First off happy Halloween to all you Florida Panther fans out there. I hope you are all take the cop out-route and just wear your favorite Panther jersey like you do every night anyway. Personally, I have a custom Panther jersey with my last name and the number 27, a hat tip to good old Scott Mellanby, that I will probably rock. Bonus points if I can convince any ignorant girls that I actually play for the Panthers.
Anyway, two weeks ago we did a poll asking you all who you thought the most impressive Panther has been. In a close battle, Aleksander Barkov edged out Brad Boyes for the top spot. The unruly step brother to that question is obviously, which Panther has been most disappointing? and with the Panthers currently struggling the way that they are, there are no shortages of options.
The cases for Upshall, Matthias and Kopecky have to do with scoring. The three players have combined for one goal and four assists, well, actually I should say the two players, because Tomas Kopckey through twelve games HAS YET TO REGISTER A SINGLE POINT!!
Kopecky led the Panthers with 15 goals last year tying a career high during the shortened season, and while we predicted some regression this season based on his ridiculous shooting percentage, (16.3%) we did not think he would regress this much.
Defensively Dmitry Kulikov and Erik Gudbranson are here because they are both young players that we hoped to see make big improvements this season but rather than a jump, we have seen baby steps at best. The book on Kulikov is that he has huge offensive potential. He has shown glimpses in his career but with only one goal and one assist so far this season, his play has fans clamoring for more.
There was a lot of talk about Gudbranson’s improvement during training camp this year but while he has looked marginally better, he still commits too many defensive lapses. At this point offense is the last thing on my mind with Gudbranson (he has only one assist) and I would be content with just solid defense but unfortunately we have yet to see solid defense fromm the 6’4″ 21-year-old. His -7 is second worst on the team and he also has an ugly -8.6 Relative Corsi. (The corsi number is probably a bit off due to small sample size)
I guess with Gudbranson, I would say I am a bit disappointed because the expectations are so high but he has improved this season and he is only 21 so I am willing to give him a break.
What do you think? Voice your opinion by filling out the poll below: