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Panthers goalie Clemmensen has extra motivation to beat Devils

Florida Panthers v Dallas Stars

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 15: Scott Clemmensen #30 of the Florida Panthers at American Airlines Center on November 15, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Florida coach Kevin Dineen still hasn’t announced his starting goalie for tonight’s game against the Devils, but if it’s Scott Clemmensen, you can bet there will be a motivated player between the pipes.

And not just because it’s the playoffs.

As the Star-Ledger reminds us, Clemmensen wasn’t exactly buddy-buddy with current Devils coach Pete DeBoer when DeBoer was coaching in Florida. And for that matter, nor were many of the other Panthers.

“There was friction between (DeBoer) and a lot of players. I just think that was his coaching style,” Clemmensen said. “There’s the pat on the back coach and the kick (butt) coach. I think he was the latter.”

DeBoer didn’t deny there was friction, though he rationalized it with the fact the Panthers were a losing team.

“We pushed people maybe beyond what they were capable of doing,” he said. “There was friction there. Not personal.”

Another player that had a tumultuous relationship with DeBoer was defenseman Keith Ballard, now with the Canucks.

“He was trying to push me, get more out of me and I’m the first guy to say he should have done so,’’ Ballard said after being traded to Vancouver two years ago. “We raised our voices behind closed doors. We’re competitive people. I’m not the first player to get into a shouting match with a coach and I sure won’t be the last.”