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2011 NHL Draft

Rapid Fire: Coaching Decisions And Holy Stamkos

Friday, 03.30.2012 / 2:37 PM ET / Rapid Fire
By Steve Goldstein  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Rapid Fire: Coaching Decisions And Holy Stamkos
Welcome to Rapid Fire. Panthers broadcasters Steve Goldstein and Bill Lindsay will hit five different thoughts on a daily rotating basis. It's up to them as far as what topics they want to talk about as teams, and more specifically the Panthers, make a push towards the playoffs and the Stanley Cup.


After Thursday night's overtime loss to the Wild, Steve Goldstein tackles his five topics with another big game on tap for Florida in Columbus friday night.

1. Flashin' It: Tomas Fleischmann is having a career year for Florida. His 25 goals lead the Panthers and he has played in every game. The guy they call Flash has been the Cats most consistent offensive player and is one of three Panthers, along with Mike Weaver and Brian Campbell, to play all 77 games. Fleischmann has been big down the stretch, averaging a point per game. One more week of solid play is needed out of the forward, who is trying to help end the playoff drought in his first season in Florida.

2. Overtime Over And Over: The last four Panthers games have gone to overtime with three going even further, to the shootout. No one said this would be easy but holy cow! The Panthers have managed to win just one of the four games, thus leaving some points on the table. But if I told you in September the Cats would have a four point lead in the division with five games to play, we all would've taken it. It would be nice if more overtimes and shootouts went the Panthers way but it's been a sore spot all season. A regulation win tonight would be great!

3. Pre-Playoff Playoffs!: My TV broadcast partner Billy Lindsay had a great approach as we left for Montreal on Monday. He looked at the final seven games as a 7-game series...Win four games and make the actual playoffs. After the first two games, the Cats are 1-1 but do have three points. So I guess look at it as needing 8 points, and having 3 so far.

4. Holy Stamkos: The young big gun across the state is lighting it up for the Lightning. The unique thing about his 55 goals is that his team isn't going to the playoffs. The last time an NHL player scored that many an didn't reach the post-season was 2000-2001...when Pavel Bure scored 59 for the non-playoff Panthers. Amazingly, the highest goal total for a player whose team didn't go to the playoff is 70 by Mario Lemieux in 1987-88. Current Tampa GM Steve Yzerman scored 62 goals for the 1989-90 Red Wings as Detroit missed the postseason.


5. Decisions, Decisions: It's a tough call on a nightly basis for coach Kevin Dineen. The Panthers have 15 healthy NHL forwards and only 12 dress each game. The rotation of scratches is difficult on players as everyone wants to play, especially this time of year. But Dinnen says he has the responsibility to put who he feels are the best dozen forwards on the ice and which gives the Panthers the best chance to win. Mike Santorelli has been scratched the past week with mainly Marco Sturm, John Madden, Krys Barch and Jerred Smithson rotating. Last night it was a rare night off for veteran Mikael Samuelsson. We will see how the coach plays his hand tonight here in Columbus.

Author: Steve Goldstein | FloridaPanthers.com

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 72 13 34 8 47
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 74 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 70 13 26 -3 39
B. Boyes 73 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 74 11 24 11 35
J. Hayes 65 18 13 -5 31
A. Barkov 64 14 17 -2 31
B. Campbell 75 3 21 2 24
B. Pirri 42 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 12 .921 2.33
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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