The Florida Panthers celebrated Homecoming Week in Sunrise and things did not go as they hoped.
First, Mason Marchment and Pete DeBoer came through on Thursday and celebrated a 6-4 win.
Saturday, Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar rolled in and took a 5-4 shootout victory with them.
The Panthers finished off a five-game homestand with losses in three of the final four.
Not great, for sure.
But it was fun seeing everyone, right?
Only it ended up being making sure there was an open bar for a party you hosted yet your friends (and many you did not invite) all went home with the leftover bottles.
You paid for it, but they enjoyed it.
At least there are pictures.
And some video.
Huberdeau and Weegar certainly seemed touched by the reaction from the home crowd in Sunrise on Saturday night.
Winning was a nice bonus for the boys.
As for the Panthers, they were very happy to see their friends and, well, at least get a point out of it.
Again, open bar situation.
— Radko Gudas was known around the league as a headhunter, a cheapshot artist.
For many, he still is. Reputations are a hard thing to shake.
Paul Maurice, for one, said that perception is wrong. Gudas is so much more than that these days.
Gudas has cleaned up his game — yeah, he still lays the lumber — and has become a top defensive player for the Panthers.
— OK, so there is a TON of video on the FHN YouTube Channel this week.
Check it all out RIGHT HERE or just click on the videos below and then surf at your leisure.
We have postgame video from Tkachuk, Sasha Barkov and Maurice — not to mention Friday’s pregame from Huberdeau and Weegar.
There is a LOT of video content on the Channel including the video tribute to Huberdeau and Weegar.
If you subscribe to the channel (which is free) you will be alerted whenever new content appears.
The Panthers rolled out their Reverse Retro for the first time on Saturday.
What did y’all think of it?
— Did you know Jonathan Huberdeau was coming to play the Panthers on Saturday?
— How about MacKenzie Weegar?
Thursday was a crazy night for both the Panthers and Dallas Stars, one that started with Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa getting the crowd worked up.
Helped the Stars apparently, did not help the Panthers a whole lot.
— With the Panthers and Flames currently sitting outside a playoff spot, was some of the luster gone from Saturday’s anticipated matchup?
— Check out the video from Huberdeau and Weegar speaking following their first practice at the IceDen since the big trade.
Nick Cousins has really fit in nicely with the Panthers, eh?
Sure it was a slow start but he has really come around.
— Florida’s homecoming weekend started with Mason Marchment.
What a great story he has, eh?
— There was definitely a scary moment when Dallas goalie Scott Wedgewood needed paramedics from Sunrise and was carted off the ice. Everything turned out OK though.
— Barkov was sick and missed Thursday’s game.
Hope he feels better. (He does).
— Mason Marchment had one heck of an ascent into becoming a primetime NHL player and, for all of his hard work, he does credit the Panthers for giving him his first real shot.
Everyone in South Florida loves Carter Verhaeghe but that may not be the case in Washington as he torched the Capitals once again.
Sergei Bobrovsky likes the simple things when it comes to the design of his mask but he is wearing a lavender-hued bucket to support Hockey Fights Cancer.
You could bid on it and make it your own next month.
— Are you happy with the first month of the Panthers’ season? Based on the social media responses, the answer is no. But Paul Maurice is.
— You know who is hitting his stride, right?
Sam Bennett. Fire.
It was really nice to see Roberto Luongo take his rightful place in the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night.
— With Aaron Ekblad out of the lineup, Florida was helped with their core of defensive-minded forwards.
We know they can score, but they can defend as well.
As much as the Panthers would like to keep everyone around, with their salary cap problems, that is not the case. Rudolfs Balcers was lost to the Lightning because of it.
— The Panthers played with fire when it came to the Edmonton power play and it cost them.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
- When: Sunday, 6 p.m.
- Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Last season: Florida won 2-1
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 19-15-10, no ties