Throughout training camp and the preseason, Joel Quenneville has already made a huge impact on the florida panthers.
Joel Quenneville was brought in as the new Florida Panthers head coach On April 8 of this year. Since then, it seems like he’s had a huge impact on the players from the moment he introduced himself to the locker room.
Training camp was definitely fierce with hard physical play, fights breaking out between players, and glass shattering shots during drills (just ask our own Frank Rekas!). In addition, Coach Q wasted no time getting his team together, starting camp either right on the dot at 10:00 in the morning or earlier. Additionally, management brought in Troy Brouwer on a PTO to push the young guns in camp harder in an attempt to discover if they have made that next step. Brouwer was released from his tryout on Wednesday, so it seems the younglings have made the jump. As a result, Riley Stillman, Denis Malgin, Dryden Hunt and Owen Tippet were all fighting to grab a spot on the opening night roster. Malgin and Hunt survived that war, with Hunt receiving high praise from Coach Q.
Training camp has made a big impact on the veteran players as well. Aleksander Barkov was very noticeable and received quite a few accolades from Coach Q claiming “he leads the charge in a lot of ways”. Also of note, according to Jameson Olive, Malgin and Evgenii Dadonov have claimed that the fast-paced practices from Coach Q have benefited them and the rest of the squad.
Preseason may have seemed a bit underwhelming at first but its easy to give the squad a pass due to the players trying to grasp the system. But in two of the last three preseason games, it seems like the veterans and the newbies are finally starting to understand Q’s system with two six goal nights, including a three point performance from Aleksander Barkov. And a shootout winner in the third and final preseason game. However, it seems like Coach Q will always be looking for more as the 6-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning a week ago Tuesday night was deemed to be “okay” in his book. He may not be satisfied until that victory is a cup.
With the regular season ready to begin, it’s time to see if the early mornings, the cuts, the fights, and the shattered glass have all payed it’s dividends. The offense looks dangerous just as it was last season, and the goaltending is improved by the addition of Sergei Bobrovsky alone. And hopefully, this season will be more than okay in Quenneville’s mind.