We’ve all had time for the wounds of past season to heal. So I figured it would be the perfect time to reopen those old wounds while 15 other teams (thanks to Detroit sending Phoenix packing on Wednesday) continue their quest for playoff glory. So here are some high, some lows, and a few other observations looking back the Florida Panthers 2010-11:
Best Game - Panthers 3, Chicago Blackhawks 2, 3/8/11. The Blackhawks came into the Bank Atlantic Center desperately needing two points in the traffic jam that was the Western Conference playoff race. The Cats played maybe their best period of the season. They outhit, outhustled and outscored the defending Cup Champions in the first period to build a 3-0 lead. The Blackhawks spent the next forty minutes pelting shot after shot at Tomas Vokoun, who turned in his best performance of the year.
Worst Game – Panthers 3, Carolina Hurricanes 4, 12/15/10. If one game best exemplifies this season, it’s this one. The Panthers jumped out to an impressive 3-0 lead early in the first only to fritter away the lead in the final two periods to not even get a point from the game. The Canes scored three goals in the final period. It was the maddest I got all season.
Best Stat – The Panthers penalty kill unit. Behind Gord Murphy’s system, the Cats went from 23rd in the league (79.4%) to sixth (84.6). It’s one of the main reasons the Panthers were in as many games as they were this season.
Worst stat – The Panther power play unit. If the PK unit was the reason the Panthers were in a lot of games, the PP unit is the reason they didn’t win many of them. A league worst 13.1% combined with several long 0-for streaks was the difference in all of those one goal losses. It’s also a glaring example of the lack of forward talent on this team.
Best off-season pick up – Mike Santorelli. Not much was made of the trade that brought Santorelli from Nashvillle to Sunrise just prior to training camp, but he certainly made people take notice once the season started. The Vancouver native finished third in goals and second in points and also gave the team at least one threat in shootouts. In the process, he probably earned himself a raise as he’s a RFA this offseason. Marty Reasoner was a close second.
Worst move – cutting Michael Grabner. My anger and my desire to not curse here prevent me from going further on this.
Worst stat from a good player – David Booth’s -31 rating. Booth led the team with 23 goals, but, good lord, does that stat look ugly. Regardless of how much credence you give the +/- rating, that sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s the worst in team history, eclipsing Jay Bouwmeester’s -29 of 2002-03. I love Boother as much as any other Panthers fan, but PLEASE commit to defense next season!
Random fact that infuriates me – Rostislav Olesz still has three season remaining on his albatross of a contract with a $3.125 million cap hit. Thanks again, Jacques!!
Thanks for reading. Any and all comments are welcomed and appreciated!
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