Articles in Florida Panthers

Vincent Viola On The Florida Panthers

05/04/2023 at 1:09pm EDT

from Tim Reynolds of NBC Miami,

Vincent Viola has a problem. It’s a good problem.

Viola is one of the owners of Forte, the presumed favorite for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. He also owns the Florida Panthers, who just knocked off the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. And this weekend, with racing and hockey on his calendar, Viola might need to be in two places at once.

It beats the alternative. For the first time, the Panthers have reached the NHL’s second round in back-to-back years — getting there this year after stunning the Boston Bruins. The dark days for the franchise are gone, and Viola feels like the team is getting closer on making good on its promise to bring a Stanley Cup to South Florida.

“It’s everything that we anticipated around this process and on this journey,” Viola said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press. “We feel that we got through some pretty tough roller-coaster years. It means an awful lot. And it means an awful lot because I see the confidence reflected in the fan base. I truly feel that the fan base truly believes in a way, quite frankly, that was not warranted in the past.

“They gave us a lot of confidence and a lot of support on credit. They kind of surrendered it to us on credit, and it took us a while to earn it. Now I feel we have an organization that they can be proud of.”


Toronto Must Contain Matthew Tkachuk

05/04/2023 at 8:51am EDT

from Nick Kypreos at the Toronto Star,

Tkachuk’s contributions were very apparent in Game 1 and the 25-year-old, who led the NHL playoffs in scoring heading into Wednesday’s games, was the driving force for the Panthers jumping to a 1-0 series lead.

When it comes to overall leadership — in the form of compete level, toughness and scoring on a nightly basis — not many in the NHL can touch this kid.

The Leafs and Kyle Dubas did their best to shore up team grit by bringing in Ryan O’Reilly, Noel Acciari, Jake McCabe and Luke Schenn at the trade deadline but, for the most part, we are talking about depth guys. Meanwhile, the Panthers are showcasing a front-line colonel in Tkachuk.

He has a rare skill set that includes extremely soft hands and boulder-hard play in tight areas. We know this is the time of year where the ice shrinks, and so do the games of certain players. Not Tkachuk. He is thriving right now and it was evident on the opening goal of the series against the Leafs.


The Florida Panther Come In Hungry, Beat The Toronto Maple Leafs

05/03/2023 at 1:15am EDT

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

From wrestling a grizzly to racing a cheetah.

The Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves dealing with a unique type of wild animal in Round 2. And the fresh challenge it brings will require quicker execution and an altered plan of attack.

So, while the Florida Panthers do share similarities with the now-vacationing Tampa Bay Lightning — no state tax, a famous and well-compensated Russian goaltender, a head coach gunning for the NHL lead in quotes-per-60 — they’re also a different kind of cat.

And the Panthers’ particular brand of hockey was on full display Tuesday in their blazing 4-2 road win over the Maple Leafs to draw first blood in Round 2.

“That will be the battle of this series, right? Both teams have something they’re really good at,” said Florida coach Paul Maurice, soaking up all the time and space at the winners’ podium that was nowhere to be found between whistles.

“You can expect a certain amount of forecheck and physicality from us. You’ll expect a certain amount of speed and skill from them, for sure. And then one team will feed the other.

“The team that brings the least amount of food to the game wins.”

The us-against-world Panthers stormed in hungry, unsatiated by feasting on the 65-win juggernaut Boston Bruins on their own turf less than 48 hours prior.


Game highlights are below.

The Upset

05/01/2023 at 5:53am EDT

from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald,

If the Florida Panthers have a wall for trophies won, “the head of the beast” had better have an honored place high on it.

If they don’t have such a wall ... build it now.

The Panthers finished off the near-impossible in Game 7 Sunday night in Boston, winning a third straight must-win game against a Bruins team that set all-time NHL records for most victories and points in a season.

It was 4-3, in overtime, on the Carter Verhaeghe goal that stunned a home crowd dreaming of nothing less than the Stanley Cup.

So, yes: A Florida team that disappointed much of this season and scrambled late to barely make the postseason just accomplished the greatest series upset in hockey history.

“For our whole team here, it’s been us against the whole hockey world and what everybody says,” said the Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk. “Boston had the most successful home season in however many years, obviously the best season in NHL history. It’s going right at the head of the beast when you’re playing in Boston. We’re just excited to go after the head of the beast.”

The TV announcer called the Panthers “the underdog of all underdogs.”

That team just beat the beast.


Videos- Florida Panther Will Face The Toronto Maple Leafs In Round 2 Of The Stanley Cup Playoffs

04/30/2023 at 10:11pm EDT

Florida defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 in overtime to advance to round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Florida on their way to Toronto.

