Over the past week the Florida Panthers had an opportunity to not only pick up 8 points, but also to start wrapping up the top spot in the Southeast Division. And with the home ice advantage, they were able to do exactly that. The Florida Panthers were able to have a perfect home stand winning all four of the games in South Florida, including a 3-2 victory against the Buffalo Sabres in an exciting game which ended in a shootout.
The team is on a roll, and with 11 games left to play they will certainly be able to win the Southeast Division if they keep up their stellar play. Winning the division will pay huge dividends, as it would give them the number three seed in the Eastern Conference and more importantly, guaranteed home ice advantage during the opening round of the playoffs.
The team looks to maintain their hot play as they will take on the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at 7pm. The last time these two teams met the Flyers got the better of the Panthers, defeating them 5-0. The game was all Philadelphia from the puck drop and the Panthers were happy to get out of Philly as fast as they could. However since that game the Panthers find themselves rejuvenated, and with the season coming to a close, the players and coaches know what they must do to earn the playoff spot that has been eluding the franchise for the past decade.
Veteran players such as Jose Theodore and Brian Campbell have been playing lights out the past few games. Theodore has had the week of his life in the net allowing only 6 goals in the past 4 games, including a 2-0 shutout victory against their division rival, the Carolina Hurricanes. Brian Campbell who is the Panthers “point guard” leads the team with 43 assists, and has accounted for 3 points in the past 2 games. These two players look to keep up their excellent play for the balance of the season and into the playoffs.
However these two aren’t the only players who should be recognized. The whole team should be recognized as they are all playing at a high level and the toughness shown by players such as Shawn Matthias and Kris Versteeg, the Florida Panthers are definitely showing that they do belong. The Panthers currently hold aslim three point lead over the Washington Capitals. Panther fans need to mark down April 5th on the calendar because that could be a key game in relation to the ending of the season. The Panthers will travel to Washington to play the Capitals in pivotal game that could have playoff implications. That game could also determine who would win the division. However the Panthers and all of their fans hope that by then we can have the division secured.
It’s been a great year, and the best is yet to come as each regular season game has that playoff atmosphere to it.
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