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GM Journal

G.M. Journal: Reflections On 2011, A Look At 2012

Sunday, 01.01.2012 / 7:00 PM / Blogs
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G.M. Journal: Reflections On 2011, A Look At 2012
A floridapanthers.com exclusive, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon will be sharing his thoughts with Panthers and hockey fans throughout the year in his blog entitled G.M. Journal.

Enjoy.


Happy New Year Panthers fans. As we close the book on 2011 I thought it would be a good time to reflect on an important year of growth and development for our organization, while also looking ahead to an exciting 2012.
 
Clearly, our team has come a long way over the last 12 months. It starts at the top where our owner Cliff Viner made the commitment to making this team better and building it the right way.
 
Behind the bench we hired head coach Kevin Dineen who has brought an incredible level of passion, commitment and coaching acumen to our team. Then we went out and acquired a host of new players to boost the skill, speed and character of our roster.
 
Once training camp began the big question was: how long would it take to develop the chemistry we needed to compete and start winning hockey games. Thanks to our coaching staff, and the commitment of both our new players and returnees, that happened pretty quickly.
 
Thus far, we’ve gotten solid goaltending from Jose Theodore, Scott Clemmensen and even rookie Jacob Markstrom when he’s been called upon. Meanwhile, our defensemen have made an impact not only in keep in our zone, but also in contributing offensively.
 
Brian Campbell and Jason Garrison have been very effective playing the points on our power play, Ed Jovanovski and Mike Weaver have been solid on the ice and great leaders off of it, and youngsters like Dmitry Kulikov, Erik Gudbranson and Keaton Ellerby have shown glimpses of the impact they could make in the future.
 
Up front, there’s no doubt we’ve been carried at times by our first line of Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann, but we’ve got contributions up and down the lineup from players such as Tomas Kopecky, Shawn Matthias and others.
 
Our fans have to be excited that, sitting here on Jan. 1, 2012, the Panthers are sitting in first place in the Southeast Division, but there is still a long way to go. Looking ahead to the next few weeks, I’m hoping some of our injured players heal up and get back in the lineup. Certainly we are missing the contributions of forwards such as Marcel Goc, Sean Bergenheim, Jack Skille and Scottie Upshall, though we’ve gotten solid contributions from the likes of Tim Kennedy, Bill Thomas and others.
 
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t comment on the support that we have gotten from our fans all season long. For a franchise that has struggled through a long run of disappointing seasons, the energy and size of the crowds during our games at the BankAtlantic have been nothing short of spectacular. To have three straight home games with 20,000-plus fans over the last week tells me that we have only scratched the surface of South Florida’s passion for hockey, and for our team.
 
I would only expect our crowds to continue to grow as the season goes on and we continue to jockey for playoff position in the Eastern Conference. I think we’ve proved a lot during the first half of the 2011 season. We’ve show that we have a clear direction and plan for this franchise, and it is starting to pay dividends. We’ve shown that, led by Kevin Dineen, we work hard and play an exciting brand of hockey. We’ve also shown that we can compete with any team in the league on any given night.
 
It’s going to be exciting 2012 there’s no doubt, and I want to personally thank all of our fans for continuing to support us and make South Florida a great hockey town. Happy New Year.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 63 22 16 -8 38
J. Huberdeau 60 9 27 4 36
J. Jokinen 62 6 28 0 34
A. Ekblad 63 10 23 8 33
B. Boyes 61 11 21 9 32
J. Jagr 59 12 19 -9 31
J. Hayes 54 17 10 -5 27
B. Campbell 63 3 20 3 23
A. Barkov 52 10 12 -4 22
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .920 2.40
A. Montoya 5 6 2 .891 2.98
 
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