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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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