Florida Panthers: Goaltending needs to step up

SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 7: Goaltender Roberto Luongo
SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 7: Goaltender Roberto Luongo /

The Florida Panthers‘ season has gotten off to a fast and exciting start. While the team has played well, the Panthers will need to have better results from their goaltenders.

Before the season began, many considered the goaltending situation for the Panthers to not be a concern. After all, they do have two starting goalies rather than just one starter and one backup. But, after just five games, fans are wondering if this situation will work out for the Panthers. The Panthers goalies have allowed a total of 18 goals over just 5 games after getting destroyed by the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. That is an ugly average of 3.6 goals per game.

In every game this year (except the third game), either Roberto Luongo or James Reimer have allowed a weak goal that could have been stopped. Though the Panthers did win two out of the five games, the Panthers could have possibly won at least four of their games if those weak goals never occurred.

The Cats seem committed to rotating both goalies every other game in order to keep both goalies rested and healthy. While this isn’t a bad idea, most playoff teams rolled with one starting goalie for most of the season. Some will say that the Penguins won the Stanley Cup with a dual effort with Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury, but the Panthers aren’t the Penguins, and Roberto Luongo and James Reimer are not Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury.

So, what needs to click in order for the Panthers to receive better goaltending?

Although the Panthers are committed to rotating both goalies, the Cats should only continue for a little while. Once either Reimer or Luongo has shown that they are capable of starting, the Panthers should fully support either one (depending on form) and stick with the hottest goalie as their number one. There is no point in continuing to rotate both if one keeps winning and the other keeps losing.

As the season progresses on, I personally think that the starting goalie should be Roberto Luongo. Luongo has shown over the course of his career that he can lead teams to a deep playoff run. It’s true that Luongo is aging, but if there is one more year of elite goaltending that Luongo can give to the NHL, it would be this year.

After Luongo noticed that the Panthers were not going anywhere last year, he decided to rest his body early and get some extra rest before the start of the next year (this season). Due to the extra rest that Luongo got this past offseason, he should be ready to give his all in what could be his last year in the league.

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The Panthers’ goaltending has definitely been shaky to start the season, but if the Cats can unite behind either Reimer or Luongo, this team could be set. If the Panthers want to make a deep playoff run this year, they will have to pick a number one goalie to lead the way.