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FHN TODAY: Florida Panthers In Must-Win Mode
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SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers say they do not differentiate one opponent from another. Those who have watched this team even for a little bit knows that is not the case.
The Panthers are certainly guilty of playing down to their opponent, something we have seen time and again this season.
As an example, Florida came out flat and never got things going against the retooling Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
Then, on Saturday, the Panthers come out gangbusters against the Penguins in a 4-1 win.
Saturday certainly felt like a must-win game for the Panthers.
A regulation loss to the Penguins would have put them seven points out of the playoffs — not a place they can afford to be right now.
“It was a great effort. It was high intensity, fun to be part of it,’’ said Sergei Bobrovsky, who had plenty of intense moments of his own.
“We protected the house very well. The sticks, back-check—everything was a very high level, high-end execution. … It’s a huge win for us and the next one is even bigger.”
The Panthers get back after it Tuesday night when Vegas comes to Sunrise.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
Sasha Barkov joked around when asked about Eetu Luostarinen, saying he did not want him to get too much praise. That’s because Barkov knows everyone has been praising Luostarinen.
And that he has deserved it.
Career year for Luostarinen who is now playing up on the Panthers’ top line.
- The Panthers certainly missed not having Anthony Duclair on the ice as his return has given the team quite a boost.
- Having Sam Bennett and Barkov back certainly made a big difference for the Panthers on Saturday night.
- You don’t see Sergei Bobrovsky mix it up in a game very often, but you did on Saturday, Boborvsky did not like the hit from Jason Zucker and went after him.
- Florida GM Bill Zito decided to keep the Panthers together at the NHL Trade Deadline despite them being out of the playoffs at the time. He also spoke about a lot of things regarding the Panthers from the team’s future, whether he thinks they can make the playoffs — and his thoughts on the job Paul Maurice is doing.
- The Panthers went into Deadline Day with another frustrating loss, this one to the rebuilding Predators on Thursday night.
- New video from Zito, Maurice, Bobrovsky, Barkov and Bennett is up on the FHN YouTube Channel. You can click the embedded videos below or click RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place.
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NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
After losing for the sixth consecutive time on Sunday, it looks like we can stick a fork in the Detroit Red Wings.
Quite a big drop over the past couple of weeks as the Wings had gone from winning six of seven to losing two straight to Ottawa to being sellers at the deadline.
- Jonathan Quick looked good as the Vegas Golden Knights held off Montreal. Now back in the Pacific, Quick has a chance to stick it to the Kings.
- At least Joonas Korpisalo looked pretty good in his Los Angeles Kings debut.
- Speaking of forks, fans of the Calgary Flames are not happy. At all.
- The Washington Capitals were also sellers — and they got blown out by the Sharks on Sunday.
- The Philadelphia Flyers have been out of it for a while, but it always feels nice to snap a losing streak.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins saw their win streak ended by the Panthers, but it was still a pretty good week.
PANTHERS ON DECK
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Tuesday, 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
- This season (Vegas leads 1-0): Golden Knights 4, Panthers 2 (Jan. 12)
- Last season: Split 1-1
- All-time regular season series: Vegas leads 6-2-1
- Up Next for the Panthers: Friday vs. Chicago. 7 p.m.
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Truth be told, the “must win mode” first appeared in December and has never let up. Greater scrutiny hovered over P.M. and why the Panthers were going sideways. Trying to transform an elite team into “pounders and grinders” has been a bust. Barkov, e.g. for all those years could skate virtually untouched in all zones and always be where he needed to be with near-perfect success racking up the points. Every game now, he’s picking himself up off the ice after being pounded along the boards. The numerous resulting injuries and time missed is the source of his unnecessarily mediocre… Read more »
Thanks for the great coverage!
It’s Golden Knights at Panthers, not the other way around.