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Back Home Against the Jackets

April 19, 2021, 3:05 PM ET [17 Comments]
Matt Ross
Florida Panthers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
What’s the worst thing that can happen after spending time writing a blog for tonight’s game?

Accidentally deleting it while you were proof reading...

With that in mind, please enjoy this abbreviated version of thoughts (all of which I can’t remember now).

The biggish news out of Florida today is that both Weegar and Acciari are out for tonight and listed as “day-to-day.” Hopefully they won’t be out too long.

With that in mind, here were the lines during the morning skate:

Marchment - Barkov - Gusev
Huberdeau - Bennett - Duclair
Vatrano - Wennberg- Hornqvist
Lammikko - Wallmark - Tippett

Forsling - Stralman
Yandle - Gudas
Nutivaara - Montour
Kiersted - Connauton

I wouldn’t mind seeing Connauton in the mix tonight. I liked the short sample size we got from him. Not sure why he hasn’t been given a longer look - especially since he seems like a total “Q guy.”

Some of the new fellas were looking good in the Tampa series. Montour scored, Bennett had some great physical play along with some apples. I really like Gusev on the PP. He has great vision and ability to work in tight spaces to make good passes and keep the flow and puck moving.

Though not “new” as in a TDL acquisition, I thought Duclair had a really nice series. He looked like he was shot out of a cannon, generated good offensive opportunities and net himself a couple goals.

I wish they could have taken both games (obviously), but splitting isn’t too shabby either. Although I must admit, that second game was getting a little bit too close for my liking.

Home Ice

The Panthers will look to continue the momentum from Saturday when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets at the BB&T Arena. Bob will get the nod against his old team again.

Our friends at Litter Box Cats have a nice preview for tonight’s tilt:

The Columbus Blue Jackets will head on the road to BB&T Arena on Monday evening for a Discover Central Division showdown versus the Florida Panthers.

Columbus was unable to stop its slide on Saturday night, falling short on the road 5-1 versus the Dallas Stars. Vladislav Gavrikov opened the scoring with his second goal of the season but the Blue Jackets surrendered five unanswered goals to lose their fifth straight game. Joonas Korpisalo allowed four goals in 16 shots before getting pulled. Elvis Merzilikins took over and stopped 15 of 16 shots in the loss.

The Panthers remain in contention for the top spot in a suddenly heated division race. Florida enters in second place in the Discover Central with 61 points and a 28-12-5 overall record through 45 games, leaving the Panthers just one point back of the division-leading Carolina Hurricanes. Meanwhile, Columbus has been trending in the opposite direction as of late. The Blue Jackets have slid down to seventh place in the division standings with 39 points and a 15-22-9 overall record in 46 games.

Florida won for the second time in three games with a 5-3 victory on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Frank Vatrano scored the game-winning goal while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 of 31 shots to earn the win. Brandon Montour, Patric Hornqvist, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Anthony Duclair also scored for the Panthers.“

It’s been a strange season for CBJ. It’s one thing to slip in the standings, but they seem to be plagued by a never-ending narrative involving Torts, Laine, Domi, etc...

In fact, it was announced that Domi will be a healthy scratch tonight. Per CBS Sports:

Domi (not injury related) will be scratched Monday against the Panthers, Blue Jackets insider Jeff Svoboda reports.

There was no injury reported, so Domi's removal from the lineup appears to be performance-based. The enigmatic forward posted a season-worst minus-4 rating in Saturday's loss to the Stars and vented his frustration with some physicality, picking up 14 PIM for the second time in three games.”

I watched Domi lose his cool against Chicago’s Connor Murphy. It was wild. Sounds like he let his temper/frustration boil over again this past weekend against Dallas. I have no doubt this healthy scratch is a message from Torts. While you want guys to play on the edge and have intensity, crossing over the line and putting your team at a disadvantage regularly just isn’t going to fly. Curious if he gets the message of not.

Either way, it’s one less guy out there that the Cats need to worry about tonight.

Speaking of Florida and Columbus...I found the timing of this post pretty interesting. Check out the first two teams on the list. Yikes. Hey, maybe that will change this year for the team occupying that #1 spot in the post...


What do you guys think for tonight? Who gets on the board first for Florida? I’m thinking Duclair. Or how about this wild card: Bennett.

Go Panthers!
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