The Florida Panthers hoped to start their holiday week off with a bang and instead all of it was just a dud.
The Panthers ended up going 0-3 this past week, opening up with a 5-2 loss in Boston with losses to New Jersey and the Islanders mixed in.
Florida has now lost six of its past eight as it was outscored 16-6 during its current losing streak.
The Panthers return from their holiday break on Tuesday afternoon with the Montreal Canadiens in town on Thursday night.
Florida, as we noted earlier today, are not exactly getting a break in action upon returning.
Although the Panthers could get Sasha Barkov and Radko Gudas back this week, we do not know about Aaron Ekblad just yet.
The Panthers also get back-to-backs against the Canadiens and Hurricanes with the New York Rangers here on New Year’s Day.
According to PowerRankingsGuru.com, the Panthers have the ninth most-difficult schedule remaining in the NHL.
We take a look at where the Panthers are coming out of the Christmas break.
I they are not in a good spot, that’s for sure.
Florida has played 35 games and sit pretty far out of a playoff spot despite playing the most of any team within the Atlantic Division.
Making the playoffs is not going to be easy for this team and they are starting to run out of time.
— The Panthers have had the past few days off, but if you missed Matthew Tkachuk’s scathing postgame remarks from Friday night, visit our FHN YouTube Channel either by clicking below to go RIGHT HERE.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel so you can be notified when anything new pops in.
Two Panthers who are probably enjoyed this break was Eric and Marc Staal as they spent their first Christmas together as NHL teammates.
The two Staal brothers spent Christmas in Fort Lauderdale with their families.
— The Panthers went into last year’s Christmas break riding a three-game losing streak but that’s where the similarities really end between that team and this one.
So, in case you missed it, Tkachuk was not happy with the Panthers after a lackluster loss to the Islanders in New York on Friday night.
When you use words like ‘cheated,’ you ain’t thrilled that’s for sure.
The Panthers took a 1-0 lead against the Islanders thanks to a nice job in front from Tkachuk but were not good in the final two periods in a 5-1 loss.
It was not pretty at times.
— Ekblad left the game Friday night after a small scrum behind the net with an apparent shoulder injury and did not return.
— Colby Guy took your hottest takes and went through and gave his responses to them. This was before the Panthers lost to the Islanders. He probably should have waited a day. Ugh.
— Givani Smith had a busy week. First, he was traded to the Panthers on Monday. He played with the Charlotte Checkers on Thursday night and was called up to play for Florida against the Islanders on Friday night.
— So, did you wonder why Paul Maurice left Spencer Knight in Monday’s loss to the Bruins? He explains the thought process.
Tkachuk took exception to Nico Hischier taking out Barkov’s knee in their game last Saturday in Newark and made sure he knew that at the end of Wednesday’s game in Sunrise.
“We obviously were not happy with that play and we still don’t have Barkov back,” Tkachuk said.
“It is frustrating for us. We know (Hischier) isn’t a dirty player but we did not like that play at all. You really can’t do anything crazy anymore but I thought our team did a good enough job making it clear we were not happy with that.”
The Panthers held a lead going into the third period against the Devils on Wednesday night — but watched New Jersey battle back and get a nice win on Andrew Brunette Night in Sunrise.
— Patric Hornqvist is eligible to come back off long-term injured reserve Thursday but Maurice said he may be out longer after suffering his second concussion within the span of a month.
With Anthony Duclair skating again, the Panthers could certainly use Hornqvist’s salary cap relief although Duclair is still a ways away from a return.
— Anton Lundell made his return to the Panthers’ lineup against the Devils.
— Sam Reinhart has been heating up for Florida after a slow start to his season.
The Panthers showed some fight in roaring back from a 4-0 hole against the Bruins but could not come all the way back in a 7-3 loss.
Florida scored three goals within a span of 5:20 in the second period but the Bruins ended up pulling away.
Florida was part of a three-way trade, sending defenseman Michael Del Zotto to Anaheim and getting Smith back from the Red Wings.
— Zac Dalpe has been chasing his NHL dream since leaving Ohio State in 2010.
He has certainly looked good on his most recent stint with the Panthers.
Dalpe was sent back to Charlotte this weekend but he may be back sooner than later.
PANTHERS ON DECK
MONTREAL CANADIENS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Last season: Florida won 3-1
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 51-38-11, 6 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Dec. 30 at Carolina Hurricanes, 7:30 p.m.