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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.


 
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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 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 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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