Florida vs Washington: Rd 1, Gm 6
The Cats have taken the series lead at 3-2 as they head to D.C. to try and knock out the Washington Capitals in Game 6 and simultaneously punch their ticket to the second round of the 2021-22 playoffs - which would be for the first time in 26 years.
It’s not too far fetched to say they find themselves in this position solely due to the heroics of Carter Verhaeghe - the man who put the team on his back and was the catalyst for the past two comeback wins.
The Panthers have a bad habit in the postseason where their big name players tend to disappear. It seems it’s usually up to the supporting cast to try and get the job done. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing now.
As the Sun-Sentinel
“Carter Verhaeghe is the same 26 years old as Aleksander Barkov, but made his minor-league debut seven years ago when Barkov was on his third stellar season with the Florida Panthers.
He’s the same age as Aaron Ekblad. But Ekblad was a rising star in his second Panthers season six years ago, when Verhaeghe had such trouble getting ice time with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers he split time with another lower-level minor-league team, the Missouri Mavericks.
This is important to understand the smile Verhaeghe was trying mightily to turn off Wednesday night after the Panthers beat Washington in Game 5 of their playoff series 5-3. Verhaeghe was traded, ignored, doubted, demoted and forgotten for years in the manner careers often stall out and dreams die.
Now he was celebrated.
He changed the Panthers series with Washington. Him. Almost alone. He scored four goals and had three assists in Games 4 and 5 to create seven of the Panthers’ last eight goals and inspire two dramatic comebacks.”
But it’s unfair to Verhaeghe to have to rely completely on him. At some point, the other Cats will have to wake up a bit more and start contributing. With the Capitals facing elimination and on home ice, tonight would be a great time for the other Panthers to kick it into gear because I’m expecting nothing short of a huge pushback from Washington.
Time for everyone to step up.
It sounds like Marchy is out again. I say keep Mamin in. Loved his intensity and energy in Game 5. He made the right plays and brought a great edge.
LET’s GET IT DONE TONIGHT! GO PANTHERS!