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The Florida Panthers Are Proving to Be Anything But ‘Soft’

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Florida panthers soft
The Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators get into it after Patrick Brown skated too close to goalie Alex Lyon in the second period on Thursday night in Sunrise. // Photo courtesy Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

Just over a week ago, Keith Tkachuk — the father of Ottawa captain Brady and Florida MVP candidate Matthew — went on a Toronto radio station and ripped into the Florida Panthers calling them a ‘soft team’ among other things.

The Panthers were coming off a 5-2 loss in Ottawa, the fourth consecutive defeat for a team seemingly on the verge of missing the playoffs.

How things have changed since.

The night of Keith Tkachuk’s radio hit, Florida rolled out Alex Lyon in goal against the powerhouse Maple Leafs and pulled out a 3-2 overtime victory.

Florida has not lost since that game in Ottawa, rattling off a season-high five consecutive wins.

They appear to be hitting more, playing a lot more physical — and, on Thursday against Brady’s Ottawa team, standing up for one another.

Coincidence?

“Don’t give him that much credit,’’ Matthew Tkachuk said after Thursday’s game, one in which both he and his younger brother left the game early due to separate fights.

”We know how important these games are right now. After that (losing) streak, we just buckled in. Decided we didn’t want to waste anymore games.’’

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