Florida Panthers Drop One To The Philadelphia Flyers


Oct 12, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers left wing Michael Raffl (12) has his shot stopped by Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo (1) during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers couldn’t back up their seven-goal explosion from Saturday, and lost Monday night 1-0 to the Philadelphia Flyers.  It was a frustrating game for fans of offense, as both Roberto Luongo and especially Michal Neuvrith were outstanding in goal for both teams.

Luckily, the Panthers won’t have to wait long to get back at it, as the Carolina Hurricanes come up tomorrow night.  But quickly, let’s look at three things that went right and went wrong for Florida:


Roberto Luongo.  The Panthers goalie showed up for this one, and just like Saturday night the veteran held the Flyers to only one goal.  He was sharp in each period, and the Panthers needed him to be.  The only goal he gave up came off a defensive breakdown as the Flyers rushed into the zone (ahem, Dave Bolland) and created chaos in front of the net.  Luongo also was involved with some chippy play behind the net, sticking up for his teammates when the Flyers were looking to pick a fight.

Vincent Trocheck.  Coming off his four-point Opening Night performance, Trocheck continued to dazzle with the puck and force his way to the net.  His play catalyzed his linemates, Jussi Jokinen and Dave Bolland, and their line looked like the most dangerous one for the Panthers for most of the night.  Trocheck already looks like a huge part of the Panthers future at forward.

Solid defense.  The Panthers gave up the only goal of the contest, but they weren’t cheated often on defense.  Alex Petrovic had an impressive game outside of his questionable interference penalty in the second period.  Erik Gudbranson and Willie Mitchell had three blocked shots.  Aaron Ekblad and Petrovic each stopped dangerous Flyers breakaways with good stick-work on the back-check.  This kind of defense will keep the Panthers in any game.


Questionable coaching.  Fearing physicality by the Flyers after the chippy game in South Florida, Gerard Gallant put Shawn Thornton back in the lineup.  But the Flyers were still physical despite Thornton’s presence, and the entire fourth line for the Panthers was generally ineffective.  Thornton himself was penalized for holding the stick on Michael Del Zotto.  But despite this, the MacKenzie/Brickley/Thornton line still were on the ice during important minutes at the end of the game, chasing the puck around their own zone.  Gallant needs to shorten the bench at that point of the game, or field four scoring lines.

Defensemen struggling on offense.  Aaron Ekblad and Brian Campbell turned the puck over multiple times, missed the net on their shots, and had trouble hooking up with players through the middle of the ice.  Their struggles stalled much of the puck possession the Panthers were attempting generate, and it couldn’t be made up by any of the other pairings.

0-6 on the power play.  The tone was set after the Panthers squandered a four-minute double minor in the first period.  The lost momentum bit the Panthers with a goal 40 seconds after the penalty ended.  The Panthers had 11:54 worth of time with a man up, but could not capitalize on any of their chances.  The fancy passing and pinpoint shots from Saturday night did not show up when they could’ve used it tonight.  The Panthers will need to rebound in this area quickly, or else their opponents won’t feel bad slashing away at Aleksander Barkov or Jonathan Huberdeau.  That’d be a better protection for the Panthers’ young stars than anything Shawn Thornton can provide.

Next: Florida Panthers: 3 Keys to Making the Postseason

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