ovies, television, all forms of entertainment love to show us the reconciliation. We don't see the months of relationship rebuilding that follows.

The Panthers' season opener Jan.?19 at BB&T Center, a 5-1 trouncing of Carolina in front of a screaming sellout crowd, counts as the reconciliation after the NHL and NHLPA estranged many fans by brinksmanship with another one-season Armageddon possible. They got that right.

Now they're blowing the relationship reconstruction.

Saturday's 7-1 loss to Philadelphia can't just be classified as "one of those nights." It's the fourth consecutive multigoal loss. It's the fourth consecutive game full of fundamental mistakes. It's the fourth consecutive game the Panthers started as if they got notified of the game during a Bud-and-Doodle Jump sloth fest about an hour before the opening puck drop.

"One thing that needs to be a constant for this team is hard work. And there wasn't any [Saturday night]," Panthers captain Ed Jovanovski said. "It's the one way we stay competitive. Winning those battles, coming up with loose pucks."