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Rapid Fire: A Happy Birthday And Return Engagement

Tuesday, 04.3.2012 / 2:54 PM ET / Rapid Fire
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Rapid Fire: A Happy Birthday And Return Engagement
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.


With Rapid Fire falling on April Fool's Day, Steve Goldstein topics of choice are things that have fooled him this season and one that he hopes doesn't.

1. Home Early, Again: Former Panther Jay Bouwmeester will finish his ninth NHL season this week. He has yet to play in the playoffs. 18 games into next season he will unfortunately set the NHL record for most games played without appearing in the playoffs. It's been a rough go for Bouwmeester in Calgary. He had two 15-goal seasons with the Panthers before deciding he didn't want to play in Florida anymore. Since signing as a free agent with the Flames, Bouwmeester has scored 15 goals in three years combined in Calgary! The old saying applies, the grass isn't always greener.

2. Road To The NHL. Literally: Goalie Shawn Hunwick's college career at Michigan ended when the Wolverines lost in the NCAA tournament. Columbus had goalie injuries and called Hunwick to come to the Blue Jackets. He skipped his astronomy class, got in his 1992 pickup truck and drove from Ann Arbor to Columbus, Ohio! Hunwick still has his Michigan pads while being an NHL backup. He dressed for the Panthers/Blue Jackets game last week. It's not always big money first round picks that reach the big show. Adding to the story is the fact that Hunwick was a walk-on at Michigan. You just never know what can happen in life!

3. Happy Birthday!: Oh the irony! Today is Stephen weiss's birthday and a win gives the Panthers their first ever division title. Would like to be part of THAT celebration. The longest tenured Panther has been through it all and to see him reach the postseason would be nice. To do it on his birthday would be fitting.

4. A Return Engagement: A Panthers win (or two points in the last three games) nearly ensures the Cats will meet former coach Peter DeBoer and his New Jersey Devils in the first round of the playoffs. I guess one could say things worked out for both the Panthers and DeBoer.

5. Admit It: OK, no hard feelings...just come forward and admit you were wrong. This is for all of those so called experts that claimed the Panthers overpayed for players and didn't improve their roster. No shame in being incorrect. Shame in not owning up to it.

Finally, to all Panther fans, enjoy it tonight. You've stuck by this team through many downs, the up is here! Let's rock the rink tonight.

Author: Steve Goldstein | FloridaPanthers.com

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 171 117 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 153 146 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 51 17 21 14 38
J. Jokinen 54 11 27 12 38
J. Huberdeau 54 10 28 12 38
V. Trocheck 54 17 18 3 35
A. Barkov 43 16 19 13 35
R. Smith 54 18 16 12 34
B. Pirri 50 11 13 -4 24
A. Ekblad 50 10 13 20 23
B. Campbell 54 5 17 20 22
N. Bjugstad 39 9 10 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 24 13 5 .928 2.17
A. Montoya 8 3 1 .929 2.01

 
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