Florida Panthers: NHL Global Series is More Than Just a Trip

HELSINKI, FINLAND - OCTOBER 31: The Florida Panthers pose for their team photo prior to practice in preparation for the 2018 NHL Global Series games against the Winnipeg Jets at the Hartwall Arena on October 31, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
HELSINKI, FINLAND - OCTOBER 31: The Florida Panthers pose for their team photo prior to practice in preparation for the 2018 NHL Global Series games against the Winnipeg Jets at the Hartwall Arena on October 31, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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For the Florida Panthers, the NHL Global Series offers a sense of fun and relaxation – but at the same time – it’s still a business trip!

Teams like the Florida Panthers usually don’t gain the opportunity to compete in the outdoor games. That’s right, I’m talking about the Winter Classic and Stadium Series, as the Cats have never participated in either one.

And while they may miss out on those opportunities, it’s really not the end of the world. Why? Because now the Cats are in a game of their own: NHL Global Series.

The Panthers are in Helsinki, Finland to take on the Winnipeg Jets in a two-game series. The first match will take place on Thursday, Nov. 1 @ 2 P.M., while the second game will occur on the following day at the same time.

Obviously, the Global Series is like the outdoor games for the Panthers, with the only difference being that these games will be held indoors (as well as away from home).

But like the outdoor games, the same theory applies: you play to win. And HC Bob Boughner expects nothing less from his group.

In summarizing the purpose of this trip, Boughner had the following to say which happened to be very brief.

“It’s a business trip”

– Bob Boughner

A business trip it is! These games are worth more than just getting on camera. This is an opportunity to not only play in front of thousands of fans but the chance to also regain some serious ground in the standings – which the Panthers lack in.

Currently, the Panthers sit at the very bottom of the Atlantic and are nine points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs (2nd) and Boston Bruins (3rd), respectively.

Better yet, teams like the Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres are pushing further away from the Cats. These are two clubs the Panthers are expected to finish ahead of, yet are starting to dig a hole big enough that may not be possible to climb.

And Boughner even recognizes this. He understands that if his team wants to get back into the mix, they’re going to have to grab some points out of this two-game series.

"“We’re a team that’s played well at times and not so well at other times. We need points and we have to come here with a serious outlook on things. Starting Game 1 [of this series], we want to try and make sure we don’t leave here without anything. Have some fun, but it’s about work.”"

Grabbing any points against a strong squad like the Winnipeg Jets is no easy task. But again, who said it was going to be easy?

We’re talking about one of the strongest teams in the entire Western Conference, and if the Panthers even want to snatch the slightest of points, then they’re going to have to be on their A game.

This experience is going to be fun – but at the same time – part of that fun is buckling down and focusing on the task ahead. Florida cannot afford any more second-period debacles, and can certainly not rely on the extra-time loser point.

This team is a playoff team on paper but unfortunately hasn’t translated that on the ice. From here on forward, the message has to remain: unless it’s two points, it’s simply not good enough.

Next. Defensive Struggles Causing Chaos. dark

Be sure to tune in tomorrow @ 2 P.M. as the Florida Panthers take on the Winnipeg Jets in Game #1. Live tweets and GIFS will be available via Twitter