A big factor which depends on whether or not a hockey club will make the playoffs is oftentimes settled by how well the team performs down the stretch. For the Florida Panthers, they know that from now until April, each game will be even more important as they try to snap a 10-year playoff drought.
After stumbling into the All-Star game battered and broken, the Panthers welcomed a 7-day break after posting a dismal 2-3-4 record in the month of January. Due to their poor performance, the Panthers saw their SouthEast Division lead slowly slip away; a feat which they held for over 50 days. But the Cats knew things would only get tougher as they were to face a hectic month in February.
To kick start the second month of the new year, the Panthers found themselves playing 4 division rival games right out of the gate (Washington, Winnipeg, Tampa Bay, Washington) and surprisingly have stepped up to the plate, and taken advantage of their opportunities with a 4-2 victory over the Capitals Wednesday night, followed by a 2-1 victory last night over the Winnipeg Jets.
Counting tonight’s game, the Panthers will play division rival teams 11 times in the remaining 32 games. Here is a quick rundown of recent play against each team. Together, we will quickly analyze the Panthers chances of beating each team, based on play in the past.
Carolina Hurricanes: 4 more meetings this season (2 Home, 2 Away)
This season record against Hurricanes: 2-0-0.
All time record against Hurricanes: 36-37-11-11
Fact: Panthers have never lost on a Sunday to the Hurricanes.
Tampa Bay Lightning: 1 more meeting with the Lightning (In Tampa)
This season record against Lightning: 2-1-2
All time record against Lightning: 55-29-10-9
Washington Capitals: 4 more meetings with the Capitals (2 Home, 2 Away)
This season record against Capitals: 1-1-0
All Time Record against Capitals: 42-43-9-6
Fact: Home team has won the last 4 meetings.
Winnipeg Jets: 2 more meetings with the Jets (1 Home, 1 Away)
This season record against Jets: 3-0-1
All Time Record against Jets: 29-29-5-9
Fact: Panthers are 4-1-0 on Thursday’s against the Jets
As of right now, the Panthers are in a great position to make a big move in the Southeast division with key injuries on each of the four other teams, meaning the Panthers could build on momentum and pick up speed fast if they choose to do so.
Another great fact which Panthers’ fans can smile about, is according to Sportsclubstats.com with the victory over the Jets Friday night, the Panthers chances of making the post-season this year have increased to 84.5%.
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