The Panthers look to bounce back after suffering a 4-3 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night in (cursed) Reverse Retros.
Checkout this close race in the standings we’re seeing here:
FLA: 13-4-3, 29 PTS
CAR: 13-6-1, 27 PTS
The Cats have been nasty when coming back after a loss, with the Panthers looking to go 7-0-0 tonight after being handed an “L.” And it sounds like the boys don’t plan on getting consecutive loses.
Weegar: “I think this year it's almost unacceptable for us [to lose two games in a row]. We know how good of a team we are right now. It's really starting to show for us. It's just unacceptable. If we go down a game, the big goal this year is to not lose two in a row.
“If we don't lose two in a row, it sets us up in a great position at the end of the year. It just keeps things rolling. It keeps everybody in good spirits, keeps everything light around the room. That's what we've been noticing. Barky's absolutely right, guys are getting pissed off after losses."
While Florida loses Duclair to an upper-body injury (might miss a week), they gain back the feisty Acciari to bolster the bottom line. Looking forward to getting #55’s edge and ability to play hard-nosed (with some skill) back in the game. Should be a nice boost for the Cats and some sandpaper for the Hurricanes.
Q had his blender going a bit this morning:
Looks like Frank earned himself some time on the top line and I really like how lines three and four are looking - getting close to a complete team across all four lines. Just need the goals to start piling up regularly...
Hey, what do you guys think of Connauton?
Lots of Movement
Panthers website is helping me keep track of all the different moves throughout the organ-I-zation. Here’s their recent notes:
- Feb. 25: F Mason Marchment and D Kevin Connauton were recalled from Florida's Taxi Squad; F Owen Tippett was loaned to Florida's Taxi Squad; F Grigori Denisenko was reassigned from Syracuse (AHL) to Florida's Taxi Squad; D Markus Nutivaara was placed on IR.
- Feb. 24: D Max Gildon was reassigned from Syracuse (AHL) to Bakersfield (AHL); D Tommy Cross was assigned to Providence (AHL).
- Feb. 22: D Riley Stillman was reassigned from Syracuse (AHL) to Florida's Taxi Squad; F Scott Wilson was reassigned to Syracuse (AHL).
- Feb. 17: D Gustav Forsling was activated from IR; F Noel Acciari was placed on IR.
They also provided some nice notes, too. Impressive to see some of this stuff from a team that has been mired in mediocrity for years:
- Jonathan Huberdeau leads Florida in scoring with 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists). In 25 career games against Carolina, the 27-year-old winger has recorded nine goals and 15 assists.
-- Aleksander Barkov ranks second on the Panthers in points (21) and tied for second in goals (8). Over his last eight games, the 25-year-old center has registered four goals and five assists.
-- Aaron Ekblad leads Florida's defensemen in goals (6) and power-play goals (3). With one more power-play goal, he'll pass Robert Svehla (26) for the most by a blueliner in franchise history. A workhorse, the 25-year-old also leads the club in average ice time per game (25:13).
-- Patric Hornqvist leads the Panthers in both goals (9) and power-play goals (5). Over his last eight games, the 34-year-old forward has accumulated seven points (three goals, four assists).
-- Keith Yandle leads Florida's defensemen in scoring with 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) and also sits second on the team in points on the power play with nine (one goal, eight assists).
-- Radko Gudas leads the Panthers and ranks second in the league with 100 hits.
-- MacKenzie Weegar leads Florida's defensemen in even-strength points with 10 (one goal, nine assists), including registering six points (one goal, five assists) over his last eight games.
-- Over the last seven games, the Panthers have posted a league-leading 276 shots on goal.
Heading into Tonight
Relying on last minute surges, etc., need to stop. The Panthers have to find a way to get strong starts and keep the foot on the gas. But, most importantly...they need to score, and score often.
The Muhammad Ali “rope-a-dope” strategy won’t hold up...
Bottle up that Carolina’s speed and get the body on Trocheck. With TT out for Carolina and some of their big guns struggling, Trocheck has returned to his former-self it seems, and has emerged to help the Canes offensively. He seems extra charged up in these games, so bringing him back down to Earth would be awesome
Lastly, it doesn’t matter who is in net, if you’re not tying guys up in front of it, or moving them out of the way, they’re going to score. Bob was solid last game, but those goals were completely out of his control and on the defense - who failed to clear the front of the net.
Check out the below examples:
Ekblad goes for the shot block and leaves his guy all alone.
Stralman unaware of the guy behind him:
Another one where a guy was left all alone out front:
Tighten it up and let’s get back at it, fellas...Go Panthers!