Florida Panthers Get Off The Schneid Against Calgary Flames


Nov 10, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr (68) celebrates his game winning goal past Calgary Flames goalie Karri Ramo (31) with center Jonathan Huberdeau (11)defenseman Willie Mitchell (33) center Nick Bjugstad (27) and defenseman Erik Gudbranson (44) in the third period at BB&T Center. The Panthers won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

After a brutal West Coast roadtrip, the Florida Panthers looked much more comfortable at home, winning an important game 4-3 against the Calgary Flames.  The Panthers were able to break their five-game win-less drought and get back to .500, improving their still weak record to 6-6-3.

Let’s look at what went right and what went wrong for the Panthers in their win:


The best play in hockey.  Of course, that is the “shot on goal”.  Vincent Trocheck and Reilly Smith got the first two goals by cleaning up a rebound in front of the net.  Jonathan Huberdeau’s rush to the net helped set up Jaromir Jagr’s pass to Aaron Ekblad for the third goal.  And Jagr’s game-winning goal wasn’t a powerful shot, and it maybe it wasn’t supposed to be a shot in the first place.  But whatever it was, Jagr put it on goal and the shaky Karri Ramo couldn’t handle it.  Shooting the puck on net is the best and most direct way to create offense, so hopefully the Panthers will take note of their offensive success last night.

Jagr took the game home.  Jagr’s assist on the third goal was one of the best passes of the year.  It’s too bad that the Flames were able to tie the game at three, but Jagr conjured up some more magic on his game-winning goal.  In the third period, he stick-handled through multiple Flames defensemen before he sneaking the shot past Ramo, putting the Panthers up for good.  The Panthers rely on Jagr to give them the offense when the team needs it, and nobody has done it more in hockey history than him.  His 130 GWGs are far-and-away the most in NHL history.

The three-goal rule works again.  Yesterday, I mentioned that the Panthers had been 5-0-0 when scoring three or more goals, and 0-6-3 when scoring two goals or fewer.  Make that 6-0-0 after last night.


Not razor-sharp defensive performance.  On David Jones’ first goal, Huberdeau and Brian Campbell ran into each other in open ice, giving Joe Colborne a route to the offensive zone and Jones some space to shoot.  On Jones’ second goal, Dmitry Kulikov and Alex Petrovic did not account for Jones slipping off the bench, and he snuck past the two defensemen and had a breakaway on Roberto Luongo.  On the third goal, a loose puck sat in front of the Luongo’s crease, and Erik Gudbranson opted to tie up Jiri Hudler instead of clearing the puck.  No Panther came to help, and Sean Monahan took care of the rebound.

All three goals certainly could have been avoided, and the Panthers are lucky they didn’t have to answer for those goals at the end of the game.

Jonathan Huberdeau still slumping.  I’ll say Huberdeau is slumping, but not struggling.  The Panthers’ winger once again finished the game without a goal, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.  He finished with 5 shots on goal, but for whatever reason he can’t find the gaps between the goalie’s pads.  But his rush towards the net on Ekblad’s goal helped set up the play, since he attracted the attention of every Flames player on the ice.  When Huberdeau finally scores, it’ll be a happy day, but I’ll take the assists in the meantime.

Still a lot of work to do.  The Panthers are 6-6-3 now, which at least is .500.  But obviously the Panthers will need to be on a better pace if they want to nab a playoff spot.  But the good news is the rest of the Atlantic Division is struggling almost as bad, and a few Metropolitan teams are scuffling as well.  The Philadelphia Flyers had another closed-door meeting after getting demolished by the Colorado Avalanche.  The Ottawa Senators gave up 7 goals in Nashville.  Confusingly, the Tampa Bay Lightning have 16 points in 17 games, and just lost Ondřej Palát for at least a month.  The Panthers can find a seam back near the top of the division if they can just tie some wins together.

Next: Florida Panthers Have a Massive Zone Start Problem