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Anton Lundell Back to Natural Spot with the Florida Panthers



Panthers lundell
After a few weeks of playing left win on the Florida Panthers’ top line, Anton Lundell is back centering the third line — as he has done for much of his two seasons in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

CORAL SPRINGS — A few months ago, Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice made the decision to try and jumpstart Anton Lundell by moving him to the left side of a new top line with Sasha Barkov and Sam Reinhart.

Lundell had, for the most part, centered Florida’s third line since starting his NHL career with the Panthers last season.

“The vast majority of really good, young centermen don’t come in at center, unless you are in a rebuild and you draft him first overall and you throw him in,” Maurice said in January about the move.

“A lot of guys come in, they learn the game on the wing and they’ll go back in the middle.”

Guess who is, well, back in the middle?

When Barkov missed three games with the hand injury that has been bothering him since getting struck by a Tampa Bay shot on Feb. 6, Lundell slid over to center the top line in his absence.

When Barkov returned last week, Lundell was not moved back to the wing — but back to centering the third line with Ryan Lomberg and Reinhart.

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The Panthers have liked the energy and opportunities the line has produced and expect to see more tangible results moving forward.

In their two games together, only Lomberg has scored.

But the Panthers hope getting Lundell back to his natural position at center — he has not played much at wing during his hockey career, even dating back to his youth days — will get his offensive game going.

They certainly have no complaints with his defensive game.

”It has felt great but it doesn’t really matter where I play because center and wing have been pretty good lately,” said Lundell, who scored a goal in Tampa on Feb. 28 but has not hit the scoresheet in the past three games.

”I am trying to get back to my game, back to playing as well as I can. I play a good two-way game, but I am also trying to create chances and help the team with some scoring.”

With Lundell centering the third line, Florida feels extremely comfortable with its center depth moving forward.

The Panthers are now running out Barkov, Sam Bennett, Lundell and Eric Staal down the middle every night.

Not too shabby.

“We liked (Lundell) on the wing with Barkov and that line sort of tailed off in terms of production,” Maurice said.

“Some of that had to do with Barkov’s injury. When we got beat up a little, I really liked Lundell back at center. I think he has really grown by playing on the wing. He is driving harder down the middle and Lomberg has brought a lot of speed to that line.”



  • When: Friday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5 FM-2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • Last season: Florida won 2-0
  • This season (Chicago leads 1-0): Blackhawks 4, Panthers 2 (Oct. 25)
  • All-time regular season series: Blackhawks lead 28-17-4, 3 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Winnipeg, 7 p.m.

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“Some of that had to do with Barkov’s injury. When we got beat up a little”
Thanks to Maurice’s “Slap Shot, the Movie” offense.
He needs to go and if Zito does not do the job, he needs to go as well and take his screw last season’s success management style with him.

Last edited 6 months ago by Rixcster

George, other than Pete DeBoer and PERHAPS his own family, I don’t know of anyone else who is


Now that’s funny, and unfortunately there’s probably some truth to that, I can say, with confidence, he’s not real popular in Florida or Winnipeg.

Cats and Leafs

The team has not done well. Maurice and his coaching style has taken the brunt of the blame. My question to you George: Do you get the sense that the players do not like the coach or is this more of a fan / media bias against him?

Cats and Leafs

Thank you.


Simply for the sake of playing devil’s advocate, I doubt they would say anything contrary to that to anyone in the media ,on the record or off. I just know that there were absolute rumblings from the players, if the stories are to be believeed, that he had “lost the room”, take that however you want. Could be just the player that gave the quote had an issue with him and everybody else loved him, who knows, we really couldn’t tell. I sure don’t like his results so far, if that means anything. lol

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