The first full week of the preseason is complete for the Florida Panthers — and now, we enter the last one.
The Panthers played five exhibition games in the past week and will wrap things up with a three-game set against the Tampa Bay Lightning in a Sunshine State Tour.
With five preseason games in the books, the Panthers are going to make — or, at least, announce — a large number of roster reductions today.
One player who will not be heading to Charlotte’s AHL camp, at least not yet, is one Mackie Samoskevich.
The rookie out of Michigan scored a pair of goals in his preseason debut last Monday against Nashville and has not taken his foot off the gas.
We don’t know if he is going to make Florida’s opening night roster but as we stated after seeing him in the lead-up to camp, he is going to make it a tough call one way or another.
This is a big week for Samoskevich and the rest of the roster bubble players as coach Paul Maurice gives them an opportunity in games with a more NHL flavor.
Sure, these final three games against Tampa Bay will have their share of players who will not be playing on Opening Night, but there will be a lot of veterans out there.
It will be a good test.
So, what else happened last week?
— The Panthers went to Nova Scotia to play in the Kraft Hockeyville event in Sydney and, by all accounts, had themselves a nice time playing in the small town atmosphere. Losing to Ottawa 4-2 did not ruin the trip.
— How small is Sydney? If it were located in Broward County, it would be the 23rd biggest municipality in the 954. Cooper City, believe it or not, is bigger. Go Cowboys.
— Wilmer Skoog was one of the players sent to Charlotte on Sunday — but not before he got to make his NHL preseason debut. Funny story, how that came about. Skoog was not supposed to play Friday night so he was back at his hotel and was having some food delivered. Then Maurice called and said he needed to get to the arena, pronto. Maurice paid for the cancelled order.
— John Ludvig is another player who looks like he is going to be with the Panthers this season. At some point, at least.
— The biggest roster battle on the Panthers includes Samoskevich, but is really on the blueline.
— Fun night in Raleigh on Wednesday as Skyler Brind’Amour played in his first preseason game — and dad Rod had the best seat possible for it.
— Who is going to run the Panthers’ top power play this season? Looks like Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
— Spencer Knight has looked sharp in his games thus far and the Panthers are happy to have him back.
— The return of the Panthers means a lot of new video up on the FHN YouTube Channel — click RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place. If you hit subscribe (it’s free), you will know when new content comes up.
UP NEXT FOR THE FLORIDA PANTHERS (3-2)
PRESEASON VS. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (3-1)
- When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Amway Center, Orlando
- TV/Radio: None
- Streaming: FloridaPanthers.com
- Previous Exhibition Games: Florida 5, Nashville 0 (Sept. 25); Florida 5, Nashville 2 (Sept. 25); Carolina 4, Florida 1 (Sept. 27); Florida 4, Carolina 2 (Sept. 29); Ottawa 4, Florida 2 (Oct. 1)