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Game #19: Columbus Blue Jackets

November 20, 2022, 1:59 PM ET [10 Comments]
Matt Ross
Florida Panthers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Yesterday’s clash between Florida and Calgary didn’t have the fireworks I think many were expecting, though the chippy play picked up a bit midway through the second.

Though the Panthers got a point out of it, they really should have had two. Knight seemed to struggle and looked like he was in a daze all game — slow in his movements and just off. For example, the first two goals beat him in the exact same spot glove side and looked routine/very stoppable.

Here’s what some had to say about the game:

Barkov: "We've just got to keep our heads up and keep learning from those moments. It was a good point today. Of course we wanted two, but we didn't get it today. We have a new chance tomorrow."

Tkachuk: “We didn’t have the start we wanted, but if we play like we did when we’re going and the energy’s high, there’s not many teams, if any, that can play with us.”

Maurice: “This was a tight, even game. I don’t think either team had a long stretch of dominance. … It’s one of those games that 20 years ago would’ve ended in a tie and you would’ve thought that was right.”

For me, I’m not feeling the attempts at a positive spin on the game. Was it a close one? Of course. But the reality is that the Panthers were the best team in the league last year and the Flames were right up there, too. Now both teams are in the middle of the pack in their divisions, and the Cats look like they’re on the path to keep slipping.

We expected some regression this season, but the there’s a trend that has surfaced these past few games that is concerning, and that is Florida not starting on time and constantly playing from behind. We’ve seen this song and dance before and it’s frustrating. Last season made me think they were past it, but it looks like it’s crept back in. What a disappointing home stand that was chock-full of, “well, we were close” talk after each loss.

If ever there was a time to get back on track it would be today when the Panthers take on the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets.

Of course the Jackets were the talk of the off-season when free agent Johnny Gudreau surprised the hockey world by signing with them. But that excitement was somewhat short lived, as CBJ has struggled nightly, dealing with poor play, injuries to key players (Werenski is out for the season, Laine is sidelined), and everything else that seems to go wrong when you’re in their situation.

With a 6-10-1 record and sitting in last place of the Metropolitan Division, it would seem like the Jackets are ripe for the Panthers to pounce on. But who knows at this current point in the season with the Cats…

Both teams are coming off losses yesterday with CBJ being handled by the Red Wings 6-1. The Jackets score an average of 2.94 goals a game and surrender an average of 4.41. With the rate at which Florida pours shots on net (averaging 40.3 a game), they better make sure their shots are quality and from dangerous areas of the ice in order to assure they net a bunch and get a much needed (decisive) victory.

Bottom line: Florida needs a win today. Bad.

Bob gets the start, let’s get it done!
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Go Panthers!
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