Between panic mode and analytical talk on the roster, Florida Panthers fans had some interesting things to say after the team’s 4-3 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.
After every road game, I go live on Twitter Spaces and hear out the talking points each fan has following the game and recap the game myself.
While not everyone can make it to these Spaces events, a lot of the topics brought up are important talking points.
And, without further ado, here is the first-ever Florida Hockey Now Twitter Spaces mailbag.
What do we make of Gustav Forsling’s return to the lineup tonight? -@BryceTotz
While he wasn’t the same offensive puck driver that we’re used to seeing, Forsling played a very responsible game defensively and came up huge in spots when the Panthers needed him to.
Forsling was on the ice for 22:18 on Tuesday night, logging the second-most ice time on the team. He had 3:42 of shorthanded time-on-ice, which trailed only Anton Lundell.
The penalty kill was where he came through the most.
During the kill near the end of the second period, Forsling made some key plays to prevent key scoring chances from the St. Louis power play and eventually secured the clear that ended it.
He made smart plays in the defensive zone all game and he picked up the slack when the play broke down in front of him at times, so it was a solid first game back for Forsling.
A lot of times, that first game back from injury can be hard on a player mentally, so a clean game in most aspects is encouraging for Forsling.
What do you make of Spencer Knight’s performance tonight and his development as a whole? -@mrstevenwolf
Overall, Knight didn’t have a bad performance, but what I noticed is that he bit too hard on certain plays.
The second goal of the game, when Brayden Schenn snuck in behind him and tipped a pass from Vladimir Tarasenko, was a good example of that.
He cheated a bit on the shot, and when the passing lane opened up, the Blues made him pay for it.
The overtime winner showcased a similar scenario, where he bit too hard on Pavel Buchnevich going for the shot on the breakaway, and got beat with the wraparound.
With that being said, those are mistakes 20-year-olds make at times and Knight made big saves when the Panthers absolutely needed him to.
Games like this are what is going to help Knight develop. Working through those mistakes to read plays and the options surrounding them is what will help him grow.
At 20, Knight is the youngest goaltender in the NHL with at least seven games played by three years. Jeremy Swayman, 23, is the next youngest NHL regular this season.
Despite that, he very much gives the Panthers a chance to win games.
With a 6-3-2 record and a .904/.2.98, Knight isn’t putting up world-shattering numbers like he was last season, but he’s making the saves he needs to and is working through those rookie mistakes.
That will help him become a better goaltender in the long run.
Is there a concern with Owen Tippett’s development and is he an odd-man-out when players start returning? -@Cody_Shamon
Yes, Tippett’s scoring can get streaky at times, but by no means is it time to hit the panic button.
The 22-year-old only played 76 games so far — 52 career games prior to this season — so his scoring touch still needs time to fully develop. But he’s doing all of the right things outside of scoring.
Tippet is a great skater and play driver and he’s able to start rushes coming out of the defensive zone. Even when he’s not showing up on the score sheet, he still gets plays going sometimes.
He’s also always in the right places near the net, being a smart player on both sides of the ice.
When he finds his scoring touch, he’ll be in the right places and they’ll come in bunches. No need to push the panic button quite yet.
Where does Noel Acciari fit on this team? -@CodySte26660183
Looking up and down the Panthers’ lineup, there aren’t too many players you would want to take out of the lineup right now.
Acciari’s usual spot would be on the fourth line, but the combination of Ryan Lomberg, Eetu Luostarinen, and Patric Hornqvist has been one of the most consistent lines on the team this season.
One idea could be playing Acciari on the wing and having him shuffle in and out with Hornqvist, giving the veteran time off ahead of the playoffs, but when they do come, it’s hard to take someone like Luostarinen out of the lineup.
With the number of injuries the Panthers had so far, it’s hard to envision a fully healthy Panthers lineup, but adding in pieces like Mason Marchment and Anthony Duclair back to the fold at some point makes it even harder to pinpoint where Acciari fits.
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT ARIZONA COYOTES
- WHEN: Friday, 9 p.m.
- WHERE: Gila River Arena; Glendale, Ariz.
- TV/STREAMING: Bally Sports Florida
- RADIO: WQAM 560
- Last season: Did not play
- This season: @Florida 5, Arizona 3 (Oct. 26)