Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!
 

Cats in a Shark Tank

March 14, 2019, 8:57 AM ET [3 Comments]
Matt Ross
Florida Panthers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Panthers get ready to face a red-hot San Jose Sharks team tonight in what should be an interesting game.

The Sharks sit atop the Pacific division with a record of 43-19-8 and an impressive 94 points.

Heading into the Shark Tank on a two-game streak and a record of 30-27-12, it’s safe to say the Cats are certainly the underdogs…

With a four-game road trip on the horizon, Sceviour and Malgin have returned to action and were on the ice Tuesday for practice. Both guys will travel with the team and it sounds like Malgin is closer to returning than Sceviour – who might return by the weekend.

Coach Boughner commented:

“Both guys practiced today and had contact. I thought they both looked good. We’ll have to make a decision.”

Adding:

“We have to make decisions in our lineup. We’ve played pretty well the last two games. Both will be active at some point in this trip.”

I like the chemistry we’ve see with the lineup these past two games. But it makes sense that these guys would be rotated in on this road trip – especially with this California swing having them play back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday. You’re going to possibly need some extra legs and lungs in the lineup.

It’ll be nice to have Sceviour back to help on the PK and hopefully have him pick back up with his good play before going down to injury.

What do you guys think?

Tuesday’s practice lines:

Forwards:
Huberdeau – Barkov – Dadonov
Vatrano – Trocheck – Hoffman
Hunt – Sheahan - Brouwer
McGinn – Borgstrom – Hawryluk

Sceviour, Malgin

Defense:
Matheson – Ekblad
Yandle – Weegar
Pysyk – Brown
McCoshen

Goalies:
Monty
Reimer

I just love how that third line has been playing. The work ethic, different sizes and blend of styles are exactly what I look for in terms of a successful line, and these guys have done everything right lately.

When it comes to the backend…I really like what Weegar has been bringing. Keep him in and keep Yandle and Ekblad apart. Just my opinion.

Playoff Picture

With the season dwindling quickly, the Cats chances of squeezing into the playoffs are dwindling just as quickly.

The East is this ever-changing landscape that’s really fun to follow this year. Yesterday, ProHockeyTalk.com had the Panthers percentage of making the playoffs is 1.0%.

Grim…but they’re not out of it yet.

Yes, there are a lot of things that would need to happen for Florida to get in, and it/they still can.

I totally agree with Litter Box Cats and their column the other day regarding this exact sentiment. Until they’re mathematically eliminated, you keep the hopes alive.

As such...tonight is a big test.

The Sharks extended their winning streak to six games after beating the Jets on Tuesday 5-4.

San Jose is a well-oiled machine. They get production from all four lines and work as a cohesive and effective unit.

I think tonight is a great opportunity for the Panthers to prove they’re the team we think (know) they should be.

These past two games (though one coming against a weaker foe) have been really fun and now it’s time to prove that the success of those nights is a testament to this team’s talent and ability to compete with anyone.

Beating the Sharks, a legit powerhouse, would be good way to prove just that.

Part of me feels like the Cats are in garbage time (loosening up because the season is done), but shouldn’t be yet because they’re not technically eliminated. It’s a weird paradox.

But if being in “garbage time” mode is helping them loosen up and find success, then by all means…roll with it.

While the Sharks are a much different animal than the Red Wings, the Panthers game plan has to be the same if they hope to stand a chance.

Getting a ton of shots on net like they did against Detroit would be a great place to start; but with guys like Brent Burns, Radim Simek, Tim Heed, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, etc. patrolling the blue line, things will be a bit more difficult.

I think the key here will be to keep things simple and come out strong like they have been. Pucks need to get to the net and smart decisions must prevail over trying to do too much.

The Sharks can bring the speed and skill to put teams on their heels. This is not a game to have the mental lapses and overthinking the Panthers have shown throughout the year.

Gotta’ be smart and keep the puck moving…hope monty is in net.

Go Cats!
Join the Discussion: » 3 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Matt Ross
» Tyler Myers If You Wiiilll
» A Quick One, Quebec Panthers
» Thoughts and The Brothers McGinn
» Playoff Fun
» Roster Thoughts: Just Having Some Fun