Below watch the OT winner and handshakes.

Florida Panther Rolling, Boston Bruins Stalling

04/29/2023 at 4:25am EDT

from Sonny Sachdeva of Sportsnet,

And the rats rained down.

When was the last time we saw a series so perfectly encapsulate the chaos of the Stanley Cup Playoffs? It’s not even what happened in Friday’s Game 6 between the Boston Bruins and the Florida Panthers. It’s not even Game 5. It’s the whole thing.

The Original Six squad, led by some of the game’s most respected veterans, by one of the sport’s most dynamic offensive talents, by the goalie who lit the league on fire this season — this squad that stitched together the greatest regular season in NHL history, that made all the right deadline decisions, that looked unstoppable.

And across from them, the 30-year-old franchise still looking for their first chip, the one routinely mocked for their attendance numbers, the one that had to scratch and claw their way into the playoffs, only getting there on the back of a hot goalie who was run out of the net three games into this series.

By Game 4’s final buzzer, this matchup looked done and dusted — the B’s up 3-1, heading back home for the final blow, the Bruins faithful and the hockey world at large already projecting how Boston might fare in Round 2.

And then the Cats made fools of us all.

Ten goals by Linus Ullmark in two games, a resilient effort to outlast Boston in Game 5, and then in Game 6, and these Panthers have pushed the Bruins to Game 7, with all the pressure shoved back in the Presidents’ Trophy winners’ faces. Just like we all drew it up.

It can’t be understated just how monumental a moment this is for the Panthers. Whether they see it through to the end in Game 7 or not, they’ve already done far more than anyone gave them credit for. They’re the story of the first round, no doubt.


from Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic,

The Boston Bruins Failed To Clinch A Series Win Tonight

04/28/2023 at 11:08pm EDT

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The Bruins, master of the NHL’s regular-season class, flunked puck-management school Friday night in Sunrise, Fla., and now they’ll take their failing hands into a decisive Game 7 Sunday at the Garden vs. the Panthers.

The usually sure-handed Bruins, after finally moving out to a 5-4 lead in the third, twice failed to move the puck out of their own end, resulting in goals by Matthew Tkachuk and Eetu Luostarinen that proved the gateway to Florida’s 7-5 victory.

The first of those strikes, Tkachuk canning the 5-5 equalizer at 10:49, had Jim Montgomery as mad as he’s been all season behind the Black and Gold bench. His anger clearly was directed at his charges, the first-year Boston coach irate his club could not move the puck out of the zone and preserve the lead.

Only 3:33 later, Luostarinen struck for the game-winner, the happy recipient of a Connor Clifton bank pass off the left wall that, once again, failed to get out of the zone. Luostarinen curled in from high in the zone and nailed the winner by Linus Ullmark.


Highlights are below.

Linus Ullmark Moving On From Bad OT Goal

04/27/2023 at 10:19am EDT

from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald,

The Bruins picked a heck of a time to lose their second straight game at the Garden.

The B’s had not lost consecutive games on Causeway Street all season but, after dropping Game 2 here last week – then winning both Games 3 and 4 in Sunrise – the B’s had a chance to end the Florida Panthers’ season in Game 5 at the Garden on Wednesday.

Instead, they gave the Panthers life in the most painful way possible, losing in OT, 4-3, on a Matthew Tkachuk goal.

In overtime, Linus Ullmark went out to play the puck behind the net and had Matt Grzelcyk right next to him but he elected to try a backhand up the boards. It went right to Carter Verhaege in the corner. As Ullmark scrambled to get back in net, Verhaege threw the puck at him and it deflected off his skate out front to Tkachuk, who backhanded it over the sprawling Ullmark and diving Grzelcyk for the winner.

“I thought it was the best play, and it ended up being the worst play,” said Ullmark. “But it doesn’t matter now. We can all think about what I should have done or could have done. But maybe if I did that, it could have been the same result. Who knows? This is the life of hockey. This is the game sometimes. You can’t take anything for granted.”


Game highlights are below.

The Bruins Need Their 'A' Game

04/20/2023 at 8:46am EDT

from Tara Sullivan of the Boston Globe,

Brad Marchand had just turned TD Garden into an open-air party, a shorthanded and much-needed late second-period goal matching the one the Panthers had scored about 10 minutes earlier. With that, the Bruins were back in the game. As if following the script this team has written all season, Marchand did his part to erase some early jitters and sloppy play, putting his team on the launching pad and poised to explode to another winning finish.

