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From The Press Box


From The Press Box is a weekly column written by FloridaPanthers.com and NHL.com writer Alain Poupart. Poupart has been covering the Panthers and the NHL for 20 years.

Have a question for Alain? Be sure to ask him through twitter @apoupartFins.


Top of the Line

The Bergenheim-Barkov-Boyes trio continues to light it up, but it needs a new nickname

Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 12:15 PM / From The Press Box
By Alain Poupart  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Top of the Line\r\n
The Bergenheim-Barkov-Boyes trio continues to light it up, but it needs a new nickname.

Have to be honest, there’s something wrong with the Panthers forward line of Sean Bergenheim, Aleksander Barkov and Brad Boyes.

Oh, it’s got nothing to do with their work on the ice. That’s been downright eye-opening over the past several games.

It’s the nickname I’ve been seeing and hearing about. Killer B’s? Yeah, that’s logical because, well, all three have last names that start with the letter B.

But, see, that nickname already was taken by another sports group — and in the same area of the country no less. Of course, many Panthers fans are too young to remember the Miami Dolphins defense of the early 1980s which earned the same nickname because that group included key players named Brudzinski, Bokamper, Betters, Baumhower, Bowser, Barnett and even two Blackwoods.

Hence the nickname Killer B’s.

That’s already been taken. So we need to come up with something different if Bergenheim, Barkov and Boyes need to have a nickname.

How about the B-Boys? Get it? B for their names and Boys as a reference to Boyes.

Finns and Friend? You know, for Finland, the birthplace of Bergenheim and Barkov.

OK, so those two suggestions might be weak. At least they’re original.

That the idea of nickname has even come up is a testament to how well that line has been playing lately, and that’s what really matters.

Barkov has 12 points in the past 12 games; Boyes has six points in the past four games; and Bergenheim is on a goal-scoring tear, with eight goals in the past 12 games.

The three work so well together because of their complementary skills. There’s Boyes, who is the best pure scorer of the three; Bergenheim, the grinder who’ll get his nose dirty; and Barkov, the wunderkind with the magical passing touch.

All three are great stories in their own right. With Bergenheim, it’s his remarkable comeback after his prolonged absence. With Boyes, it’s about how the Panthers got a steal when they signed him after he came to training camp on a professional tryout. And, of course, everyone knows about Barkov by now.

His story just got better on Tuesday when he was named to Finland’s Olympic team. It was just the latest achievement for the youngest player in the NHL, who happens to lead the Panthers in scoring at the ripe old age of 18.

One final thought on Barkov: It’s rather disturbing to check out various midseason award stories and not see him among the so-called leading candidates for the Calder Trophy. As has been mentioned often in this space, the kid has been tremendous pretty much all season because of his all-around game. He’s getting more attention lately because of his recent point streak, but there’s always been so much more to his game.

The way things have been going lately with his linemates, there’s no reason to think Barkov won’t be able to keep racking up the points as the regular season continues. In the 2-1 loss against the Montreal Canadiens Monday night, a game where the Panthers deserved a better fate after a dominant third period, Florida’s lone goal was scored by Bergenheim with assists from Barkov and Boyes.

The Bergenheim-Barkov-Boyes line had struck again. Now, if we could only come up with a good nickname.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 65 22 17 -8 39
J. Huberdeau 62 10 28 2 38
J. Jokinen 64 6 29 0 35
A. Ekblad 65 11 23 7 34
B. Boyes 63 11 21 9 32
J. Jagr 60 12 19 -10 31
J. Hayes 56 17 12 -5 29
B. Campbell 65 3 20 1 23
A. Barkov 54 10 12 -7 22
D. Kulikov 56 3 15 -5 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .921 2.37
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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