3 Reasons Why the Florida Panthers Are Playing So Well Right Now

Posted on May 22, 2023

Did anyone see this coming? For 80 games of the 2022-23 season, the Florida Panthers were under-achieving by fan standards. This was a team that – after 2 straight first round playoff exits – made sweeping changes to their line-up by dealing star forward Jon Huberdeau and bringing in Matthew Tkachuk among others. The Panthers crept into the playoffs at the stroke of midnight, but have managed to have resounding success in the NHL Playoffs so far.

Here are 3 reasons why we think the Panthers are so successful right now.

Reason #1 – Sergei Bobrovsky is in his 2016-17 Vezina Trophy form. Goalie Bob – to this point – had failed to live up to the lofty contract the Panthers gave him multiple seasons ago. Many wondered if the 33-year-old would ever turn back the clock for the Sunrise, FL squad. Bobrovsky is rocking a .931 save percentage this post-season to go along with a 9-2 record, per ESPN. Say what you want about the choking Bruins and the soft Leafs – these are two very good teams with lots of firepower. Carolina can score, too. But Bobrovsky has been a shining star.

Reason #2 – Mail Carriers Carrying the Mail. You will not win the Stanley Cup if your mail carriers forget their mail bags at home. The Panthers have gotten huge contributions from their highly-priced stars; Tkachuk has 18 points in 14 games (plus-12 and 2 consecutive OT winners to boot). Verhaeghe is hovering about that 1.0 PPG mark, and scored the big one to eliminate the B’s. Barkov has played great in all zones and has 12 points. Those are Florida’s big names, and all 3 are at the top of their scoring pile. This is how it ought to be. Does anyone think that Calgary won the Huberdeau trade? Crickets.

Reason #3 – Timely Scoring. Does this Panthers team not feel a little like the 1992-93 ‘Habs? The ‘Cats are 6-0 in games that last longer than 3 periods this post-season, with 2 of those 6 wins coming on the road in Carolina so far this series. Actually, the Panthers last 3 wins have came in extra time (Nick Cousins sunk the Leafs back in the Conference Semis).

I’ll be honest with everyone. Full disclosure here. I picked the Hurricanes and Stars on a podcast last week; so far, I am eating humble pie on those picks. But it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings (not sure if you’re even allowed to say that any more, but what the heck); the NHL Conference finals are far from over.

Honorable mention for 3 reasons article – confidence. Beating a 65-win team from the regular season will make you feel pretty good about yourself.

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