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Making History: Florida Panthers rewriting the franchise record book



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Jonathan Huberdeau celebrates getting his 400th career assist in Tuesday night’s 7-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens with longtime teammate Sasha Barkov. — Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

Back when Jaromir Jagr played for the Florida Panthers, Roberto Luongo used to joke there was a different milestone celebrated every night.

It only felt that way.

And it certainly feels that way now.

The Panthers have 16 games remaining in their regular season and it does seem a different personal milestone is celebrated each night.

Whether it comes from Jonathan Huberdeau as he continues to pile up points or Joe Thornton as his Hall of Fame career rolls on in the tropics, the Panthers have been handing out a lot of celebratory pucks in their postgame locker room this season.

When it comes to team franchise records, well, this team is going to be hard to top.

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They say records are meant to be broken, but the 2021-22 Panthers may end up setting ones no other team will be able to match.

On Tuesday night, the Panthers beat the Montreal Canadiens 7-3.

Now with 271 goals over the course of this high-flying season, the Panthers have already set a franchise record — four better than the 2018-19 team scored in 82 games.

Again, there are 16 games remaining.

Lot of goals will be scored between now and then.

In the standings, the Panthers’ 96 points is better than all but two other teams in their history.

The franchise record is 103 points set in 2015-16 and, theoretically, these Panthers could pass them next week.

With a win tonight against visiting Chicago, Florida’s 98 points would tie the 1999-2000 team for second-most in franchise history.

Remember when the Panthers had their fingers crossed they would get to 93 or 94 points and hope that was good enough for the playoffs?

Florida’s 45 victories are already second-best in team history, just two back of the Atlantic Division champs from six years ago.

As far as personal marks go, it seems destined that Sasha Barkov’s franchise-record 96 points from three seasons ago will not last for too much longer.

Huberdeau, who had 92 that year, is on his way to blow that out of the water.

With 93 points in 66 games, Huberdeau has not only set a career-high (again, with 16 games remaining) but is on pace for 116 points.

His current total of 93 points is now third-best in an entire season, trailing just Barkov and Pavel Bure (94 in 1999-2000). Huberdeau’s 70 assists are not only most in team history, but most ever by a left wing in the NHL.

Barkov missed 13 games this season or would be on his way to a career-high in points as well. As it stands right now, Barkov is on pace for 86 points — in 69 games played.

One Florida record which may never be broken is most goals in a season set by Bure during the 2000-01 campaign when he got 59. That was a year after he set the previous record with 58.

As much as the Panthers are scoring this season, it is much more of a collective deal than it was when the ‘Russian Rocket’ was dominating.

Barkov leads the Panthers in goals this season with 29. Had he played all 82 games, Barkov would be on pace to finish with around 45 goals.

In Bure’s record-setting year, he scored 59 goals on a team that ended with a total of 200 — so he accounted for a whopping 30 percent of the Panthers’ total goals scored that season.

The 2000-01 Panthers were a disaster, finishing that season with just one player who scored 20-plus goals: Bure. He ended that year with 92 points; Viktor Kozlov was second with 37.

This team is obviously not a disaster — and has six players with 20 or more goals and two more who could get there.

Florida, it should be noted, has nine players with 37 or more points.

Again, with 16 games left to play.

Lots of time left to update that record book.



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