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Category: Florida-Panthers

The Florida Panthers Are Wearing A Target On Their Back

from George Richards of Florida Hockey Now,

The Florida Panthers have not been a team that draws attention in a positive way for much of the past 20 years, but times have changed.

The Panthers came into the weekend with the best record in the entire National Hockey League and are looked it — both internally and externally — as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Their coach would like them to start acting like it a little bit when they go on the road.

“We were flat again and it was a disappointing start,’’ coach Andrew Brunette said following Florida’s 5-3 loss at the hands of the expansion Seattle Kraken on Sunday night.

“It’s the price of being a good team in this league; teams are going to be ready for you, they’re going to come at you hard. We haven’t really, in each of our road games so far, figured that out yet.”

It’s a learning process, going from the hunter to the hunted and the Panthers are going to have to get used to the fact that for teams like the Kraken, beating a team like Florida is a big deal.

It did not used to be this way, obviously.

It is now.


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A Hearing Today For Sam Bennett


Watch the hit below.

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The Florida Panthers Are Legit

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The sun’s shining in Sunrise for the first time in a very long while, much to the credit of Bill Zito, the former player agent and ex-Blue Jackets assistant general manager hired by the Panthers only 15 months ago to replace Dale Tallon as boss.

Now two months into the 2021-22 season, the other NHL team in Florida, the one without back-to-back Stanley Cup titles, has proven it’s no fluke. As the weekend approached, the distant sons of the Miami Rat Pack were lodged atop the league in points percentage (.769) and had lost only four times in regulation — tied with the Capitals for best in show.

“Jarmo had a saying in Columbus,” said Zito, referring to his ex-boss, Jarmo Kekalainen, the former Bruins winger who is the longtime GM of the Blue Jackets, “we value character as a skill.”

Obviously, it takes more than catchy mantras to build a roster and deliver the goods. Zito has proven to be a quick-makeover artist through some masterful roster augmentation, and in part because the Panthers had a number of tantalizing pieces already put in place by Tallon.

continued plus more hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Goalie Tandem For The Florida Panthers

from Kristen Shilton of ESPN,

Sergei Bobrovsky is feeling philosophical.

The Florida Panthers goaltender is trying to describe what's made him and rookie Spencer Knight so formidable together sharing Florida's crease this season. But how to articulate the unique alliance of a goalie tandem?

Teams match players and hope for the best. Spend over a decade in the NHL like Bobrovsky has, and you churn through a fair share of partners. What he's learned about the best unions is that they strike a fine balance between support and space.

"[Spencer and I] have a good relationship. But also, each of us has our own journey," Bobrovsky told ESPN recently. "We serve the team. We work, we compete and we try to complement the team with the best goaltending. And then each of us has their own life, their own destiny. So you build in that and try to be your own kind of successful every day."

Hey, whatever works. And there's no arguing with the Panthers' results.

Florida opened its season at 10-0-1, the last NHL team without a regulation loss. Bobrovsky was 6-0-0 in that stretch, with a .948 save percentage and 1.72 goals-against average. Knight was right behind him at 4-0-1, .918 and 2.51, respectively.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Joel Quenneville Should Not Coach Again This Season

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Joel Quenneville’s season should come to an abrupt end on Thursday.

And when it resumes – assuming it resumes – should be in the hands of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Quenneville was coach of the eventual Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks of 2010, and he like general manager Stan Bowman, like senior director of hockey administration Al MacIsaac, like then team president John McDonough was made aware of the sexual assault allegations against video coach Brad Aldrich.

And all of them chose to look the other way.

Bowman has since resigned or been fired, often there is little difference between the two in professional sports. MacIsaac is out as well as every other front office Blackhawks employee who was part of the team in 2010. Quenneville was the head coach, he worked closest with Aldrich, and he now plays the part of Roger Clemens among witnesses – remembering next to nothing when interviewed by the law firm of Jenner and Block.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Joe Thornton Fined For ‘Slashing’

NEW YORK (Oct. 20, 2021) – Florida Panthers forward Joe Thornton has been fined $1,875, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for slashing Tampa Bay Lightning forward Boris Katchouk during NHL Game No. 42 in Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Oct. 19, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

Watch below.

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Youngsters Star In Florida Panthers Win Over The Tampa Bay Lightning

from George Richards of Florida Hockey Now,

It’s not often that you see a contending NHL team have not one but two rookies perform in a starring role as was the case Tuesday when both Spencer Knight and Anton Lundell helped lead the Florida Panthers to a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Usually if a team has two standout 20-year-olds, that means the team is rebuilding.

Not contending.

Which is what the Panthers are.

A legitimate contender.

With two pretty good rookies.

“They are great,” Florida team captain Sasha Barkov said following the game. “They are special, special players. We’re lucky to have those guys on our team.”

The Panthers played a good game on Tuesday, with Knight getting his first start of the season and pretty much picking up where he left off when we last saw him.


Watch the game highlights below.

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A Good Day For Aleksander Barkov


added 1:55pm, Florida press release is below.

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The Florida Panthers Will Be A Fun Team To Watch

from Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic,

Draft pedigree doesn’t always translate into NHL success — right away or even at all — but I can’t ever recall a team being able to ice a top power play unit chock-full of so many high picks than the Florida Panthers can this season.

The first unit, in practice, according to George Richards, consists of Jonathan Huberdeau (third overall, 2011); Aleksander Barkov (second overall, in 2013); plus Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett, the first, second and fourth overall choices in 2014.

The first three had NHL success relatively on schedule, the last two took a little longer to find their respective strides. In Bennett’s case, it mostly happened after he landed with the Panthers in a trade deadline deal with Calgary and developed instant chemistry with Huberdeau. Even strength, it looks as if Barkov and Reinhart will get to play together. After that, coach Joel Quenneville has options to mix and match any number of possible candidates, including Anthony Duclair, Carter Verhaeghe and possibly even a youngster such as Owen Tippett eventually in the top six.

The Panthers look as if they’ll be a fun team to watch this year if the goaltending holds up.

And as I ponder that last sentence, I realize, they actually could be more fun to watch if the goaltending doesn’t hold up, because that’ll force them to get into a bunch of old school, run-and-gun shootouts; and they have the talent now to potentially win, even playing that brand of hockey.

more (paid sub.) topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Joe Thornton Signs With The Florida Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. - Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito announced today that the club has signed forward Joe Thornton to a one-year contract.

"With more than 1,600 games played in the NHL, Joe will bring a wealth of experience to our locker room and lineup," said Zito. "His drive to succeed is unmistakable and we are thrilled that he chose to sign with our club and that he believes in what we are building here in South Florida."

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com



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