TAMPA — The Florida Panthers had their backs up against the wall on Monday night and came out firing against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Too bad Andrei Vasilevskiy was back in net, eh?
The Panthers’ historic season is now over, ending once again in a shutout at the hands of Vasilevskiy off Channelside Drive.
Florida scored all of three goals in this series and did not seem to get things rolling until it was too late. You play like this and lose in Game 2, OK; do it in Game 4 down 3-0 and this is what you get.
We will have more coverage of the Panthers for the coming months as y’all know. Florida Hockey Now will continue to provide content throughout the offseason as this one should be very interesting.
Lots of decisions have to be made.
Perhaps the first decision which the Panthers will officially make this offseason is the fate of interim head coach Andrew Brunette.
We have rarely referred to Brunette as ‘interim’ in first-reference to him but that did not change the fact that GM Bill Zito said he would evaluate things in the offseason.
Well, here we are. The question is: Does Brunette even want the job?
— The Panthers certainly aspire to be the Lightning. So does every team in the league. But will the Panthers change up to start playing like Tampa moving forward?
— A local sports talk show here in Tampa said they had sources places a number of Panthers in a strip club until the wee hours of Monday morning after the Game 3 loss.
Brunette denied it and two sources within the team told me there was no truth to it. Were a bunch of players at Amercian Social having a couple of pops? Yes.
— Claude Giroux headed back to the Philadelphia Flyers?
— Monday’s postgame media sessions are up on the FloridaHockeyNow YouTube channel so if you want to hear from Sasha Barkov, Aaron Ekblad and Brunette, check it out.
The final FHN Panthers Postgame of the season with George and Colby is also up on the channel.
If you like what you see on the YouTube channel, please subscribe!
We will have plenty more video from exit day — perhaps as early as tomorrow.
The Lightning and its historic run continues and for the second straight year, it went through the Panthers.
— This Lightning team will steal your heart if you let it. OK, this story may be aimed for readers on the west side of the state.
— Vasilevskiy is something special, ain’t he?
— The Panthers see a little of Tampa Bay’s past in themselves.
— Report cards for the Lightning. A lot of As, one would guess.
AROUND THE NHL
Nazem Kadri had himself a night on Monday as he shot back at “the haters” with a hat trick as the Colorado Avalanche took complete command of its series with the Blues.
— No supplementary discipline for Milan Lucic after running through Edmonton goalie Mike Smith on Sunday.
— Connor McDavid is having a series and now the Calgary Flames are in deep.
— News from the Pittsburgh Penguins as any thought Ron Hextall will not return were put to bed.
— The future looks bright for Detroit rookie Lucas Raymond.
— Kevin Weekes interviewed for the Florida job before Zito got it and is now in the running with the San Jose Sharks.