In talking with players all over the summer, it can be distinct that the sour taste from previous season’s end even now has not washed out of their collective mouths. Regardless of likely on an astounding 25-8-2 operate to shut out the standard period, they even now fell just a single point shorter of a location in the playoffs.
“You just preserve hunting back at which online games you could have carried out a better career, play better, make an extra help you save, get an extra point somewhere,” goaltender Roberto Luongo mentioned in April. “Which is the variety of things that goes via your brain ideal now.”
But that was then, this is now.
Eager to transfer on from previous season’s shortcomings and create off their stellar next fifty percent, the Panthers will enter the future period with a chip on their shoulder, prepared to occur out of the gate scorching and verify that they’re no for a longer period the team of the potential, but somewhat the present.
In shorter: it can be playoffs or bust for these Panthers, and they’re up to the problem.
“We are at the point now where by we really feel that it can be time that we won’t be able to use any excuses,” ahead Nick Bjugstad mentioned before this thirty day period. “Everything’s been laid out in entrance of us and it can be ours for the taking. We’ve been all-around a whilst. No a single is obtaining their feet damp anymore. We’ve been listed here and know what it will take.”
With that in brain, and with solitary-match tickets likely on sale on Wednesday, listed here are 5 hand-picked household online games that you simply really don’t want to pass up during what guarantees to be a period for the ages in Sunrise.
1. THE Start OF Something Large (Thursday, Oct. 11)
You will find absolutely nothing very like the 1st household match of the period.
Soon after opening up their campaign in Tampa Bay on Oct. 6, the Panthers will return to Sunrise to kick off their 2018-19 household slate with a matchup versus Columbus on Oct. 11 – the 1st of 40 standard-period online games that will be performed at BB&T Middle this period.
With the sting of previous season’s late elimination even now contemporary in their minds – particularly the slow start out blamed for placing the team in that dire position – I might assume Florida to maintain absolutely nothing back versus a Blue Jackets squad they spent the last thirty day period of previous period frantically attempting to overtake in the wild card standings (Columbus concluded with 97 details, a single much more than the Panthers).
In pointing to their 25-8-2 document that propelled them to the cusp of the playoffs previous period – “Which is the range we preserve coming back to,” Aaron Ekblad mentioned in July – the Panthers are eager to verify the team that took the league by storm during the next fifty percent was no fluke.
Current background would also counsel that the purple gentle will be in weighty use this match, as several groups in the league have been as dominant in their 1st household match in excess of the previous numerous seasons. Due to the fact 2010, Florida has received 7 of its previous 8 household openers, outscoring opponents by a put together rating of 34-17 in individuals contests — which is 4.25 plans per match!
Also, given that it can be the team’s 25th anniversary period, I might assume a shock or two at the arena.
2. LUONGO’S LEGACY (Saturday, Oct. 13)
This is a moment we’ve been waiting an overall summer to celebrate.
The Panthers will kick off their yr-very long “Legacy Saturdays” campaign by celebrating Roberto Luongo’s 1,000th NHL match when Vancouver visits BB&T Middle on Oct. 13. The 39-yr-outdated strike that storied mark previous period, starting to be just the 3rd goaltender in league background to do so.
In reaching the 1,000-match plateau, Luongo joined NHL Hall-of-Famers Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy as the only netminders to ever surpass the century mark. Upon his debut on Oct. 9, 2000, the feat was basically even now unheard of, as Roy did not access 1,000 online games until eventually Jan. 20, 2003.
A 3-time nominee for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s ideal goaltender, Luongo is without the need of dilemma a single of the most-storied players in Panthers background. He is not only the club’s all-time leader in wins (212), shutouts (37) and will save (15,003), but also probable a potential NHL Hall of Famer.
In the midst of a late-period playoff operate, Luongo built the determination to forgo any type of official celebration of his achievement previous period, believing that it could be a distraction for his team.
