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FHN Daily: Will The Florida Panthers Turn To Spencer Knight?



Florida Panthers Chicago

Is it time for the Florida Panthers to turn to the future to save the present?

There are a variety of reasons that the Florida Panthers are down 3-1 in their first-round Stanley Cup playoffs series with the Tampa Bay Lightning but let’s face it, goaltending has been a major reason. Sergei Bobrovsky has been pulled twice and Chris Driedger once as neither goalie has been able to gain any traction in the series. With his team facing elimination now in Game 5 on Monday, will Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville finally turn to the rookie phenom Knight in a do or die game?

After watching Bobrovsky surrender five goals on 40 shots in a 5-4 loss in Game 1, Quenneville turned to Driedger in Game 2 and while Driedger was solid making 26 saves in a 3-1 loss, he struggled in Game 3 and was replaced by Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky helped lead the Florida Panthers to a 6-5 overtime win and their only victory in the series thus far, but then looked absolutely lost allowing five goals on 14 shots in the 6-2 loss in Game 4. Driedger came in after the fifth goal and allowed one goal on 12 shots.

On Sunday, Knight was manning the starter’s net at practice.



After practice, Quenneville wouldn’t commit to a starter but called Knight ‘an option’. 



As Steve Gorten wrote for FHN following that forgettable performance for ‘Goalie Bob’ in Game 4, the Panthers are not only at a goalie crossroads in this series but clearly in the big picture between the pipes after this season. We acknowledged here that Driedger was the right call for Game 2, but now it may be time to get at least a quick polaroid of the future if they want the present to continue past Monday and start Knight. 


Now onto the rest of your FHN Daily links:


Larry Brooks says former New York Rangers and Boston University head coach David Quinn deserves another chance behind an NHL bench. (NY Post)

After reading this column by Mike Harrington, to me one of the best straight shooters in the media, if you don’t think it’s time for the Pegula’s to sell the Sabres and just focus on the Bills, you’re seriously in denial or good friends or family with them. (Buffalo News)

Some national love for Boston Bruins center David Krejci from veteran scribe Steve Simmons (Toronto Sun)

Bruce Cassidy hasn’t been the only NHL head coach left scratching his head over the NHL officiating. That and more on the latest Hockey Headlines. (KuklasKorner)


Here’s your National Hockey Now Links of the day:


‘The Flower’ continues to blossom in the desert. (Vegas Hockey Now)

Give Evgeni Malkin credit for facing the music after a brutal Game 4 and 4-1 loss for the Pittsburgh Penguins to the New York Islanders. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

The New York Islanders fed off a raucous Nassau Coliseum crowd and dominated Game 4. (NYI Hockey Now)

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman/forward Sam Morin is ready to be the sheriff next season. (Philly Hockey Now)

Adrian Dater on a late Mother’s Day present for Alex Newhook’s Mom after her son scored his first NHL goal in a 5-1 win for the Avalanche in Game 3. (Colorado Hockey Now)

Is Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy an early Conn Smythe candidate? (Boston Hockey Now)

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