I mean, that’s what the Bruins have done all year, right?

The fans were certainly feeling it. Already up 1-0 in this first-round series playoff against the Panthers, they came alive, barely able to contain their glee, or their confidence. Waving their yellow towels with abandon, belting out their a cappella version of Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ on a Prayer” with gusto, they were living it up.

And then they weren’t.

Not two minutes later, amid the last joyous syllable of the song’s chorus, the Panthers scored again. And while Eric Staal’s wrister turned the TD volume off just as decidedly as Marchand’s goal had turned it up, what followed after that was even worse. The Bruins couldn’t turn it up again, going straight downhill instead, briefly tying the score one more time but ultimately landing on the wrong end of a 6-3 final score, on the losing end of a game marred by too many fights, too many mistakes, too many turnovers and too many penalties to allow any chance of recovery.

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The NHL playoffs, you cruel and unpredictable beast, returning once again to remind any team at any time just how different the postseason is from the regular season, with the intensity infused in every shift, the stakes that ride on every pass, and the price that is paid for every mistake.

“They were a little hungrier than us,” defenseman Hampus Lindholm admitted.

“That’s it, that’s playoff hockey,” defenseman Charlie McAvoy said. “This whole thing is a roller coaster.

“There’s ups and downs in every series, that’s a playoff series. We have to turn the page and we know we got to be better … We still haven’t played our best hockey.”


A More Perfect Game Needed From The Florida Panthers

04/18/2023 at 6:51am EDT

from David Wilson of the Miami Herald,

On the Florida Panthers’ 16th shot of the first 24 minutes, Givani Smith corralled a rebound behind the net, tried to jam the puck around the right post and was just a beat too slow. Linus Ullmark slid over, covered up the fourth-line left wing’s attempt and let the Boston Bruins reset.

Less than a minute later, the Bruins, on only their 10th shot, beat Alex Lyon for the second time, on a long-range, wide-angle attempt the goaltender knew he should have stopped. The Panthers, as feisty as they were for the first period and change Monday in Boston, fell into a hole they could never overcome in their postseason-opening 3-1 loss despite outshooting the Bruins and getting a mostly spectacular performance from Lyon in net.

It’s just how tough it will be for Florida to upset Boston in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs.


Below watch the game highlights.

What About Bob?

04/13/2023 at 9:27am EDT

from George Richards of Florida Hockey Now,

When asked whether he was playing for the Florida Panthers on Thursday night in the final regular season game, Sergei Bobrovsky did not have an answer.

”Honest,’’ he said, “I do not know.”

It has been over two weeks since Bobrovsky has played for the Panthers after he was hit was a nasty illness leading up to what was his final start to date on March 27 in Ottawa.

Alex Lyon took over as Florida’s starter first out of necessity as Bobrovsky got better. Now, it is based on his performance.


The Florida Panthers With A Big OT Win Over The Toronto Maple Leafs

03/30/2023 at 5:52am EDT

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

So, when had Panthers squandered a fast 1-0 lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs by surrendering what originally seemed like two preventable goals on consecutive second-period shifts, their coach blew a casket of Yosemite Sam proportions.

Calmed by his group’s dramatic 3-2 overtime comeback victory over the less-urgent Maple Leafs and relieved by two coveted points in the bank, Maurice could find the humour in his own temper tantrum.

“I thought it was a very nice opportunity to share feelings,” explained Maurice, who was given extra time to rant while he correctly challenged a Calle Järnkrok non-goal for offsides.

“That was not calculated. It was just honest. It was where I was at. If I could have yelled louder, if I found a f----n' way to be more profane than I was, I would have. I’m not gifted enough.

“I needed to channel my father, who's a gifted curser. That was all I had. I was honest. That's how I felt.”


Below find two videos the first Paul Maurice let's his team have it and the second video is the game highlights.

Keith Tkachuk On The Florida Panthers

03/29/2023 at 7:52pm EDT

from George Richards of Florida Hockey Now,

Keith Tkachuk, the five-time NHL All-Star who is the father of Florida Panthers All-Star forward Matthew, had some choice words for his son’s team on a Toronto radio station Wednesday morning.

Speaking on Toronto 1050, Keith Tkachuk said his son is “devastated” with the team’s current spot as the Panthers go into tonight’s game against the Maple Leafs riding a four-game losing streak.

The position the Panthers are in, Keith Tkachuk said, are of their own doing.

Keith Tkachuk was in attendance Monday night when the Panthers lost 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators — who are captained by Brady Tkachuk — and he did not sound all that impressed with Matthew’s team.

To say the least....

