Video: Florida Panthers Showcased on NHL Network’s Top 10 Hits of the Week

After a very rough start to their 2013-2014 season, the Florida Panthers began their uphill climb back to respectability this past week as they earned five out of a possible ten points on their five-game West Coast road trip. Through physical play and determination, the Panthers put themselves in a position to win in nearly every game of their lengthy stay away from home. While they may have not been able to rack up the kind of goals that they had hoped for, there was something the team did dish out in bunches - bruises.

Led by the efforts of defensemen Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov, the Panthers rattled consistently rattled their opponents last week and even earned three of the top 10 spots in this week’s top hits from the NHL Network. Out of the ten spots, Gudbranson earned the 10th and 6th best hits of the week, while Kulikov’s throwback hip-check on rookie Nathan MacKinnon earned him the 4th spot.

Enjoy the video below!

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Video: Watch Dmitry Kulikov Hip Check Nathan MacKinnon

It’s Saturday night and the Florida Panthers are celebrating.

In the midst of yet another tumultuous season, the Panthers earned a much needed victory on Saturday as they defeated a formidable Colorado Avalanche team by a final score of 4-1. From start to finish, the team put together one of their most complete games of the season as they were finally able to play a full sixty minutes of exceptional hockey.

With a rare 3-1 lead midway through the 3rd period of Saturday night’s action, the Panthers refused to ease off the gas and continued to put pressure on Avalanche skaters. From smart plays to physicality, the Panthers displayed everything that fans had hoped to see heading into this season.

One Panther in particular who was happy to get back on the right track was defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. With just over a quarter of the 2013-2014 season in the books, Kulikov had been playing some of the worst hockey of his career until tonight’s game. However, like the rest of the team, Kulikov came out against the Avalanche looking like a completely different player than we were accustomed to up until this point. Playing one of his most energetic and physical games of the year, Kulikov finished the night tied for the team lead in hits with 3, including this fantastic hip-check on Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon.

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GIF: Sidney Crosby Breaks Nathan Mackinnon

News Flash! Sidney Crosby is still very good…very, very, good.

Currently leading the NHL in almost all important offensive categories, Crosby was unable to break Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere on Monday night as the veteran netminder led the Avalanche to a 1-0 victory over the usually explosive Penguins’ offense. However, even though he wasn’t able to crack the score sheet, Crosby was able to crack something else - Nathan Mackinnon’s ankles.

In .gif below, Mackinnon, 18,  earned one of his first “welcome to the NHL moments” as he found out that keeping up with one of the NHL’s best may be harder than it looks.

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Seven Florida Panther Home Games To Circle On Your Calendar

The NHL regular season begins on October 1st (yes Johnny, 72 days from now), when the Montreal Canadiens host the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Chicago Blackhawks raise their Championship banner against the Washington Capitals, and the Edm0nton Oilers host the Winnipeg Jets.  The Florida Panthers will start the season two nights later in Dallas against the Stars, as they open the season with a four game road trip taking them to St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Tampa before coming back to Sunrise for their home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Looking at their overall schedule, the season will be challenging, as their are 18 back to back games, and a number of long road trips.  The award for finishing last in the league.

With the new divisions (Metropolitan?), and realignment being settled on, the one good thing is that all teams will play each other at least once in everyone’s building.  The bad thing is, I would still like the NHL to go back to the home team wearing white so we can see the colors of the visitors.  That said, here are seven home games that you should make sure that you attend:

* Friday October 11 vs. Pittsburgh:  Sid the Kid, ex-Panther Tomas Vokoun, and the rest of the Penguins will invade South Florida following the Panthers season opening four game road trip.  Nothing like a little challenge to kick start the season, but the Penguins always draw a good crowd, and opening nights are always packed here in Sunrise.  The Panthers traditionally play well at home against Pittsburgh and this should be no different, although it’s the second of back to back games following a road trip.  Even still we’ll get our first look at second overall pick Aleksander Barkov.

* Tuesday October 22nd vs. Chicago:  For me, the game of the year.  The Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks and Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane, two of the league’s premier players will visit at a very odd time.  Normally the Hawks play in Sunrise in February or March, giving fans from the Windy City a chance to escape the cold and snow.  This game will be fast, furious, and will be in the middle of a six game home stand.  If you want to see a team that’s built for winning, this is the game to come to.

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Panther Parkway Radio: DRAFT DAY TALK!

Happy Draft Day!

Take a listen as the Panther Parkway Radio staff discuss the exciting events that took place at the 2013 NHL DRAFT!

Host: Paige Lewis

Guests: Frank Rekas and Jameson Cooper


  • Aleksander Barkov
  • Draft Day Trades
  • Goalie Talk
  • Florida Panthers Future

Click the link below for today’s podcast!

We welcome and encourage comments and feedback!

Follow the Panther Parkway crew on Twitter: Frank Rekas @FrankRekas, David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Paige Lewis @PaigeLewisFL, Jameson Cooper @JamesonCoop, and Amanda Land @HockeyGirl2530.  Also, please join our FaceBook Fan Page and hit the like button, send us photos, and tell us what’s on your mind.

