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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The Mighty Quin

Quinton Howden, Panthers’ speedy prospect is making a quick impression after getting his first call-up of the season

Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 4:30 PM ET / From The Press Box
By Alain Poupart  - FloridaPanthers.com
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The Mighty Quin

“Come all without, come all within
You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn”
   
-Bob Dylan, “The Mighty Quinn”

Forward Quinton Howden celebrates his first NHL goal after scoring in Tampa Bay on March 13. (Getty Images)

So Quinton Howden isn’t going to score every single game this year.

It sure may have seemed that way after he scored in Tampa Bay in his very first NHL game of the season and then did it again back home in Sunrise against the New Jersey Devils the very next night.

In his third game, Howden didn’t make it on to the goal sheet but did extend his point streak as he picked up an assist against the Canucks. We won’t hold his point-per-game pace against him if you won’t.

It was quite a contrast from last year when Howden failed to score in 18 games after getting a late-season call-up. And while he is finding the net much more easily this year, we’re seeing the same skills we saw at the end of last season.

They’re the skills that should keep Howden in the NHL for a long time.

Put quite simply, the kid from Winnipeg can fly.

His speed was on display late last season and he certainly hasn’t slowed down. But with a Cats lineup now stacked with big-time playmakers, that speed can now be leveraged to achieve big-time results.

The Panthers are drowning in riches down the middle with the likes of Nick Bjugstad, Aleksander Barkov, Drew Shore, Vincent Trocheck and Brandon Pirri. With a speedy winger like Howden adding to a core of flankers that includes Jonathan Huberdeau, Sean Bergenheim, Jimmy Hayes and Brad Boyes, the Panthers all of a sudden have the much-needed depth that is a prerequisite for going far in today’s NHL, and getting there fast.

Howden was the third of three Panthers first round picks in 2010 after Erik Gudbranson and Bjugstad. And while Howden may have taken a little bit longer to emerge as an everyday NHL player, it appears to have been well worth the wait.

Howden is one of many young faces we’re seeing in the Panthers lineup these days as the injury bug continues to flare up.

The positive side to the injury issue is that some of the young prospects are gaining valuable NHL experience, something that could only benefit them in the long run. It’s also fun for the fans of the team to catch a glimpse of the future.

It wasn’t just Howden who followed his first NHL goal with another the very next game. Trocheck did that as well, following up his empty-netter against New Jersey with a nifty wrap-around against Vancouver on Sunday afternoon. And with increased ice-time and power-play minutes, young Jimmy Hayes has also taken full advantage, notching four goals in his last five games.

As for Howden, it appears pretty evident is that while he might not have received the attention of some of the other Panthers prospects in the past, he should be watched closely going forward. Put another way, this is one speedster worth keeping up with.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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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