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From The Booth

From The Booth is a weekly blog from the Panthers broadcasters, Steve Goldstein, Bill Lindsay and Randy Moller as they offer their insights on all things hockey, as well as some topics that might be outside of the game.

Have a question or comment for the broadcasters? Be sure to ask here at or you can also ask them through twitter @goldieonice or @lindsaybhockey.

Season Gets Underway

Monday, 10.07.2013 / 4:45 PM
By Bill Lindsay - / From The Booth
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From The Booth
Season Gets Underway
Bill Lindsay is in his fifth season as the team’s television analyst on FOX Sports Florida.

Forward Aleksander Barkov celebrates his first NHL goal with linemate Brad Boyes in the season opener in Dallas (Getty Images)

With the season underway, I thought I would offer my thoughts and ideas on the upcoming year. First off there is a full 82 games. Everyone gets the benefit of a full training camp, which I think should be beneficial for almost every team. The Panthers were a team that struggled during last year's lockout and having a full camp should be a big benefit in the long run.

The Panthers have the reigning Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau and 2nd overall pick Aleksander Barkov should be in the running for the Calder this season. These two talented young forwards are going to be the cornerstones of the Panthers for many years to come. If you take a look at some of the top teams in the league, many are blessed with a dynamic duo up front. Chicago has Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Pittsburgh has Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Anaheim has Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Vancouver has the Sedin twins. Having two big guns up front is a huge advantage in the NHL. The Panthers are hoping this will be the case with Huberdeau and Barkov. I for one believe both are going to be big stars for many years to come.

As far as this season goes for the Panthers, it is one filled with a lot of intrigue. New ownership and new faces have filled this team with a renewed sense of optimism. The biggest addition to the Panthers was goaltender Tim Thomas. After a year off the 39-year old netminder is back in the NHL with the Panthers. Many people wonder with his age and the year off, will he be able to get back to his elite goaltending status. Here are some reasons I believe he will. He is an ultra competitive guy with a passion and will to win. He has accomplished a lot as an older goalie. He won his Vezina trophies at the age of 35 and 37 and he is the oldest goalie ever to win the Conn Smythe trophy as the Stanley Cup playoff MVP in 2011. Only two years removed from his last Vezina and fresh from a year off, I expect a huge year from Thomas. Nothing about his career has been conventional as he didn't even get into the NHL until the age of 31. He toiled for years in the minors before getting his shot. Thomas is a proven winner who took the hard road to the top. Thomas will bring a swagger and work ethic that will be infectious for the entire Panther team.                    

Some other things the Panthers need this year to be successful. Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov are two young talented defenseman who need to take another step forward and offer big contributions from the back end. The Panthers need a healthy year from Kris Versteeg and they need him to produce offensively like he did two years ago. Brian Campbell and Thomas Fleischmann have been the everyday go-to guys and the team needs the same quality consistent production from both of them. The additions of Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney and Brad Boyes should add a veteran presence, leadership and depth that was missing last year.  

It's going to be another exciting hockey season. The Panthers are going to be an exciting team to watch. I believe this team will take a huge step forward this year.




1 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 48 32 13 3 128 108 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
7 NYR 47 28 15 4 139 112 60
8 WSH 49 25 14 10 144 125 60
9 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
10 PHI 51 22 22 7 140 151 51
11 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
12 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
13 NJD 50 19 22 9 113 138 47
14 CBJ 48 21 24 3 120 151 45
15 CAR 49 17 26 6 105 129 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31


N. Bjugstad 47 16 13 -2 29
A. Ekblad 47 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 44 9 17 0 26
J. Jokinen 46 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 45 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 1 20
S. Bergenheim 36 8 9 2 17
A. Barkov 36 5 10 -6 15
B. Campbell 47 3 12 0 15
D. Kulikov 42 1 13 -4 14
R. Luongo 18 12 8 .920 2.41
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96 is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.