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News

Looking Ahead

Friday, 05.18.2007 / 3:28 PM / News
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Looking Ahead

by Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com


“The game is the same – it’s just up on a different level.” Bob Dylan

Things are different this time.

Nathan Horton will tell you that after a morning workout here at BankAtlantic Center with a dozen other Panthers. Stephen Weiss will tell you that after meeting more than 500 fans at a recent Cats Cookout.

“There’s a feeling this summer,” Weiss said.

It’s that the Panthers’ game in 2007-08 is moving to a different level. In the words of Nathan Horton: “We’re going to start and not look back.”

Nearly two months after playing their final game of the 2006-07 season, the Panthers can’t seem to wait until training camp to begin. There’s a hunger to get back on the ice and pick up where they left off last season.

“Our team is ready to take the next step,” Horton said.

The reason for the optimism is quite simple. Despite a sluggish start, the Panthers ended the season on a roll, going 25-13-10 after Dec. 15 and finishing the final 22 games 12-5-5.

The 21-year-old Horton had his first 30-goal season (31) while setting a career-high for points (62). The 22-year-old Weiss had his first 20-goal season, set a career-high in points (48), and became the youngest Panther to ever wear the ‘A’ on his sweater. Rostislav Olesz, just 22, also set career records in goals (19), assists (32) and points (51).

Production didn’t just come from the youngsters. Captain Olli Jokinen set career marks in goals (39), assists (52) and points (91) while leading the team in offense for the second consecutive year. Defenseman Ruslan Salei set career marks in goals (6) and points (32) while defenseman Bryan Allen set career marks in assists (21) and points (25).

It’s all making for a team that’s hungry and out to prove something come the 2007-08 season.

“I think we’re coming together as a team,” Horton said. “Everyone wants to win. We’re watching the playoffs and everyone wants to be there next season and that’s why everybody is working so hard now, to come into camp and be the best they can be.

“Everyone is ready. You can tell. Everyone is focused on winning. The way to win is to work hard, and, like the fans, we can’t wait to come back. It’s exciting to be around.”

Weiss says the Panthers will enter training camp prepared to start the season strong.

“We have to come into camp with a chip on our shoulder,” he said. “I hope everyone is upset (about last year’s slow start). That is the key to us. We have to be upset right away and play like that early. We can’t wait a couple months to play the way we do in the second half of the season. We have to come out and be angry early.”

Things are definitely different this time.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 60 39 16 5 162 133 83
2 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
3 NYR 59 37 16 6 186 145 80
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
6 DET 59 33 15 11 173 154 77
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 60 26 21 13 145 169 65
10 PHI 61 26 24 11 162 178 63
11 OTT 58 25 23 10 166 161 60
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 59 26 29 4 155 184 56
14 TOR 60 24 31 5 167 183 53
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 61 18 38 5 114 204 41

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 60 21 15 -7 36
J. Huberdeau 57 9 24 5 33
A. Ekblad 60 9 23 6 32
J. Jokinen 59 6 25 -3 31
B. Boyes 58 10 18 6 28
J. Hayes 51 17 10 -3 27
A. Barkov 49 9 12 -3 21
T. Fleischmann 51 7 14 12 21
B. Campbell 60 3 17 2 20
S. Bergenheim 39 8 10 2 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 22 15 11 .921 2.39
A. Montoya 4 6 2 .893 2.98
 
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