Playoffs Check. Division Check. The Panthers are doing great of late. They had a 4 game winning streak. When the Chicago Blackhawks (my 2nd favorite team) defeated the Bruins on Sunday 6-4 I was so happy that that happened. It meant the Playoffs were clinched for the Cats. In the playoffs I really hope we go up against the New York Islanders because we went 2-1-0 against them this year while going 1-1-1 against the Rangers. However we have home ice advantage and at home this year against the Blueshirts we went 3 for 4 points. I have family in Orlando that came down because they had been from New York but had moved to root for the Rangers against the Cats on January 2nd and we won 3-0 but I took the honorable way and didn’t brag. They stayed at our house. Let’s get to the recap:
Saturday April 2nd vs. Montreal W4-3
Game MVP: Aleksander Barkov 2 G, 2 A
My Take: Barkov was a beast scoring 2 goals and 2 assists. He almost got a hat trick but it bounced off Jagr’s skate. The Cats were down 3-0 before coming back. Jagr scored when he redirected Barkov’s shot. Barkov scored off a rebound, Huberdeau scored off a beautiful pass from Nick Bjugstad and Barkov tipped Ekblad’s shot with 28 seconds to go in the game. While it was a marvelous comeback we need to get better in the 1st we haven’t done that of late in the 1st.
Monday April 4th @ Toronto W 4-3
Game MVP: Rocco Grimaldi 2 G
My Take: We got off to a fast start in the 2nd. Bjugstad scored. Grimaldi then scored with a Trocheck against Tampa Bay on March 26th style goal and then scored another one when Smith stole it and threw it across ice to Rocco. Toronto started to make a comeback but a successful coaches challenge saved our butts. Barkov sealed the deal though.
Tuesday April 5th @ Montreal W 4-1
Game MVP: Roberto Luongo 32 Saves
My Take: 2016 NHL All Star MVP John Scott might have played his final NHL game. He took the opening faceoff and 10 seconds in Barkov scored. Barkov started slowing down a bit after ANOTHER HEADSHOT ! How many high hits are they going to put on this kid and not penalize those guys. Well they did penalize this guy. This is like the 3rd or 4th headshot he’s taken this year. Bjugstad scored as well as McKegg and Hudler from Purcell. Scott did take a high sticking penalty. We got outplayed the first half of the game. This is a major issue going into the playoffs that needs to be fixed. Anyway we won and clinched the Atlantic and got over the 100 point mark for the first time in franchise history.
Note: Brian Campbell played his 1,000th career NHL game
Thursday April 7th @ Ottawa L 1-3
Game MVP: Jaromir Jagr 1 G
My Take: We had a bad game simple. They were relaxing waiting for the playoffs. I would like to apologize for my harsh comments on the Ottawa game. I know you guys were relaxing. Anyway we only really played the third period. We did get 34 shots to 23. Jagr got the only goal from Barkov and Petrovic. Huberdeau’s point streak ended at 7 but Barkov’s lived on to 8. Kampfer got hurt.
PANTHERS BEAT 100 POINTS FOR 1ST TIME IN FRANCHISE HISTORY
The Panthers beat 100 points for the first time in franchise history on Tuesday with a win over Montreal. They clinched their division for the 2nd time in franchise history and the playoffs for the 5th and the 2nd time in 15 years. They have 101 points.
PANTHERS RECALL MIKE MATHESON
After the injuries to Steven Kampfer and Erik Gudbranson, Mike Matheson has been recalled from Portland (AHL). Matheson was the 23rd overall pick in 2012. He has played 2 games this year. I actually met his dad’s friend at the game against Winnipeg during warm-ups you know the game where Jagr passed Hull. Matheson has played 2 games this year.
ISLANDERS OR RANGERS
I hate to say it but we might play the Rangers in round 1. I hate the Rangers. We only beat them once this year. I hope the Rangers win tomorrow and Isles tank.
April 9th vs. Carolina 7pm SUN Sports