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The Florida Panthers Wrap: Another Odd Week for the Cats

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Sasha Barkov celebrates his goal with Matthew Tkachuk during the second period of Florida’s win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. (AP Photo/Michael Laughlin)

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers had one of those head-scratching weeks.

It started in Columbus with the team being beat by a Blue Jackets team it honestly had no business losing to.

On Saturday night, they were up 4-1 on St. Louis in the third and somehow ended up losing in overtime.

These things happen, sure.

Does not make an antsy fanbase feel any better about things.

Of course, a 5-2 win over the first-place Boston Bruins should have made things settle down for a bit and they did. It was a nice Thanksgiving in Pantherland after that one.

But with the team struggling to find consistency — and string together any semblance of a winning streak — there is natural concern.

Maybe December will be better.

TODAY

So, did you hear the one about the team that blew a three-goal lead in the third period and lost in overtime?

The Panthers were revered as the ‘Comeback Cats’ last season but on Saturday night, those tables were turned as the Blues put on the pressure and stole a win.

Big Picture: The Panthers got a point out of it with a team from the West stealing two. It’s not the end of the world.

Truth is, the Panthers should have put the Blues out of their misery much earlier.

— Florida was playing without captain Sasha Barkov for the second time in the past week or so as his non-Covid illness flared up again. Barkov did not practice Friday and was told by team doctors to stay away from the team.

As coach Paul Maurice said, you do not want someone sick to get others sick — especially if you are on a hockey team about to get on a plane and fly to western Canada.

Check back later and see if Barkov is on the flight to Alberta.

SATURDAY

The Florida Panthers have been a bit of a mixed bag through the first quarter of their season with new coach Paul Maurice saying his team has not yet played its best.

What has gone right and what has gone wrong so far?

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— We had a lot of postgame comments from Saturday night’s game up on the FHN YouTube Channel.

Hear from Maurice, Anton Lundell and Radko Gudas following Saturday night’s loss to the Blues. Good stuff from all three.

Check out all of our FHN videos RIGHT HERE or just click on the videos below and enjoy them when you wanna.

FRIDAY

The FHN Florida Panthers Mailbag is back as I tried to honestly answer all of the questions you, our dear reader, came up with.

Many of the questions dealt with Anthony Duclair and the impending salary cap situation, but we also talked about Florida’s decision to move on from Andrew Brunette and whether Maurice was the right hire.

Check it out HERE.

— The Panthers certainly needed a spark on Wednesday night against the Bruins and Spencer Knight answered the call.

The 21-year-old continues to impress.

— Sam Reinhart started scoring goals once he was reunited with Anton Lundell and on Wednesday, Lundell got his first in 13 games.

The Panthers would love to see both of those guys scoring at the same time.

THURSDAY

The Panthers got their Thanksgiving cooking done a little early as they turned up the heat on their power play with three goals in a 5-2 win over the Bruins.

— In the NHL’s Salary Cap Era, about 75 percent of the teams holding a playoff spot at Thanksgiving make the postseason.

The Panthers were on the outside looking in — but are not worried about it.

WEDNESDAY

When Eric Staal joined the Panthers after being out of the NHL last season, he knew he had to adjust his game in any way he could to help his new team.

That meant focusing on the defensive side of the ice — including being a counted-on penalty killer.

TUESDAY

With losses in three consecutive games and four of the past five, the Panthers need better play from their goaltenders if they hope to get out of their slump.

Spoiler alert: They did.

MONDAY

If you watched the Panthers lose to the Blue Jackets on Sunday night, you saw some familiar trends.

Yeah, we had watched that movie before.

LAST SUNDAY

Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar appeared to get emotional due to the reaction from the home crowd in Sunrise on Saturday night.

Winning was a nice bonus.

As for the Panthers, they were very happy to see their friends and, well, at least get a point out of it.

— Radko Gudas was known around the league as a headhunter, a cheapshot artist.

For many, he still is. Reputations are hard thing to shake.

Maurice said his guy is so much more than that these days.

PANTHERS ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT EDMONTON OILERS

  • When: Monday, 9:30 p.m.
  • Where: Rogers Place; Edmonton, Alberta
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • Season Series (Oilers lead 1-0): Edmonton 4, Florida (Nov. 12)
  • Last season: Split 1-1
  • All-time regular season series: Edmonton leads 22-14-0, 3 ties
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