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Bomber's Blog

Bomber's Blog: Mid-Season Look

Friday, 01.16.2009 / 8:51 AM ET / Blogs
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Bomber\'s Blog: Mid-Season Look
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.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
8 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 48 16 21 12 37
J. Huberdeau 51 10 27 11 37
A. Barkov 41 15 19 13 34
J. Jokinen 51 9 24 12 33
V. Trocheck 51 17 15 4 32
R. Smith 51 16 15 12 31
B. Pirri 47 10 13 -4 23
A. Ekblad 47 10 12 23 22
B. Campbell 51 4 15 17 19
N. Bjugstad 36 9 8 -3 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 13 4 .930 2.11
A. Montoya 8 2 1 .931 1.93

 
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