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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.

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Top of the Line

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

Wednesday, 01.8.2014 / 12:15 PM ET / From The Press Box
By Alain Poupart  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Top of the Line\r\n

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.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 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 6 159 148 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 53 19 25 9 122 149 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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