from Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel,
This is who you’re happy for: the long-time usher by the penalty box; the voice of more than 1,800 Florida Panthers games; the bartender pouring drinks in their arena for 17 years and greeting a regular, as always, between Sections 101 and 102 during the Toronto series....
There are many who worked for years and waited for decades for this franchise to make the larger world notice. It has been 27 years since the Florida Panthers played this deep into a hockey spring, meaning this is a rare run, a special event, maybe even a career opus for the team, depending on where it ends.
All the talk of patience centers around the center, Aleksander Barkov, who was 8 months old the last time the Panthers were in an Eastern Conference final game. Now, at 28, he’s played for the franchise 10 often driftless years — until now.
“This is what you play for,’’ Barkov said earlier these playoffs. “It’s what we’ve wanted as an organization for years here.”
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