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Florida Panthers Temp Check: Hot Takes on Lundell, Bennett & More



Florida panthers
Florida Panthers center Anton Lundell battles Toronto’s David Kampf for the puck during the second period of Florida’s 3-1 win on Oct. 19 in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

A new season means another year of the Florida Panthers Temp Check!

For those new to FHN, the rules are simple: You send in your hot takes and I grade them on a scale of 1 to 100.

The higher the score, the hotter the take.

With the Panthers at 4-3-1 coming off Monday’s overtime loss in Boston, there is a lot to talk about.

Let’s jump in, shall we?

Lundell needs to make the next step. I wont say he’s regressed, but he certainly hasnt developed like we all thought he would after his promising rookie year. My fear is that his rookie season results were a product of the run and gun offense that we ran under Brunette. Lundell juat hasnt enjoyed the same success as he did during his rookie campaign. – Surveyjay

Heat Index: 47

I am a bit on the fence about this for a couple reasons.

For one, Lundell got the short end of the stick due to injuries happening early on in the season and was paired with fourth-line wingers like Nick Cousins and Will Lockwood.

As soon as he got moved to Matthew Tkachuk’s line in the seventh game of the season, he looked a lot better.

Taking his early-season numbers with a grain of salt, Year 3 is still when you want to see a young player’s numbers jump.

He has looked the part on the ice so far, driving his line and making the right plays, but it has not translated into points just yet.

Perhaps the looming opportunity to play with Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe with Sam Bennett out with an injury once again could help.

This team misses Bennett when he is not on the ice. – Andrew Levine

Heat Index: Yup.

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I think Monday’s game in Boston pretty much sums up Bennett’s impact.

When the Florida Panthers had him, they were able to roll four lines and he was clearly able to open up more space for Tkachuk and Verhaeghe with his playmaking and drive.

After he left, the soul seemed to get sucked out of the team for a bit and they had to give up on their third line at times.

His connection with Tkachuk and the unique abilities he brings on both ends of the ice make him a very important player to the squad.

Uvis Balinskis will be Brandon Montour’s partner on the top 4 and solidify himself as one of our best defensemen before Christmas. – Andre Thiffeault

Heat Index: 30

Heat Index: 60

I think a lot of their failures on special teams have to do with injuries — especially with Oliver Ekman-Larsson missing that five-minute power play in Boston.

If Ekman-Larsson misses significant time, the Panthers will be without a natural power play quarterback until Ekblad and Montour come back. Forsling is capable, sure, but it will be a bit of an adjustment.

The penalty kill has been a similar situation with a lot of defensemen playing more minutes than they should.

Of course, teams should be prepared to play through injuries, but special teams is one of the first things to go when so many star players are out of the lineup.

I don’t think Maurice or Bill Zito would be quick to can any of the assistant coaches who helped their team make the Stanley Cup Final.

Maurice, in particular, has a good relationship with Jamie Kompon, who runs the power play. That’s a move I don’t see happening any time soon.

Split bob and stolarz 50/50, stolarz looked very good in the game he played (it was against the sharks but whatever). stolarz stats from last year were deflated because he played for a terrible ducks team, so i think he is better than it shows in the stats – jams

Heat Index: 70

Anthony Stolarz is more than capable than picking up a bigger role, but Sergei Bobrovsky needs a heavy workload.

Looking at periods of time where Spencer Knight had more of a 50/50 split with Bobrovsky last season, he struggled mightily when playing on extended rest.

With the schedule getting heavier in November, Stolarz will have more moments to shine.

The Panthers will continue their postseason success and go on to win the Stanley cup this year – ColtonKicks

Heat Index: 40

After what they did last year, why not?

They have proven they have what it takes to make it far in the playoffs and they added a lot of depth to the roster during the offseason.

When Ekblad and Montour come back, the roster they have now is arguably better than they one they had last year.

Particularly the fourth line.

It is going to be very hard to get back there, especially with teams like the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils becoming stronger contenders, but it is definitely possible.

Learned after last year to not count this team out of it…



  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit 
  • Streaming/TV: Bally Sports Florida/ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL/Panthers App
  • Last season: Florida won 3-0
  • This season: @Detroit Thursday, March 2; @Florida Jan. 17, March 30
  • All-time regular season series: Florida leads 36-19-6, 5 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday @ Chicago, 8 p.m.

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