Features

Previewing the East: Florida Panthers

Tuesday, 08.06.2013 / 7:00 AM / Features
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com




NOTE:
Over the next several weeks, BlueJackets.com will take an extensive, in-depth look at the Jackets' new opponents in the Eastern Conference. Be on the lookout for photo galleries, analysis, video highlights and more!

CLICK HERE FOR THE FLORIDA PANTHERS SEASON PREVIEW GALLERY!


FLORIDA PANTHERS
Head coach: Kevin Dineen
Captain: Ed Jovanovski
Division: Atlantic

LAST YEAR:
15-27-6 (36 points); 15th in the Eastern Conference

VS. CBJ in '13-14:
2/1, 3/1, 4/12

OUTLOOK: If the Florida Panthers have one thing going for them, it's that there's nowhere to go but up. Last season was a disappointment of the highest order for the Panthers, who broke a long playoff drought in 2011-12 by winning the Southeast Division. By unseating the mainstay Washington Capitals - who seeminly had a monopoly on the Southeast - the Panthers established a new standard of success in south Florida, but 2012-13's shortened campaign was not kind to Kevin Dineen and his club. They finished last in the East, drew the second overall pick (and took Aleksander Barkov to the surprise of some) and have started to build a solid group of young forwards with Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau coming off a terrific rookie season. They lost long-time Panther Stephen Weiss in free agency, but have maintained their forward depth and if Jacob Markstrom can put together a full season between the pipes, there's no reasy why Florida can't hang around in the playoff conversation.


PLAYERS TO WATCH


Jonathan Huberdeau


This one's obvious, but the reigning NHL rookie of the year is a special talent who can impact a game in many ways. He can score goals, make plays and play all forward positions. Last year's debut campaign was just a glimpse of what Huberdeau can do - and he's poised to dispel all notions of a sophomore slump this fall.



Nick Bjugstad

Another of the Panthers' many talented young forwards, the 6-foot-6 native of Minneapolis is on more than just Florida's radar for a breakout season. The 21-year-old was the Panthers' first-round pick in 2010 and after two strong seasons at the University of Minnesota, saw his first 11 games of NHL action in 2013 - and most recently, he was one of 48 players invited to Team USA's Olympic camp. He's a rangy, skilled two-way center who has a deceptively strong shot and isn't afraid to play a physical brand.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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