“They are a soft team and they are getting everything they deserve right now.”

To continue on that point, Keith Tkachuk said for the Panthers to snap their losing streak in Toronto, they need to bring a little more toughness to their game.

“Instead of trying to get autographs on the ice from Matthews and Marner,” he said, “they probably should check them a little harder. Whatever it is, it is disappointing. I know I sound like a frustrated person, but I know every time I come and watch Ottawa, they may not be the most talented team but they’re going to play hard. \

read on

Eric And Marc Staal Decided Not To Wear Pride Jersey

03/23/2023 at 9:07pm EDT

from George Richards of Florida Hockey Now.

Florida Panthers veterans Eric and Marc Staal did not come out for warmups with their team on Thursday night in protest of the team’s Pride Night.

The two brothers cited religious differences in making their decision....

In a joint statement, the Staal brothers said they “carry no judgement” on “how people live their lives.”

From the statement: “After many thoughts, prayers and discussions we have chosen not to wear a pride jersey tonight.

“We carry no judgement on how people choose to live their lives, and believe that all people should be welcome in all aspects of the game of hockey.

“Having said that, we feel that by us wearing a pride jersey it goes against our Christian beliefs.

“We hope you can respect this statement, we will not be speaking any further on this matter and would like to continue to focus on the game and helping the Florida Panthers win the Stanley Cup.


The Florida Panthers Are Knocking On The Playoff Door

03/19/2023 at 1:57pm EDT

from George Richards of Florida Hockey Now,

With 13 games remaining in the regular season, the Florida Panthers remain outside the NHL playoff race but they are right on the heels of both the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.

By coming back to beat the Devils 4-2 on Saturday night, Florida pulled within a point of the Penguins and Islanders.

The Pittsburgh Penguins lost for the third straight time — this one 6-0 to the Rangers — so that one point held up.

The New York Islanders eased on by a perhaps distracted San Jose Sharks so they have a three-point lead on the Panthers.

Unlike the playoff standings a few weeks ago, these are not necessarily skewed by the old games-in-hand as both the Penguins and Panthers have played the exact same amount of games.

Florida has played two fewer games than the Islanders, however, so that could come into play as it may be conducive for them to try and win the top wild card and avoid the juggernaut Boston Bruins in the opening round.


An Important Point Lost By The Florida Panthers

03/12/2023 at 9:51am EDT

from Colby Guy of Florida Hockey Now,

The Florida Panthers came into Saturday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets as the most penalized team in the NHL by a country mile.

A 20-penalty lead to be exact.

They took three more and allowed two power play goals that put them in a hole they struggled to get out of for most of the game.

The Panthers struck back with three power play goals of their own — including one by Matthew Tkachuk to cap off a two-goal comeback in the third period — but it was not enough as Mark Scheifele finished the game off in overtime as the Jets escaped Sunrise with a 5-4 win.

“It would be a bigger concern if we didn’t draw as many penalties as well,” coach Paul Maurice said.

”We are a high-event team for whatever reason; we get a bunch, we draw a bunch. We took nine penalties in four periods. We’re clearly aware of that.”


Game highlights are below.

The Florida Panthers Need To Keep Winning

02/22/2023 at 9:23am EST

from Steven Goldstein at CBS News Miami,

The Florida Panthers put themselves behind the eight ball by struggling for the first three months of the season.

There were many contributing factors but the fact remained, they were 11 points out of a playoff spot on New Year's Day. They have picked up their play in a big way since, and despite a very difficult schedule have produced enough wins to be in the thick of the NHL playoff race....

As has been the case for a couple of months, every game for this team is of the utmost importance. The Panthers have played a lot of games so other teams have more opportunities for wins, putting the margin for error razor thin. They are 4-3 in their last seven games and at some point, they are going to have to go on a long winning streak. There is still plenty of time left and plenty of home games left to do it. But it needs to happen to reach the postseason.


Paul Maurice Fined For Comments On Officiating

01/19/2023 at 2:37pm EST

NEW YORK (Jan. 19, 2023) – Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice has been fined $25,000 for comments about officiating during a media availability following NHL Game No. 706 in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, the National Hockey League announced today.

The fine money goes to the NHL Foundation.

Watch Maurice below.

What's Happened To The Florida Panthers?

01/18/2023 at 1:00pm EST

from Adam Vingan at Sportsnet,

Last season, the Florida Panthers bulldozed through their competition, winning a franchise-record 58 games and the Presidents’ Trophy.