‘Twas the Night Before the Draft

Twas the night before the Draft as I sat in “The Rock”

Comparing Jones and Mackinnon in TSN’s latest Mock

Sure Jones plays defense and has talent to spare

But Mackinnon is much desired if he fell there

The Panthers still wait as they ponder their pick

Hoping the Avalanche and Sakic are simply pulling a trick

But Also in waiting are the Bolts and Preds

Both looking for trades to move ahead

With each tweet by the all-knowing Bob McKenzie

The hockey world  and twitter go into a frenzy

Rumors are received with such passion and vigor

Fans now only waiting for their team to pull the trigger

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Hope At Center: Aleksander Barkov

Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones; these are two of the names Florida Panther fans are eagerly waiting to hear from Dale Tallon as he stands at the Prudential Centers podium on June 30th during the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Unfortunately, Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy have continued haunting the Florida Panthers organization by announcing earlier this week that their sights are set on Nathan MacKinnon, as well as every player that is not named Seth Jones.  Yes, that is right. There is a chance that Nathan MacKinnon may just be a distant hope and memory to the Florida Panther franchise. Which leaves us with the WHL’s golden boy, defenseman Seth Jones. But while there is no doubt in my mind that the Denver native will be a special player in the NHL someday, all I can think about are these 6 names: Dmitry Kulikov, Michael Matheson, Colby Robak, Mike Caruso, Erik Gudbranson, and Alex Petrovic. These are the names that make up our future defensive core. A very young and talented defensive unit. While Seth Jones may be slated to be “the next Chris Pronger”, this type of player is hardly a desperate need to our current roster, let alone our future one.

If you take a look at the Florida Panthers 2013-2014 roster for next season, you’ll notice a huge gaping hole where the 1st line center position lies. While we may have a couple of solid future options as far as centermen go, Bjugstad and Trochek are no-where near ready to fill the vacant roster spot.

With MacKinnon possibly out of reach, and our hearts crushed, there is always another option. Possibly, the better option. His name is Aleksander Barkov.

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Corban Knight Traded To Flames For Draft Pick

After having already moved RFA defenseman T.J. Brennan last week, the Florida Panthers continued their already active 2013 off-season on Tuesday when it was announced that the team had shipped prospect Corban Knight to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 4th round pick in this year’s entry draft. 

Selected 135th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the once forgettable Knight really came into his own this past season playing his Senior year with the University of North Dakota, proving he may just have what it takes to be an NHL regular. Steadily improving throughout his collegiate career, Knight’s Senior season was filled with great success - finishing tied for 7th in National scoring with a career-high 48 points, including a career-high 33 assists. Although he has the ability to score, Knight really stood out in the assist column this year as his 33 assists put him tied for second nationally and his 24 first assists leads all skaters in men’s Division 1 hockey.

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Panther Parkway Radio: SCF, NHL Draft, Free Agecy

We’re back!

Panther Parkway Radio took a bit of a hiatus, but we’re back in action!

Tonight’s Episode:

Host: Paige Lewis

Guests: Frank Rekas and Jameson Cooper


Stanley Cup Finals

Fan Questions

NHL Draft

Potential Florida Panther Buy Outs

Free Agency

Click the link below for tonight’s podcast!

We welcome and encourage comments and feedback!

Follow the Panther Parkway crew on Twitter: me @FrankRekas, David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Paige Lewis @PaigeLewisFL, JJameson Cooper @JamesonCoop, and Amanda Land @HockeyGirl2530.  Also, please join our FaceBook Fan Page and hit the like button, send us photos, and tell us what’s on your mind.

Why The Colorado Avalanche Need To Select A Defenseman At The Draft

Photo Source: @MikeDarnay Seth Jones Photoshop

Photo Source: @MikeDarnay Seth Jones Photoshop

As fans eagerly await the arrival of the next generation of talented skaters at the upcoming 2013 NHL Entry draft, General Managers and scouts from the bottom 3 teams of the 2013 season are working overtime evaluating this year’s projected top 3 picks - D Seth Jones, C Nathan MacKinnon, and C/RW Jonathan Drouin. After finishing the regular season with the worst overall record in the NHL, the Florida Panthers bad luck continued as the Colorado Avalanche (who finished with the 2nd worst record) leap frogged them in the newly revamped NHL Draft Lottery.

After the dust had settled at the draft lottery, the top 3 picks went to the Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, and Tampa Bay Lighting in that order. In other words, the collective destiny of both the Panthers and Lightning now rest in the hands of the Colorado Avalanche as their course of action with the first overall pick will surely shape how the rest of the first round plays out.

Luckily for both the Avalanche and the Panthers, the current players slated to go #1 and #2 in this year’s draft could both make an immediate impact on their respective clubs. Although, while each team could potentially grab a bona-fide NHL ready player, each team’s specific needs could play a huge role in their selections as both teams look to build a future Stanley Cup Contender.

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