Blog Archives

Panthers Rally Too Little, Too Late Against Capitals

If Florida Panthers fans can find one bright spot in next year’s division realignment plan, it’s that they no longer have to face the Washington Capitals six times a season. Over the past few years, no team has frustrated the Cats more than their division rival from the US capital. This season alone has been a microcosm of that frustration as the Panthers entered Saturday’s game 0-2-1, including a pair of blowout losses on the road. This game took on much of that same look as the Caps built a 4-0 lead through two periods. Despite a furious third period rally, the Panthers fell 4-3 in their final game against Washington as a division opponent.
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Evaluating the Florida Panthers’ Trade Assets

With a 7-16-6  record and 11 points out of a playoff spot, it’s safe to assume that the Florida Panthers may be leaning toward being sellers as the April 3rd deadline approaches. Sadly, a plethora of injuries have robbed the Panthers’ of their three best trade assets – Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg and Jose Theodore.

However, even with their best pieces no longer a part of the equation, don’t expect the Panthers to be quiet on the trade market. The Panthers still have several serviceable players that any playoff bound team would love to add to their roster in hopes of tipping the scales come May.

Listed below are several Panthers’ forwards and why they may or may not be moved before the deadline.

Jack Skille

Heading into restricted free agency next season, forward Jack Skille could add some energy and talent to any team looking to strengthen their 3rd line heading into the playoffs. In recent games and throughout most of the season, Skille has been a force to be reckoned, both at even strength and on the penalty kill.

In 27 games this season, Skille has compiled 10 points (3G 7A) - including 5 points in his last 6 games alone. Clearly a player like Skille could be an important part of the Panthers’ future as a solid 3rd line skater, but the team could be persuaded to move him if the right offer is presented.

Although Skille has been a project for General Manager Dale Tallon since he originally drafted the young skater back in 2005, the time may have finally come for Tallon and Skille to part ways.

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Game Day Preview: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers. It’s Your Move



Someone once told me that” it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it”.

Not much to say in today’s preview, but that statement will may not more meaning than it does tonight when the Florida Panthers try to avenge themselves for last night’s beating at the hands of division leading rival Carolina Hurricanes.  The Panthers who were chewed out by coach Kevin Dineen, and rightfully so for their slow start, and poor preparation, fell further behind the division lead in what could be their only hope for a playoff birth this season:

“You can blame it on injuries but that’s the ultimate cop out. It was a big game against the divisional leader and we could have reeled them in. We weren’t prepared from the drop of the puck. And that leads to injury. If you don’t have your game face, well, it’s a man’s game out there.”

A win tonight by Carolina will give them an eight point lead over the bruised and now battered Florida Panthers who are experiencing a second season in a row of injuries.  As you are aware, Jose Theodore, Dmitry Kulikov and apparently Scottie Upshall were all hurt in last night’s loss.  Kris Versteeg who made the trip but did not play, could be in the lineup tonight.  Reinforcements from San Antonio include goaltender Jacob Markstrom and veteran defenceman Nolan Yonkman.

Huberdeau, Panthers Whip Philly To End Losing Streak

The Florida Panthers finally figured it out. When you score five goals, you’re supposed to WIN the game. The Panthers erupted for three goals for a two minutes span, including a spectacular penalty shot from Jonathan Huberdeau, en route to a 5-2 beating of the Philadelphia Flyers. Goaltender Scott Clemmensen stopped 32 of 34 shots, easily turning in his best performance on the season, as Florida ended a season long five game losing streak.
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Does Peter Mueller Have a Future With The Panthers?

In the roller coaster ride that has been the Panthers’ 2013 season up until this point, there have been a few players steadily contributing on a team filled with question marks. However, during most games this season, forward Peter Mueller has been a bright spot of stellar play - even during some of the Panthers’ worst games.

After being selected 8th overall during the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Mueller’s career has been anything but spectacular as the promising young skater has had to battle an abundance of concussion-related problems since joining the NHL. During the 2010 season, a dirty hit from the San Jose Sharks’ Rob Blake sent Mueller to the ice, and set off a chain of events that would keep him from playing steady hockey up until this season. Since that first concussion, Mueller has been unable to play more than 32 games during a single NHL season and has been labeled as a possible liability due to his health concerns.