“I spoke about it with the team and wanted to make certain that it was carried out at the proper time Luongo mentioned in April. “I felt that, ideal now, we’re targeted on a playoff push and it wasn’t the ideal time for me. I failed to want to be a distraction for my team.”
Properly, now it can be formally the proper time.
3. AN ARENA NOT Much, Much Absent (Saturday, Dec. 1)
What’s better than experiencing some hockey in a galaxy considerably, considerably away?
The Panthers will host their fourth-once-a-year Star Wars night time on Saturday, Dec. 1, when Tampa Bay visits BB&T Middle for an interstellar showdown of intrastate rivals. Whether you want to choose an X-Wing, Y-Wing, TIE Fighter or Millennium Falcon to get there, this is a match you won’t be able to pass up.
Whilst distinct specifics on this year’s celebration are even now forthcoming, it can be safe to say that there will be no scarcity of Stormtroopers, Wookiees, Jedi and Sith in the arena. And whilst we really don’t accept Republic Credits, the photo opportunities by yourself make this ticket a should-get in my e book.
As for the motion on the ice, the ongoing saga between the Panthers and Lightning is starting to rival that of the Star Wars, as Florida (the Rise up) is starting to capture up to the impressive Empire (Tampa). Both of those golf equipment are anticipated to be serious contenders, both of those now and in the potential.
Last period, the Panthers owned a 1-2-1 document versus the Lightning.
With Aleksander Barkov primary the way like Luke Skywalker, the Panthers will fight the Bolts 7 periods this period, if you contain their 3 preseason matchups (which is two trilogies and a aspect tale!). If Florida needs to earn the division and help you save the galaxy, they should 1st leading Tampa.
4. THE CHAMPS (Monday, April 1)
If you want to be the ideal, you have to conquer the ideal.
Soon after two matchups versus the Capitals in D.C., the Panthers will lastly welcome the defending Stanley Cup champions to the BB&T Middle on April 1. This match will not only kick off the last homestand of the standard period, but could also have massive playoff implications.
On the heels of their 1st-ever championship, the Capitals are returning most of the roster that trounced Vegas in 5 online games in the Cup Final, with the exception of a single rather seismic improve –Todd Reirden taking in excess of as head mentor for Barry Trotz, who is now with the Islanders.
That staying mentioned, I wouldn’t assume this season’s Capitals to be any less formidable. They even now boast 3-time Hart Trophy winner and reigning Conn Smythe recipient Alexander Ovechkin, all-star goaltender Braden Holtby and a prosperity of other leading-tier abilities, this kind of as centers Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom and defenseman John Carlson.
Could this match verify to be a playoff preview? Only time will explain to.
But either way, this match ought to be an fascinating measuring adhere for the Cats as they get ready to shut out the standard period. Last period, Florida owned a 2-1- document versus Washington.
5. Household FOR THE Holiday seasons (Saturday, Nov. 24)
Soon after enduring their longest highway trip of the period – a 6-match extend all over the Japanese Meeting – the Panthers will return to the BB&T Middle to kick off a period-very long 8-match homestand on Nov. 24 versus Chicago.
Whilst the post-Thanksgiving holiday getaway homestand is constantly a lover-favored, this match retains a little bit of included significance as it not only arrives versus a single of the league’s primetime darlings, but also because of to the fact that Florida is coming off an historic period on household ice.
The Panthers received a franchise-document 27 online games at household previous period, surpassing the prior document of 26 set during the 1999-00 period. From Feb. 22-March 10, they set a different franchise document with 8 straight wins in their helpful confines, with 5 coming versus playoff groups.
Of their 24 victories after the All-Star break, a league-significant 16 arrived at household.
“It really is a assurance matter,” ahead Colton Sceviour mentioned in April. “We really feel actually relaxed at household. Our fans have been terrific listed here, particularly down the extend. Any time we occur household, it can be fascinating. We’ve had some good results listed here, so we really feel relaxed that no make a difference what the match hands us or what is likely on, we can earn.”
Yeah, I might unquestionably set apart a pair bucks for these tickets. I have acquired a very good experience.