Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Florida Panthers Facebook Florida Panthers Twitter Florida Panthers Google+ Florida Panthers Pintrest Florida Panthers Instagram Florida Panthers
News

Getting Back In Form

Missing the first nine games of the season, Erik Gudbranson has been thrown into the fire and wants to get back to form as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 02.13.2013 / 4:59 PM / News
Florida Panthers
X
Share with your Friends


Getting Back In Form
Defenseman Erik Gudbranson skates with the puck in a game at the BB&T Center (Getty Images).

Midway through the second period in Tuesday's game against the Capitals, defenseman Erik Gudbranson did what has been instilled in players from a young age. He threw the puck on net.

Playing in his third game of the season, the blueliner's shot was redirected twice, first by forward Peter Mueller and then by fellow third pick overall Jonathan Huberdeau to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead.

For Gudbranson, it was the first point of his sophomore season.

Entering Tuesday's game, Gudbranson had felt he had taken strides in getting back into the Panthers' lineup. The biggest thing for the young blueliner is to stay even through the games.

"I felt good in Philadelphia, kept my game very simple. I think that was the key to me playing well and being consistent out there which is just making strong plays, good passes," said Gudbranson. "Washington I expanded a little bit. It was a tough game for everyone but I felt good out there, making good plays and getting my head up ice."

In his first two games, Gudbranson averaged over 21 minutes while picking up three shots, eight hits and 3 blocked shots. In the rematch against Washington, he only saw 14:11 of TOI but did hit the stat sheet in picking up that assist on two shots, a hit and two blocked shots.

With a young player, it's taking the good with the bad. On Tuesday, Gudbranson was on the ice for two Panthers goals. He was also on the ice for three Capitals goals, including one that made it 5-4 with 5:07 to play. Last season, the defenseman grew into a shut down defenseman and by the playoffs was used against the Devils top forwards.

Missing time early this season, Gudbranson knows that playing time will help him get back into it but he needs to earn it.

"Getting right into it, there's no gradual period," said Gudbranson of his return. "They're not going to put me into the lineup unless they know I can be effective and play the game I'm able to play.

"I think that's the best way to do it, it's just jump right into it."

Helping in his return came thanks to playing in two games with the San Antonio Rampage. There it was just like he was playing at the end of last season.

"Those games in the American League were certainly very helpful. I got to play a lot of minutes there and got some timing back," said Gudbranson. "The transition I would say wasn't seemless. It's a better league but it was much easier (to transition to the NHL)."

That brief stay brought back some memories of his Junior days spent with the Kingston Frontenacs.

"We got one bus trip in. It was fun going back to those days in Junior," said Gudbranson. "The fun part is taking the bus rides and going on the road like that but I had a great time. The team has a bunch of good guys and got to play some good hockey. We came back with two wins and it was a lot of fun."

Wins is what the Panthers are looking for and after the heartbreaking loss to the Capitals in front of the home crowd, Gudbranson knows that the Panthers have to be much better rest of this home stand.

"Right now it's the most important part of the season," said Gudbranson. "We need to come out here with as many points as we can. We need to create an identity for ourselves in our home rink.

"We have to play teams hard and be on top of them and use our crowd to our advantage and pull out some wins at home."

Something that Gudbranson, on a personal level, wants more than anything.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 61 21 15 -9 36
J. Huberdeau 58 9 24 4 33
A. Ekblad 61 9 23 6 32
J. Jokinen 60 6 25 -3 31
B. Boyes 59 10 18 6 28
J. Hayes 52 17 10 -5 27
A. Barkov 50 9 12 -4 21
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
B. Campbell 61 3 17 1 20
D. Bolland 37 3 13 2 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 22 16 11 .921 2.38
A. Montoya 4 6 2 .893 2.98
 
FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.