The Florida Panthers have been playing excellent hockey of late and that play has made a big impact in their Eastern Conference standings. Florida currently sits 3rd in the conference aa they lead the Southeast division over Washington and Tampa Bay. The Panthers could not be where they are now without the help of their top line of Tomas Fleischmann, Stephen Weiss, and Kris Versteeg. Move over LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade, there is a new big three in town!!
Florida currently has one of the best top lines in the NHL and there is no reason why this should change. Tomas Fleischmann has put up a total of 23 points this season and has been one of our most consistent point producers. Long time Panther center Stephen Weiss, has put up a total of 22 points and like Fleischmann, his production has been a key factor on the top line. Kris Versteeg however has taken his top line assignment for Florida to a new level for him all season long, leading the team in points at 26 and posting a hat trick earlier in the season. Former Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender, Marty Turco, even called Versteeg an early candidate to win the Hart Trophy.
The Panthers top line has had a combined total of 71 points so far this year. Last season, the Panthers top 4 scored a combined 163 points. The NHL season is not even halfway through and Versteeg, Weiss, and Fleischmann are on pace to matching last year’s total points scored at the halfway mark. You might recall that last year that Tomas Fleischmann had a blood clot in his lung and his future in the NHL looked grim. But now his future looks brighter than ever and he appears to be completely healthy. Last year, Kris Versteeg was struggling with the Toronto Maple Leafs and it would soon lead to his trade to the Philadelphia Flyers by the 53-game mark of the season. Kris would go on to the playoffs with the Flyers scoring only one goal in 11 playoff games. After being eliminated in the 2nd round by the Boston Bruins (4-0), Versteeg found himself reunited with an old friend, Dale Tallon and was traded to the Panthers in the offseason. The Florida Panthers top line has come a long way and fingers-crossed will continue to deliver exciting results in the 2011-2012 season.
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