The Florida Panthers could not finish the deal to win the Stanley Cup. But that doesn’t mean their epic 2023 playoff run wasn’t memorable.
While the Florida Panthers forgot to show for tonight’s blowout loss against the Vegas Golden Knights and lost the Stanley Cup Final four games to one, it shouldn’t tarnish what the team accomplished this season. This time roughly two-and-a-half months ago, Florida was fighting for a playoff spot, and they snagged a wild card, only to face the mighty Boston Bruins.
As you know, Boston enjoyed the best regular season in NHL history, and no one gave Florida a chance here. But the Panthers won the series in come-from-behind fashion and they moved on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals to face the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team who won their first playoff series in nearly 20 seasons.
Once again, no one gave the Panthers a chance. But they won that series, moving on to face the Carolina Hurricanes. And there was no way Florida would find a way past yet another one of the Eastern Conference’s most dominant teams.
Florida Panthers exceeded everyone’s expectations in Stanley Cup Playoffs
Florida won those first two games in epic fashion, especially Game 1 when they snagged a win in the fourth overtime period. In Game 2, it took them just one overtime period to beat Carolina, before they won a pair of nailbiters in Games 3 and 4 to sweep the Hurricanes.
Yeah, their good fortune ran out against Vegas. Games 1 and 2 saw the Panthers embark on four straight periods of poor play, and it cost them both contests. Game 3 went their way and they won in yet another nail-biter before Vegas turned around and won Game 4.
And tonight, Game 5, it wasn’t even close. But if you’re a fan of the Panthers, you can’t help but be optimistic for next season. This team is built for long-term success, and with potential changes coming to Boston, Toronto, and the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Atlantic could be the Florida Panthers division to lose.