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Panthers no easy mark for struggling Leafs

Dec 17, 2013, 1:08 PM EDT

Jesse Winchester,  Peter Budaj AP

A couple of weeks ago, right about the time the Toronto Maple Leafs were preparing for a tough stretch of contests against some of the NHL’s elite, the Florida Panthers’ visit to the ACC on Dec. 17 probably looked like a respite of sorts.

After all, the Panthers entered December with a 7-15-5 record and had recently fired their coach, Kevin Dineen. They were also the worst team in the league last season.

Today, though, the Panthers don’t look like such an easy mark. With five wins in their last six tries, they’ve found some traction under new coach Peter Horachek.

On Sunday, Florida went into Montreal and won 2-1, with the Canadiens only managing 18 shots against goalie Scott Clemmensen.

“Our guys were diving in front of shots, putting sticks out there to deflect passes,” said Clemmensen, per the Miami Herald. “I tip my hat to the guys in front of me. When you don’t have to make a save, it makes things a lot easier.”

Per Extra Skater, here’s how the Panthers are trending in terms of their possession stats:

source:

Meanwhile, the Leafs have just three regulation wins in their last 20. Despite an impressive win over Chicago Saturday, they were outplayed by a badly banged-up Penguins team last night, losing 3-1 and seeing their record fall to 17-15-3.
  1. beergold - Dec 17, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Anyone who suffers with watching the Leafs year after year after year will know that there is no such thing as an “easy mark” for the Leafs. Every single game is a mystery for them/and fans alike, stinking one game and the next looking like they are for real…..you just never know.

  2. Taylor Craig - Dec 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Let’s make it 6 outta 7 baby! Go cats!!

  3. Taylor Craig - Dec 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Status of Huberdeau and Gudbranson?

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