Apr 27, 2012, 12:31 AM EDT
The Florida Panthers came one goal short of their first playoff series win in ages, but for the first time in more than a decade, they can enter the summer with their heads held high. They showed a lot of heart in a seven-game series with the New Jersey Devils, overcoming a 2-0 third period deficit to push the game to double overtime before Adam Henrique ended their surprisingly successful season 3-2.
It seemed as if the Devils were the better team when they absolutely had to be. They generated a 42-16 shot disparity in a 3-2 OT win in Game 6 and while they almost coughed up the lead in Game 7, New Jersey still prevailed.
Who takes the blame?
Sure there was instability in net, but the Panthers got pretty good to great goaltending for most of the series. In fact, it’s kind of tough to truly blame anyone, although Florida’s depth scorers didn’t come through – which pretty much matches their regular season. Players like Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss were productive, but the drop-off was steep.
What will they do about it?
Depending upon whom you ask, Florida wasn’t really supposed to get this far so soon. The Panthers have an increasingly rich pool of prospects, particularly goalie of the future Jacob Markstrom and 2011 first-rounder Jonathan Huberdeau.
The biggest areas of change will come in those prospects taking the spots of marginal players such as Wojtek Wolski. Scott Clemmensen is likely to leave but with Jose Theodore under contract for one more season, Florida doesn’t have to add a free agent goalie.
Consider the 2011-12 season laying down the foundation for what the Panthers hope will be bigger things in the not-too-distant future.
May 23, 2013, 7:41 PM EDT
Limited to one joke regarding that Jeremy Roenick quip.
May 23, 2013, 7:03 PM EDT
Boston’s lineup stays the same as the first three contests.
May 23, 2013, 6:19 PM EDT
Gotta pay Zach Parise and Ryan Suter somehow, huh?
May 23, 2013, 4:55 PM EDT
“The L.A. Kings were a game away from missing the playoffs, and now suddenly they’re the template for everything good in hockey, and I don’t think that’s the case.”
May 23, 2013, 4:55 PM EDT
Franchise legend returns, nearly 10 years after retirement.
May 23, 2013, 4:47 PM EDT
Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton (and Matt Bartkowski) all expected to stick.
May 23, 2013, 3:49 PM EDT
Shutting down the Blackhawks will do that.
May 23, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
But Drew Doughty says Galiardi is the biggest diver on the Sharks, so there.
May 23, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
For a headshot on Flyers prospect Taylor Leier.
May 23, 2013, 2:48 PM EDT
Good news for Phoenix hockey fans? (Or just…news.)
May 23, 2013, 2:34 PM EDT
“You don’t win a Stanley Cup without going through something like that.”
May 23, 2013, 2:07 PM EDT
It’s not pretty.
May 23, 2013, 2:01 PM EDT
What happens to the coach if the Rangers get swept tonight?
May 23, 2013, 1:24 PM EDT
When asked if Ottawa could come back from a 3-1 series deficit against Pittsburgh, he said “probably not.”
May 23, 2013, 12:56 PM EDT
“That’s the way he plays.”
May 23, 2013, 12:21 PM EDT
It would cost them $24 million over 14 years.
May 23, 2013, 11:36 AM EDT
Cue the buyout speculation.
May 23, 2013, 11:34 AM EDT
Will he be challenging Ryan Miller for it?
May 23, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT
The home of the Oilers’ AHL affiliate.
May 23, 2013, 10:54 AM EDT
He’s frustrated nothing got done in Calgary.
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