Happy Black Friday everyone! The Panthers have played the first 20 games and they are 10-9-1.
Saturday November 19th @ Ottawa
Lu! Lu! Was the chant all night from Panther nation. Roberto Luongo was at his best form Saturday as he made 39 saves on 40 shots. The Panthers were able to get on the board early thanks to a great performance by the top line of Jussi Jokinen- Aleksander Barkov- Jaromir Jagr. Jagr struck in the opening minute for his 751st career goal and prevented him from setting a career high goal drought which was at 13 games. However for the next 10 minutes, Luongo put on a shoe until Jokinen gave him some breathing room. Luongo was stellar. The only goal he allowed by Pageau was just unlucky. Marchessault made it 3-0 and Pageau made it 3-1. Mackenzie scored on a weird rebound when he went to fill in for Barkov who was pulled from the game by concussion spotters. Final 4-1
Panthers Star of the Game: Roberto Luongo
Sunday November 20th @ NY Rangers
Win 3-2 SO
After a bad night in Toronto on Thursday, James Reimer struck back by making 33 saves. He also closed the door in the shootout. He also robbed former Panther Brandon Pirri who had been the Panthers 2nd best shootout man last year behind Aleksander Barkov. Barkov finally scored as he sealed the deal in the shootout. Trocheck also got one in the shootout. Yandle and Ekblad scored in regulation.
Panther Star of the Game: James Reimer
Tuesday November 22nd vs. Philadelphia
The Panthers went up against the toughest (physically) team in the league and they benched Thornton and McIllrath and Petrovic was injured. They lost 3-1. The game was wild. We had a ton of shots and Smith finally scored. Gudas delivered a hit to the head on Trocheck, no penalty, no suspension, no fine, no discipline and thankfully no injury. At one stoppage Simmonds was running around trying to fight someone and the ref was basically getting a piggyback ride. MacKenzie wanted to go but the ref was on top of him. One problem I have is that the refs should’ve let them go at it. If tensions are high then let the fight happen. Marchessault also put a big hit on someone and then he got tackled and once again the refs wouldn’t let them go.
Panther Star of the Game: Reilly Smith
Saturday (7pm)- vs. Columbus
This is a must win game. Columbus is a big rival in the wild card and we are about to depart on a 6 game road trip. Seth Jones leads their defense. The Panthers had an opportunity to pick him in 2013 but they went with Barkov. If they had picked Jones they would not have gone with Ekblad the next year in the draft though. John Tortorella one of the NHL’s most infamous coaches leads the Columbus bench.
Big Matchup: Gerard Gallant vs. John Tortorella- Both coaches must lead their teams to victory and they are both known hotheads behind the bench. It will be interesting to see if their is a conflict.
Sunday November 27th @ Carolina (6pm)
The Canes got their winning streak snapped by Montreal. The Canes have had many rumors surrounding them about relocation. The Panthers have to beat the weak Hurricanes. This is the start of a road trip.
Big Matchup: Victor Rask vs Vincent Trocheck- Both players are overlooked outside of their respective markets but are key to their team’s success. This is going to be interesting.
Tuesday November 29th @ Chicago (8:30pm)
The Panthers have had trouble beating the Hawks. The Blackhawks are one of the best teams out west and the Cats go to Chicago. This will be an interesting Matchup which I think will come down to goaltending.
Big Matchup: Jonathan Toews vs Aleksander Barkov- Both of these centers are among some of the best two-way centers in the league.
Tuesday December 1st @ Detroit (7:30pm)
The Panthers visit the Joe Louis Arena one last time as they hope to have another victory. Ever since Detroit joined the east, the Panthers have beaten them. Detroit’s dynasty seems to be falling, as the Panthers dynasty rises.
Big Matchup: Colton Sceviour vs Detroit’s Goaltending- In the last matchup between these two, Sceviour got a hat trick. Let’s see what happens in the rematch.
Gallant (Fever) Day to Day
Petrovic (Ankle) 6-8 Weeks
Huberdeau (Achilles) 2-3 Months