Stephen Weiss and Jonathan Toews Prepare To Take Center Stage. Source: nhl.com

Game Day Preview: Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Florida Panthers

Chicago Blackhawks 7-2-2 (16 pts.) vs. Florida Panthers 6-4-1 (13pts.)

Opposition Site:  Blackhawk Up

Gameday Preview: from the NHL.com

The Florida Panthers, prepare to take on the Chicago Blackhawks , for the first time in the 2011-2012 NHL season, why is this matchup the Florida Panthers game of the year?

During the offseason, The Florida Panthers made many offseason moves behind former Chicago Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon.  Dale Tallon built what I would call, one of the deepest Stanley Cup Champions in NHL history in 2009-2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks, and during the 2011 offseason Dale Tallon brought some of that depth to Florida.  Tallon acquired a few players from that 2009-2010 Chicago Blackhawks Cup Winning team, such as Tomas Kopecky, Kris Versteeg, Brian Campbell, Jack Skille and Dale Tallon even acquired Brent Seabrook’s brother, Keith Seabrook.  Tomas Kopecky, Kris Versteeg, Brian Campbell, and Jack Skille will take the ice today, against some familiar faces.  Tomas Kopecky, Kris Versteeg and Brian Campbell are not the only players taking on their former team today though. 

Today there is going to be some former Florida Panthers taking the ice for the Blackhawks as Steve Montador, and Michael Frolik, will be players to keep your eyes on.  Frolik is still having some trouble scoring and only has two goals, one an empty netter, but coach Joel Quenneville likes the way he’s been working and figures that the streaky winger will get it going soon.  Their are still some other faces that always come to play, that never hold anything back, and try to get the puck in the net anyway they can.  Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Patrick Sharp are monster players all of which have reached the 70+ point mark at some point in their career.  There is one player though the Florida Panthers must contain at all costs if they are to win this game.

Jonathan Toews may be the best center in the NHL today as well as one of the best leaders in the NHL, as he never gives up, will always find a way to push his team to a win, and going up against a player like that may not be good news for the Florida Panthers. There’s a very good reason that he’s called Captain Serious. On Monday night the Florida Panthers scored a late goal against the Winnipeg Jets, with 2:10 remaining in the game to take a 3-2 lead, but with 0:50 left the Jets struck back to tie the game on a goal from Evander Kane.  If the Florida Panthers are up by a goal late vs. the Chicago Blackhawks or tied, and the Chicago Blackhawks are putting on pressure like we know they can, the Panthers will need to clear the puck and not be fancy doing it.  And no penalties please, and do not let Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews or Marian Hossa get that puck any were near the net  as they are snipers and when the game is on the line, they know how to close it out.

If the Chicago Blackhawks are to win this game they must of course take advantage of all power plays, take advantage of a late game situation like I mentioned , and not let the thought of playing against some of your former teammates distract you.  The keys for the Panthers to secure a victory vs the Hawks are to stay out of the box, you do not want the Chicago scorers to get a chance on the 5 on 4 or even 5 on 3.  Now the most important keys for the Florida Panthers to get the win, Kris Versteeg, Jack Skille, Tomas Kopecky and Brian Campbell must not let the thought of playing against their former team mates get into their head, and play shutdown in the final 5 minutes of the 3rd period.  If the Florida Panthers can do all of that I think we will be smiling at a 7-4-1 record.

Nerdy Stats (as Frank calls them:

* The Panthers trail in the series 9-13-3-0

* Jason Garrison has goals in his last three games, and has 5 goals on the season already, equalling his total for 2010-2011.

* The Panthers 6-4-1 start is equal to their 2005-2006 season in which they had the exact same record after 11 games.

* The Blackhawks have outscored their opponents 15-6 in the third period this season.

* Patrick Kane leads the Hawks with 11 points in 11 games.  Kane has tallied at least 11 points in 11 games during the month of October in all five of his NHL seasons.

* Jonathan Toews leads all centers with a 63.0% winning faceoff percentage.

Be sure to follow the Rat Pack on Twitter: Me Cameron Tahernia @Lord_Panther, Frank Rekas @TheRatTrick, David Lasseter @davidlasseter, Josh Luecht @joshluecht, Patrick McLaughlin @PatrickRattrick,Paige Lewis @Peejlewiz, Scott Mullin @ScottFMullin, and David Rodriguez @davidbub_2.   Also be sure to check out our Facebook Fan Page and send us comments and photos throughout the season!

Next Panthers Game Full schedule »
Tuesday, Oct 2121 Oct7:00at Colorado AvalancheBuy Tickets

Tags: Brian Campbell Chicago Blackhawks Dale Tallon Florida Panthers Jack Skille Jonathan Towes Kris Versteeg Marian Hossa Michael Frolik Patrick Kane Patrick Sharp Rostislav Olesz Stephen Weiss Tomas Kopecky

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