Shooting Stars: Panthers vs Stars
The Panthers winning streak ended at three on Saturday night when the Detroit Red Wings claimed victory with a 2-1 win over Florida.
Hats off to Detroit, who had been blown out the night before 7-2. They came out on Saturday and won a tight one-goal game.
No doubt about it that the difference-maker in the game was Wings’ goaltender, Jonathan Bernier - who turned away 38 of 39 shots. I saw the Panthers’ site mention that (according to NaturalStatTrick.com) only seven of those shots came from high-danger areas.
Ehh...I think it more so comes down to the lack of traffic out front, rather than the amount of high-danger areas they got shots off from. Don’t get me wrong, that’s important, but you need guys in front of the net trying to screen, looking for redirect/rebound opportunities, and creating general chaos that prevents the goalie from getting too comfortable. This is a point we have discussed before and one that Hornqvist has addressed very nicely since arriving to Florida, but he’s just one guy. There needs to be a few more that are willing to take the beatings that come with going to the blue paint.
I think Q nailed it with his post-game comment, “You've got to fight for your space. Around the net tonight, we didn't make it tough enough on him."
Could it be that after being chased out of the net Friday night, Greiss has passed the torch to Bernier as the new thorn in the Cats’ side? Let’s hope not!
While the Panthers missed an opportunity to be perfect on this last road trip, they have been 4-0-0 after losses this season. So expect some wins to come if the trend stays true.
Florida will (finally) face Dallas tonight, after their past scheduled meetings were postponed due to COVID protocols.
The Cats look to defend their barn for three games against the Stars, who have stumbled and slipped to 6th in the division, before closing out the home-stand against the first place (as of today) Hurricanes for a two-game series.
For tonight, the Cats need to have the same mentality they had in the loss to Detroit when it comes to getting pucks on net, except they need to do what Q said and make sure they get traffic out front regularly.
And to Shynes dismay, I’m looking for Wennberg to stay hot. I know the below write up from Florida’s site had to be killing you, my friend. HA!
“A strong source of secondary scoring for the Panthers as of late, all five of Wennberg's goals have come over the last eight games. Playing in all situations, he's racked up nine points (five goals, four assists) in 16 games this season while skating an average of 17:19 per contest.”
Something I had hoped the Panthers would do came true Saturday night when they only allowed two penalties. Keep that discipline up, boys. Hey, I can also admit when I’m wrong. I didn’t think the Panthers were as statistically good on the PK as they are. According to their site:
“Stifling both of Detroit's attempts with the man advantage tonight, the Panthers improved to a perfect 25-for-25 on the penalty kill over their last nine meetings with the Red Wings. Not allowing a single shot on goal tonight, the PK has given up just 38 shots in those nine games.
Heading into tonight's tilt, the Cats sat second in the NHL with a 92.6% success rate on the PK.”
I know Driedger is getting the start, but, you know what...I would have went with with Bob again tonight. I thought he played really well and the Panthers sort of “wasted” a good outing from him in Detroit.
People are saying the Reverse Retros are some kind of curse since they are 0-2 in them. I’m starting to think Bob is cursed by the defense sometimes - who seem to give a different effort when he’s between the pipes (haha).
Who is excited to see and old friend in Mark ‘The Hybrid’ Pysyk?
#55 Health Update
According to Q, Acciari has been skating the past few days. This is great news and it’s encouraging to hear the Panthers might get the gritty winger back in the lineup soon.
Per Q: "We'll know more tomorrow... He's progressing."
Who Is Your Guy?
Quick question that I’m hoping you guys can chime into the comments with. Looking at this current Florida roster, who is your favorite new addition - this would be guy they got prior to this season starting either through a trade, off-season signing or a rookie.
Got the snacks ready to go and am feeling pretty good looking at this 11-3-2, which I believe is the best start in franchise history.
So let’s keep adding to that win column...Go Panthers!