The Florida Panthers finally figured it out. When you score five goals, you’re supposed to WIN the game. The Panthers erupted for three goals for a two minutes span, including a spectacular penalty shot from Jonathan Huberdeau, en route to a 5-2 beating of the Philadelphia Flyers. Goaltender Scott Clemmensen stopped 32 of 34 shots, easily turning in his best performance on the season, as Florida ended a season long five game losing streak.
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FLORIDA PANTHERS: 4-7-4 (12 PTS) vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: 7-9-1 (15 PTS)
GAME DAY SONG: Darkness On The Edge Of Town
The Florida Panthers begin a quick two game road trip in Pennsylvania tonight facing the Philadelphia Flyers who are coming off a game last night against their state rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Then on Friday night, the Panthers will take on those same Penguins before coming home to Sunrise on Sunday to face the Boston Bruins. This is a segment of the schedule that is very ugly, and the Panthers will need to right their ship quickly or risk the season fading away. Is it too early to play desperate hockey? Not at all.
The last time these two teams met the Flyers scorched the Panthers 7-1 on home ice here in Florida, as the Panthers were clearly outplayed, outworked, and outhustled. It was one of the worst outings by a Panther team in quite some time. At that time the Flyers were playing some very t hockey of their own, but may have been rejuvenated by the return that night of Daniel Briere. Philadelphia jumped out to a three goal lead in the first period, and never looked back, while the Panthers never recovered. In addition, Matt Read of the Flyers recorded his first career hat trick that night as he scored one goal in each period. Ironically, the very next night the Flyers went to Tampa and were spanked themselves by a score of 5-1. And so it goes with two teams that are mirror images of each other with their jeckyl and hyde personality.
Maybe going to the shootout this season won’t be such a bad thing for the Florida Panthers. In 2011-12, the Cats stumbled to a 6-17 in the skills competition thanks in large part to a group of forwards who weren’t exactly known for dynamic one-on-one play. With the infusion of new talent up front for this season, there was hope that last season’s Achilles heel would become a strength. And if Thursday’s 3-2 SO win over the Philadelphia Flyers is any indication, the shootout is no longer something to lament.
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FLORIDA PANTHERS: 3-5-1 (7 PTS.) vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: 4-6-0 (8 PTS.)
Game Day Song: Tenth Avenue Freeze Out. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
The Florida Panthers will be looking to regroup after losing Tuesday night to the Winnipeg Jets with six seconds remaining in overtime by a score of 4-3. A game which saw the Panthers tighten up defensively, yet not enough to hold on for victory. The Panthers will also be looking to avenge themselves from the last meeting against the Flyers which saw Philadelphia pound them 7-1 as Flyer Matt Read picked up his first career hat trick. The Panthers who we reeling at the time, have turned their game around, gotten healthy, and have played much better since then. This will be game three of a four game road trip, and while they can’t be unhappy with three out of four points in two games, that can all change with a loss tonight.
The Panthers have allowed an average of 3.67 goals per game which is tied for second worst in the league will benefit from the presence of Erik Gudbranson who should make his season debut tonight. An interesting stat from Tuesday’s game against the Jets is that the Panthers allowed only three shots against in the first period, and two each in the third and overtime. However the Jets managed 14 in the second frame, and that’s where they picked up two goals to tie the game. The Panthers had won the previous two games firing 67 combined shots, while managing a season low 19 against Winnipeg on Tuesday. The power play was held scoreless as was Peter Mueller who’s four game goal streak came to an end. However, the play of rookie Drew Shore has continued to impress as he played another strong game with his hard skating, and driving to the net. His solid effort rewarded him with his second NHL assist on Jonathan Huberdeau’s goal in the first period which gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead. The trio of Shore, Huberdeau and Mueller has been making teams take notice, and is looking more and more like the surprise line of the year. If they can all find some consistency, and Shore can pick up his first goal to get some additional confidence, they’ll be a force to reckon with. Read the rest of this entry
When you lose 7-1 on your home ice the way the Florida Panthers did Saturday night to the Philadelphia Flyers, there’s really not a need to recap and analyze the game. Pick a phase of the game and the Panthers were beat in it. It was every bit as ugly as the pre-Christmas 8-0 beat down last season laid on by the Boston Bruins.
Just a week ago, this same team dominated the Carolina Hurricanes and gave a glimpse of what everyone expected coming off the team’s first ever division title. Since then, the Panthers have been dominated in four games while being outscored 18-3. And rapid downward spiral has fans thinking that Dale Tallon will make a ‘shake up’ move much like he did last year but, in reality, this team has so many apparent gaping holes that one move is simply a band aid on a stab wound.