However, during the 2012 offseason the Florida Panthers decided to take a low-risk chance on the once promising young skater when they signed Mueller to a 1-year 1.725 million dollar contract - an investment that is paying off in spades. Through 12 games this season, Mueller currently has the 4th most points on the Panthers’ roster, compiling 7 points (4G 3A) thus far.

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Panthers Can’t Close Out Capitals, Fall In OT

There aren’t many times in the National Hockey League that you score five goals, even strength goals at that, and lose the game. And, there also aren’t many times that you have a two goal lead with just over five minutes to play and lose. Yet, that’s just what the Florida Panthers did in Tuesday’s loss 6-5 overtime loss to the last place Washington Capitals. The heartbreaking loss comes three days after this same Capitals teams ran the Cats out of DC with a 5-0 thrashing.
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Panthers Dominate Shootout To Drop Flyers

Maybe going to the shootout this season won’t be such a bad thing for the Florida Panthers. In 2011-12, the Cats stumbled to a 6-17 in the skills competition thanks in large part to a group of forwards who weren’t exactly known for dynamic one-on-one play. With the infusion of new talent up front for this season, there was hope that last season’s Achilles heel would become a strength. And if Thursday’s 3-2 SO win over the Philadelphia Flyers is any indication, the shootout is no longer something to lament.
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Preview: Florida Panthers vs. Winnipeg Jets. Everyday The Stakes Get Bigger

FLORIDA PANTHERS: 3-5-0 (6 PTS.) vs. WINNIPEG JETS: 3-4-1 (7 PTS.)

Game Day Song: Roulette, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

The Florida Panthers are in Winnipeg tonight for game two of a four game road trip that has started off with grit, character, and a much needed come from behind win.  After being down for the count 3-1 against the Buffalo Sabres Sunday afternoon, the Panthers literally shut down the line of Tomas Vanek, Jason Pominville and Cody Hodgson after the trio put the Sabres on top 3-1,  on their way to a 4-3 victory.  What was most impressive about the win was that the Panthers held the Sabres to only 10 shots on goal in the final 40 minutes making the job of Jose Theodore that much easier.  The lunch bucket style victory was a perfect example of what a road win should be as the Panthers simplified their game by woerking hard,minimizing their mistakes, and actually played some puck possession hockey.  All elements that lead to their success last season.

Tonight the Panthers will go for their third win in a row against a Winnipeg Jets team that has lost three in a row.  We all know these games can go one way or the other, but the Panthers would be doing themselves a huge favor if they can jump out to an early lead and quite the usually raucous crown of the MTS Center.  The effort that we’ve seen over the past two games has been a complete turnaround from the style of play previous to that for Florida.  Instead of standing around, missing passes, and making glaring mistakes, the Cats have regrouped, gone back to their old ways, and are beginning to play more as a team than a group of individuals. Brian Campbell who tied for second on the team in scoring summed it up best:

“We’re starting to come as a team a bit more now and have faith in coming back,” said Campbell, who had the go-ahead goal in the third Sunday. “Earlier in the season, we didn’t have a whole lot of faith and confidence. But now we’re starting to see our team develop.”

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Panthers Outlast Sabres For Second Straight Victory

If you were still skeptical of the Florida Panthers turning their season around following Thursday’s win over the Winnipeg Jets then, Sunday’s comeback win over the Buffalo Sabres should remove the rest of the doubt. A (relatively) rested Panther squad took advantage the weary Sabres, to rally from a 3-1 deficit for a 4-3 win in Buffalo.
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Panthers Can Breathe Sigh Of Relief As Losing Streak Ends

It may seem like hyperbole to say game seven of a 48 game schedule is a ‘must win’ but, entering the game with a five game losing streak, the Florida Panthers were in just such a situation Thursday night against the Winnipeg Jets. After scoring two goals or less over their previous five contests, the Panthers exploded for six goals, including five in the third period in the 6-3 comeback win over their Canadian division foe. For the first time since opening night (not coincidentally), the Cats looked very much like the hard working, opportunistic squad that defied its detractors en route to the teams first ever division title.
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