Florida Panthers: This Season has Become a Lost Cause

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08: Bryan Rust #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his first period goal against Roberto Luongo #1 of the Florida Panthers at PPG Paints Arena on January 8, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08: Bryan Rust #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his first period goal against Roberto Luongo #1 of the Florida Panthers at PPG Paints Arena on January 8, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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After some devastating injuries and unmet expectations, it’s time to officially deem this season for the Florida Panthers as finished.

A common thought for Florida Panthers fans everywhere has been the same through the first half of the season: we’re still in it.

This was the season where everything was going to work for the struggling franchise, that the long-suffering was finally coming to an end. As far as most individuals would say, this has certainly not been the case at this point.

Back in October, I wrote an article predicting this season’s outcome for the Cats, regarding their place in the standings once the season ended.

That hypothesis was to finish in third place in the Atlantic Division, and in no way has that been coming into fruition. If anything, this first half of the season has been nothing but a nightmare.

As of now, the Panthers sit out of the playoff picture, towards the bottom of the conference. They have disappointed not only the fan base but the organization as well.

They had all the hype going into this season and they’ve basically thrown it out the window. Hockey games cannot be won on paper, and the Panthers have surely proven that so far. The time has come to call it quits for the Florida Panthers.

If there was any excuse to pull out from the season so far, it would be the injury trouble the Panthers have been in as of late. Obviously, a place to start would be Vincent Trocheck, a key piece to the puzzle, who’s been out for a while.

As the second line center and the main source of secondary scoring, this is the biggest loss for the Cats, taking not only away from the team’s offensive game, but also for the defense.

Additionally, even though he hasn’t brought much to the table, the most recent absence has been Nick Bjugstad.

He’s been out for more than a month, and he has only skated in a yellow, non-contact jersey. As a top-six forward, his absence is known, taking another piece from the team’s scoring depth.

Now that his injury has been diagnosed as a neck injury, the timetable for his return is still in question. For the team, they really need him back.

For the last of the injury troubles, this is surprisingly not the worst of them all: starting goaltender, Roberto Luongo. On opening night when forward Frank Vatrano fell on top of Roberto Luongo, Panther fans all thought the same thing: “not again!”

Another injury occurred when Luongo stretched to make a save in a contest against the Carolina Hurricanes, and of course, he went down.

When Lu goes down, it’s almost like the team goes down too. All momentum is lost, the team is out of function, and it’s almost like they can’t win a game.

All excuses aside, it’s time to really get into it. Like I said before, the theme of the season is how the Panthers were somehow still in it.

We have finally reached the point where we can declare this season as a complete waste of a year. After a devastating loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Panthers now sit ten points out of a playoff spot, with zero hope of a playoff future.

At this point, the Cats cannot just jump this many teams to get back in the race. Yes, they made their big playoff run last season and missed out by one point, but odds are that will not happen again.

Their chance this season is over and it’s time to call it quits. There is no miracle run, there is no positivity. The Cats are officially done.

As time goes by, the rumors and suggestions will flow on what the Panthers will do next. This season has been a disaster and something must be done. Now what that something will be, that’s a question for the organization to answer.

Next. When Will This Play Come to an End?. dark

After a disappointing first half, even with plenty of time left, it’s time to take the Florida Panthers out of the playoff race.