Every Monday or Tuesday, The Rat Trick will be bringing you the Florida Panthers’ three stars of the week. These are the players that impressed us the most over the previous seven days.
Another tough week as the Panthers endured three straight losses at home. The Panthers managed to pick up two points in shootout losses to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning but they also suffered a 3-1 loss to the cellar dwelling Buffalo Sabres. Here are your three stars of the week:
Third Star: Shawn Matthias
Shawn Matthias can finally get some sleep. Earlier in the week, Matthias told Panther beat writer Harvey Fialkov that he was losing sleep looking for his first goal of the season and while it took him twelve games, he finally got on the scoresheet in Sunday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Expectations for the 6’4″ center were high going into the season and with three points (1-2-3) through twelve games, it is safe to say Matthias has been a bit disappointing. That said, stats are not everything and one thing Matthias has not suffered from is a lack of effort. Matthias played well in each of the Panthers losses this week and he has looked fine since switching to the wing to make room in the lineup for center Nick Bjugstad.
The goals will come for Matthias if he can continue to play the way he played last week. The combination of getting of the schneid and strong play in general is enough for Matthias to walk away with third star honors.