The Panthers are a wagon!
7-0 to start the season, #1 in the NHL, and the longest active winning streak in the league. Who would have thought all of that would belong to the Cats of South Florida? I mean, we knew they were going to be good, but did you expect them to be this good?
On top of that, the Cats have beaten a few Stanley Cup favorites inclusive the Islanders, Lightning, and Avalanche. No on can say “well they are thriving off of wins against weak times like Columbus or the Coyotes”.
The next week will hold a couple tough test for the Cats to show that they are the contenders we know them to be and not the pretenders other want to say they are.
The Panthers will faceoff in Detroit on Friday, Boston on Saturday, then host Ovi & company next Thursday, and cap it off with the Canes on Nov 6th.
Now on to their 4-1 victory against Boston last night!
During the first period, I thought the Cats were about to be handed their first loss of the season. I mean the B’s were all over them and outshot the Panthers 15-5.
What was even scarier is the Bruins had possession of the puck for the majority of the period. Bobrovsky stayed strong and made a lot of critical save to keep the game tight allowing Marchment to net his first goal of the season and tie things up at the end of the period.
Speaking of Bob, let’s talk about the way he has been playing this season. Last night he made 30 saves and the only puck that got snuck him was an own goal that redirected off of Tippett’s shin pads.
On the season, Bob is sitting at 5-0 with a 1.79 GAA and a .946 SV%. I know it is still early in the season, but he is looking like the Bobrovsky of old and not the past few seasons.
In his post-game interview, Aaron Ekblad was quoted saying “nobody prepares better than Bob, and that’s how he’s always been. It’s not anything new. He’s fantastic. He’s got a fantastic attitude. He’s got a will to succeed beyond anybody else on this team, so we’re really happy for him.”
You can truly see that Bob is earning the belief of the team, his teammates, and coaches. Hopefully, the fans can get on board as he has seemed to right this ship so far this year.
The Panthers seemed to wake up after the first period and really came to life. They prevented Boston from stretching the ice and held the Bruins to only 16 shots for the rest of the game, only 2 of which came in the 2nd period.
Luostarinen scored his first goal of the season in a highlight reel, SportsCenter Top 10 fashion, from his knees on a pass from Sam Reinhart. I mean check out the video and tell me that doesn’t deserve to be on Sports Center tonight?
Not to be outdone, Duclair does his best Bobby Orr impression and sneaks one past Ullmark while flying through the air. It seems only fitting to score a Bobby Orr type goal against the B’s, right?
Tippett buried the empty net goal to put the icing on the cake and help seal the Panthers’ victory.
With regards to the rest of the squad, Bobby Orrsling (aka Gustav Forsling) had a phenomenal night under the radar. Forsling netted 3 assists and did a great job playing shutdown defense against Boston’s Perfection Line.
Reinhart also notched 2 apples last night, extending his point streak to 5 games (2 goals and 5 assists). I think Zito made the right move there?
Aaron Ekblad played in his 500th game and to celebrate he decided to block a puck with his face. What better way to celly a milestone than getting a few zippers on the right cheek?
The boys are buzzing! Let’s go Cats. In Zito we trust.
On a personal note, I will not touch on the Coach Q or Chicago issue until the NHL reaches a verdict. I read the whole report and it is truly sad and heart breaking what happened to Kyle Beach. This being said, I am a firm believer in innocent until proven guilty and will respect whatever the NHL decides to do regarding Quenneville or any of the others.