That is far from the case this season. After losing in overtime to the Maple Leafs on Tuesday, the 21-20-5 Panthers are on pace for 84 points and in danger of becoming the first reigning Presidents’ Trophy winner to miss the playoffs since the 2014-15 Boston Bruins.

The loss to the Maple Leafs was the Panthers’ fifth failed attempt at extending a winning streak to three games. They are one of three teams without a three-game winning streak this season, along with the terrible Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets. That is not company you want to keep.

Why Panthers' Maurice took exception to officiating in loss to Maple LeafsPlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:23Loaded: 6.88% Fullscreen

The Panthers made big changes following their second-round loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, most notably trading Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar to the Calgary Flames for Matthew Tkachuk. They also chose not to bring back Jack Adams Award finalist Andrew Brunette as coach and hired Paul Maurice, who resigned from the Winnipeg Jets in December 2021.

Tkachuk has lived up to his superstar billing with 56 points in 43 games — a 103-point pace. But that production has not helped a middle-of-the-pack offence that is scoring nearly one fewer goal per game than it did last season. (Aleksander Barkov, a high-level play-driver, missing 10 games cannot be overlooked, either.)

“Our analytics are way better than our record,” Maurice told reporters Tuesday. “I think in Winnipeg, my analytics were way worse than the record, so I can’t use that as an argument here. I was always saying, ‘Analytics don’t matter.’ Now I’m saying, ‘Hey, look at the analytics!’”


Paul Maurice Returns To Winnipeg Tonight

12/06/2022 at 9:46am EST

from George Richards of Florida Hockey Now,

“It’s still home for some of my family and a special place,” Maurice said before the Panthers took off on their five-game road trip which ends at the arena on Portage Avenue.

“It’s a really good team, a tremendously well-run organization and a special market because it needs the fans to survive. It’s not a big building, it’s not a big market. So that connection there between the fans and the players is unique. And special.

“It will always be a special place. They understand the loss (of the team to Arizona) so the connection they have is unusual and important. That franchise is a great model in the league for smaller and maybe unique markets.”


Darryl Sutter on Matthew Tkachuk And Jonathan Huberdeau Who Returns To South Florida

11/19/2022 at 5:17am EST

from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,

“You look at Jonathan, that was an emotional time for him and I think that’s why he had a hard time early,” said Sutter.

“He wasn’t expecting to be traded out of Florida. That was hard for him. Now his game is where you want it to be, but that takes time.

“Matthew made that choice and he was ready for it, so

And while the coach opened camp with a significant potshot directed at Tkachuk, he said for the first time Friday he totally respects the winger’s summertime decision to trigger a trade by not re-upping with the club.

“The storyline there is the CBA,” explained Sutter.

“Matthew went entry-level; bridge; career-year. Just look at the history of the league: entry level; bridge; career year - what happens? Free agency. That’s exactly what happened.

“Good on him.”

There’s more.

“It had nothing to do with Calgary - I think Covid alienated him from his family and the US,” said Sutter.

“There were times last year I felt sorry for Matthew.

“He was a guy who was always at the rink, and I was always at the rink, and he couldn’t do anything, or go anywhere, or go home.

“Good on him for going to Brad (Treliving) about it, quite honest.

“That’s what I think.

“Obviously we lost a top player, but you score 40 goals, get 60 assists and you’re plus-50...

"Good on ya.”


Video- Two Game Suspension For Matthew Tkachuk

11/06/2022 at 4:43pm EST

NEW YORK (Nov. 6, 2022) – Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk has been suspended for two games, without pay, for high-sticking Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick during NHL Game No. 189 in Los Angeles on Saturday, Nov. 5, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 19:22 of the third period.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Tkachuk will forfeit $102,702.70. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Watch the explanation below...

Matthew Tkachuk's First Month In South Florida

11/05/2022 at 9:57am EDT

from Colby Guy of Florida Hockey Now,

The Florida Panthers took a big leap of faith by sending all-time leading scorer Jonathan Huberdeau and budding star defenseman MacKenzie Weegar to Calgary for Matthew Tkachuk in a blockbuster July trade.

It has paid off for them so far.

Through the first month of the season, Tkachuk leads the Panthers with five goals and 16 points in 11 games, which is good for sixth in the league.

Huberdeau, meanwhile, has just one goal and five points in nine games for a Flames team that currently finds itself on a three-game losing skid.

Last season, Florida relied on a speed-based transition game to generate offense — which worked great in the regular season to the tune of 340 goals.

The playoffs were a different story entirely.

And that is a big reason why Tkachuk is in Florida — and Huberdeau is not.


Aaron Ekblad Goes On LTIR

10/19/2022 at 11:44am EDT

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