The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and yes, Shawn Matthias is scoring.
Just as it was last season when injuries freed up valuable minutes to any player willing to work hard enough to take them, the Panthers’ most enigmatic forward is once again heating up as the team plays for pride during the final full month of the 2013-14 regular season.
Yes, just as college basketball goes mad in March, so to does Matthias.
In a trend that began last year when he played his way into the national spotlight after scoring 11 goals during the month of March – including two stellar goals in particular that earned him some extended airtime on ESPN and an ESPY nomination – Matthias has once again found himself heating up as we wave goodbye to February.
Through the Panthers’ first two games of March, Matthias has already accumulated a whopping five points (3-2-5), including 2 goals and an assist in Saturday’s miraculous 6-3 comeback victory over the New York Islanders.
“I think it’s the same thing as last year,” Matthias told the Sun Sentinel of his recent exploits. “There are some injuries to key guys and it gives chances for some other guys to step up.”
Using March as his very own statistical springboard, Matthias has now scored 14 total goals in just 19 March games over the past two seasons. However, even with though he has proven to have the tools to light the lamp on a frequent basis, Panthers’ fans are left scratching their heads as he has tallied just nine goals in his other 89 games played over the last two seasons in months that don’t end in “arch”.
So now as the trade deadline approaches, Panthers’ fans and management are once again asking themselves who exactly is the real Shawn Matthias?
After ending his 2012-13 season with a scoreless month of April, Matthias will be looking to prove doubters wrong as he hopes to not only continue his current success, but prove that it can be extended.
Matthias’ next test will come against the Bruins as the Panthers visit Boston this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. on FOX Sports Florida.
I think we all remember what happened the last time Matthias met the B’s in March ….
Thanks for reading and we welcome your thoughts in the comments section below!
Follow Jameson on Twitter @JamesonCoop
For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook
Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway