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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 webquestions@floridapanthers.com or you can also ask them through twitter @goldieonice or @lindsaybhockey.

A Work In Progress

Monday, 12.9.2013 / 1:04 PM ET
By Steve Goldstein - FloridaPanthers.com / From The Booth
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From The Booth
A Work In Progress

We have a pretty good sample size of the new coaching staff and the result is a positive one. Peter Horachek, Brian Skrudland and John Madden have taken a team that was ridden with bad habits and mental lapses and have cleaned up a lot of it. It's still a work in progress and can still be frustrating for fans but the hockey IQ has gone up and I expect the team to continue to play smarter, more disciplined hockey moving forward.

Horachek is a straight forward coach that knows how he wants his team to play and tells them in a direct manner that can't be confused by players.

Madden knows the game as well as anyone I've ever been around. He was always somewhat of a player/coach with New Jersey where he won two Stanley Cups. He also won another in Chicago and helped the Panthers win the Southeast Divison two seasons ago. Madden's in-depth knowledge of the center position has been extremely beneficial in the development of young centers Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjugstad.

Skrudland is another straight shooter. You always know where you stand with the original panthers captain. In addition, he has pride in that Panthers logo, wants this franchise to succeed and was the leader when it was flourishing in South Florida in the 1990's. Skrudland knows hockey works here if the team performs well.

The previous Panthers coaches worked as hard as they could and wanted to succeed badly. Work ethic was never an issue. But it was obviously time for change, the change also falls on the players' shoulders. There are still challenges like the lack of energy to start games. Thats' inexcusable and on player's backs to get right. But Horachek has coached in the ECHL, IHL, AHL and NHL. He is an experienced, smart, disciplined man and knows exactly what he wants from his team.

Keeping lines and defense pairings together has also been helpful in a big way. Chemistry develops between players that are comfortable together and know one another's tendencies. I've enjoyed watching the improved play and there is still room to grow in the mental approach to games. One thing I know for a fact, that mental toughness, reading the situations on the ice and playing smart hockey is being preached every day by a coach and his assistants who know what it takes to win in the NHL.

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
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