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Panthers' Kulikov says too much finger-pointing, not enough leadership last two games
11 ноября 2015 года. Fialkov, Harvey. Sun Sentinel

Nov. 11--The Panthers have a dressing roomful of leaders, veteran players such as captain Willie Mitchell, Shawn Thornton, Brian Campbell, Dave Bolland and Jaromir Jagr who have sipped from the Stanley Cup and often serve as mentors to their younger teammates.

However, on Tuesday after morning skate, defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, the longest tenured Panthers player albeit at the tender age of 25, questioned the team leaders during this current five-game slide, particularly in the last two lopsided losses. He said instead of pulling together, fingers of blame have been pointed.

"It kind of slid off our path right now and [we're] [whining] at one another," Kulikov told the Sun Sentinel. "It seems like everybody started playing individually the last couple of games when we allowed two or more goals. It's just not who we are.

"Everyone should realize that the forwards are trying, the defensemen are trying. You can't really point fingers at whoever's not doing their job. You just have to help your teammates and help out the players whoever are in a tough situation. It's not going good for them so you can't [whine]. You have to encourage or do more yourself. So lead by example. I think we didn't have that."

Kulikov, who played his 400th game Saturday, included himself in his blunt assessment.

"We didn't have leaders that are leading by example," Kulikov continued. "We didn't have guys that are showing the way and how it's done. I think we can do those things. The last couple of games it just wasn't any of that. It's just my observation.

"The first [12] games everyone's been on the same page and we can read one another what's going on, on the ice. It just kind of comes naturally to you. You don't think about the game, you just react.

"We weren't doing that. Now we have to get back to it. ... We haven't had a talk about it. I think everyone knows. We need more, especially from guys like myself, too. I consider myself a leader and I haven't been able to show to lead by example and I'm planning on turning it around and doing it [Tuesday night]."

After last week's 5-2 loss to the Sharks, Mitchell said, "we looked like a very young hockey club, not a mature hockey club. ... Turn over pucks, stuff that you can get away with in junior hockey, the American league, but not in the National; that's what we're going to have to do a better job of."

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