be the toughest stretch I've ever been through in 17 years," said Martin Gelinas, another off-season addition.

If Florida doesn't make the playoffs, Edmonton's gets a seventh-round pick for Semenov; if they somehow get in, it's a fifth-rounder.


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