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Bomber's Blog: Mid-Season Look

Friday, 01.16.2009 / 8:51 AM / Blogs
Florida Panthers
The Panthers are at the halfway mark and they have their best record in eight season. Yes, there’s been some ups-and-downs, but the team seems to be turning the corner.

There’s been a lot of excitement through the first half for the Panthers, and the same could be said for the NHL. The good things through the first half for the league, in no particular order:

*The Winter Classic has just been a great game the past two years and it’s an event I think will only get bigger and better.

*The Canadiens are celebrating their 100th season. They’ve won 23 Stanley Cups, but none since ’93, and the league has to be enjoying seeing Montreal near the top of the standings.

*The state of the young superstars in the league and the transition from the likes of Gretzky and Lemieux. There was a void for a couple years, but now the NHL has some faces that are going to be around for a long time in Crosby, Ovechkin and Malkin. The torch has been passed and the NHL is going to be in great shape.

As for the bad?

*Definitely Sean Avery. The Stars were an organization built on stability and Avery certainly threw them off the track. Avery is a good player, but he ran his mouth one too many times and now he’s out of the  league. I played against Avery, and the things that came out of his mouth were shocking. But nothing was quite as shocking as Avery on ESPN60. If you haven’t seen it, google it and it’ll give you some insight into this man. I’m all for second chances, so I hope the Stars regain prominence and Avery gets back in the league.

*The violence from hitting from behind and the concussions due to it are a major issue. Many people talk about banning fighting. I think it should go the other way. We should take out the instigator rule. Players should be allowed to police themselves because if we’re not allowed to police ourselves and referees are left to judge, we’re going to take more liberties with each other.

As for the Panthers, poised to make the playoffs, there’s been a lot of good things.

*Jay Bouwmeester plays huge minutes and his offensive numbers are starting to come around.

*David Booth. What more can you say? He has an engine that never stops. Who doesn’t love him?

*Gregory Campbell, Radek Dvorak and Ville Peltonen. That line has helped to keep the team afloat. They’re the most surprising because they’ve all surpassed or just about tied their season totals from last year. They’ve been great.

*The goalies have been tremendous considering they’ve seen more rubber than a tire factory.

*Michael Frolik is a young, rising star.

*Pete DeBoer. There were a lot of questions before the season about him and his staff, but he’s showed what he was all about. He’s the leader. When the team had injuries and problems early in the season, he didn’t use injuries as an excuse or a crutch. He just said he needed better performances from players and needed players to step up. That was a sign of a leader. He was able to get guys to buy into whatever he was selling at the most critical time.

Of course, every team can improve. For the Panthers, they need to improve their power play. They also allow too many shots on net on a nightly basis.

And, yes, consistency. They’ve had some chances to make runs, but they lost two games to Tampa and another on Long Island. They’d be in the playoffs now if not for some bad games against bad teams.

To make the playoffs, consistency will be the key during the second half of the season.
UPCOMING EVENTS

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
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