#1: Continue Their Powerplay Success
There are no two ways about it; the Panthers were dominant last season while up a man. Florida finished the year with the second-best powerplay in the league capitalizing on 26.8% of their opportunities.
The addition of Mike Hoffman was one of the main reasons the Panthers were able to control the game while on the man advantage. They’ll be looking for more of the same from their 29-year-old winger, and they’ll need him to put up similar production.
Seventeen of Hoffman’s 36 goals came on the powerplay which was the fourth-most in the league and just three less than Brayden Point‘s league-leading 20 powerplay goals.
Expect comparable numbers from Hoffman this year as he is a straight-up weapon on offense with his electric release.
One thing that could be different this year is the second powerplay unit. If Owen Tippett makes the team out of camp, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if he starts on that second unit.
Henrik Borgstrom will most likely get more looks as well which would make for a young and potentially lethal PP2.
Last season was tough on Panthers fans and players alike. One of the only bright spots in what was such a disappointing year was the team’s stellar powerplay.
If the Cats are going to be playing hockey in late April and onward, they will need the same level of success on the powerplay.