SUNRISE, Fla. -- The way things have been going for Jason Blake this season, he might have trouble putting a puck in the Atlantic Ocean.
With just two goals in 23 games and none in the past nine, the Leafs forward admitted today that frustration is starting to seep in.
ďI feel that my game hasnít changed,Ē Blake said after an optional morning skate in advance of tonightís game against the Florida Panthers. ďIím doing everything that Iíve done before, they just arenít going in.
ďIím as frustrated as everybody else. Itís not very much fun, but you just have to keep working hard and keep your chin up.Ē
Blake led the team both in goals (25) and points (63) last season but has struggled from the start in the current campaign.
He hasnít scored a goal in his past nine games, a longer drought than at any point last season. During the current slump, heís been shuffled all around coach Ron Wilsonís lineup to the point that he is now appearing on a fourth line with Jamal Mayers and Colton Orr.
ďHeís had plenty of scoring chances,Ē Wilson said. ďAnd scoring is a matter of confidence. Suddenly one goes in and you feel a little better about yourself. (Blake) just has to find a way to score one and I think he will relax a little bit.Ē
The Leafs will be looking for a Florida sweep tonight after beating Tampa on Wednesday. The team has won two of its past four games and has recorded a point in each.
Defenceman Carl Gunnarsson skipped this morningís optional skate because he is under the weather. Wilson expects the rookie to play tonight...The Panthers are offering $10 tickets for tonightís game...Florida will unveil their new third jerseys tonight...Jonas Gustavsson will make his third consecutive start tonight...The Panthers have picked up at least one point in their past eight games (5-0-3).