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

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 74 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 76 8 33 -4 41
B. Boyes 74 13 23 10 36
A. Ekblad 76 11 24 10 35
J. Hayes 67 18 14 -6 32
A. Barkov 66 14 17 -3 31
B. Campbell 77 3 23 2 26
B. Pirri 44 21 2 6 23
D. Bolland 48 5 16 1 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 18 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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