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PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: 1-3-0 (2 PTS.) vs. FLORIDA PANTHERS: 1-3-0 (2 PTS.)
GAME DAY SONG: The Catalyst by Linkin Park
The Philadelphia Flyers visit the Florida Panthers tonight hoping to stop opening the year with three straight road losses for the first time since their second season (1968-1969). The Panthers meanwhile will be looking to end a three game losing streak that has seen them score only twice.
Both teams have been hit by the injury bug, as eventually most will. For the Flyers they’ll be without pesky Daniel Briere who is out with a wrist injury, and most recently Scott Hartnell their emotional leader was sidelined with a broken foot and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Both players are key cogs to the Philly lineup and will be difficult to replace, but charging on is the only thing to do. Hoping to add some of the grit and leadership that those two players provide, the Flyers have signed 40-year-old free agent Mike Knuble. Besides having one of the best last names in hockey, Knuble is a typical Flyers type player. Gritty, snarly, works hard, and isn’t afraid of traffic. He’s spent the past three seasons in Washington where he scored 29,24 and six goals. Prior to that he was a Flyer for four seasons, scoring 114 goals. His production is likely nowhere near what it used to be, but his leadership and experience is.
The Flyers first win of the season came Thursday night as they beat the New York Rangers 2-1 on goals by Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek. For all the offensive skill the Flyers have, they have only scored five goals in their first four games, two coming from newly named Captain Claude Giroux. They are a mixture of veterans including Ruslan Fedotenko, Max Talbot and Kimmo Timonen , as well as younger players such as Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier. They’re never easy to play against, but with their heart and soul missing, the Panthers might have them right where they want them.
I might be a tad late on this one, but the other day former NHL star Jeremy Roenick appeared on Costas Tonight with Bob Costas. As always JR, who is never shy, gave his opinion on this year’s lockout, with a comparison to the lockout in 2004-2005 which he experienced as a player. JR was outspoken then too, and admitted during this interview that he lost $8.5 million dollars, which he’ll never see. He’s not looking for pity and says so, but expresses during the interview how the lockout changed the end of his career. It wasn’t just financial for him. Looking back on his situation then, he was a “players guy” which he regrets to a degree, and not just from a monetary standpoint.
He admitted that the time off (a full season) caused him to struggle just to stay in the league afterwards. Looking back on his playing days from that moment, Roenick was coming off one of the biggest goals of his career in the 2004 playoffs. After the lockout was settled, he was then traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Los Angeles Kings in order to create cap space so the Flyers could sign Peter Forsberg. Roenick’s season in 05-06 was hampered by injuries, and was his worst of his NHL career. He then signed with the Phoenix Coyotes for one season, which was tumultuous to say the least. Finally, JR signed with the San Jose Sharks, and was able to gain back some respectability, and finally score his 500th NHL goal as he closed out the final two years of his career. Read the rest of this entry
A career that began with tons of questions such as, is he too small, is he fast enough, or is he tough enough, have now been answered with nothing other than yes to all the above questions. Kris Versteeg had to earn his spot in this league. Being drafted 134th overall by the Boston Bruins, the pressure was on for Versteeg to play well enough to make a roster spot. After failing to play a single game in a Boston uniform, Versteeg was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional draft pick and Brandon Bochenski. After the trade went down, Versteeg finished the season with Chicago after a brief stint in the AHL, scoring four points in a total of 13 games with the Blackhawks. The following season ended up being a breakout one for Versteeg as he went on to score 53 points in 78 games for the Blackhawks, and was one of the finalists for the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year. In 2009-2010 Versteeg was a key component in the Hawks run for the Stanley Cup, as they won their first championship since 1961. Following the season, Versteeg was forced out due to salary cap issues. The young and flashy forward was traded for Viktor Stalberg, Philippe Paradis, and Chris DiDomenico of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Versteeg’s stint with the Maple Leafs didn’t last long as he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers just 53 games into the season. Read the rest of this entry
It’s been a busy couple of months for the folks at EA Sports. It all started July 10th when the company released yet another college football game for its customers. After the release of the NCAA Football 13, it was time to release what is arguably the most successful game under EA, Madden 13, which was released on August 28th. With the two football games in the past, Electronic Arts now had to turn to us, the hockey fans. This past week, NHL 13 was distributed to every gaming store in the nation as hockey fans were eager to purchase the game.
Much like us here at Panther Parkway, EA had to find a way to keep adding fresh new things for their followers. If we continuously write articles on the same thing, it will eventually get pretty dull and boring. With the pressure being high on EA to revamp their NHL franchise, the makers of the game knew that they must change the game completely and that they did.