Florida Panthers fans have had a lot to be thankful for this season. Despite a disappointing start to the campaign, the team has shown marked improvement in recent months and currently sit atop the Atlantic Division standings. Here are five silver linings of the Florida Panthers’ season so far:
1) The play of captain Aleksander Barkov.
The 22-year-old center has been nothing short of spectacular this season, leading the team in scoring with 61 points (23 goals, 38 assists) in 59 games. He’s also been a workhorse, averaging over 23 minutes of ice time per game. He’s been the Panthers’ best player and has established himself as one of the NHL’s premier talents.
2) The emergence of Vincent Trocheck.
After a breakout 2017-18 campaign, Trocheck has taken his game to another level this season. He’s second on the team in scoring with 55 points (23 goals, 32 assists) in 59 games and is also averaging over 21 minutes of ice time per game. He’s become one of the league’s most dangerous two-way forwards and has been a key piece of the Panthers’ success this season.
3) The play of Sergei Bobrovsky.
The Panthers made a big splash in free agency by signing Bobrovsky to a seven-year, $70 million contract. He’s been worth every penny so far, posting a 28-9-5 record with a 2.49 goals against average and a .918 save percentage in 42 games. He’s been the team’s most consistent player and has given the Panthers a chance to win every night.
4) The improved play of the defense.
After being one of the league’s worst defensive teams last season, the Panthers have made marked improvement in their own end this season. They’re still not an elite defensive team, but they’ve been much better than they were a year ago. Led by Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle, the Panthers have done a good job of limiting shots and goals against this season.
5) The team’s overall improvement.
The Panthers have shown marked improvement in all areas of their game this season. They’re scoring more goals (3.42 per game, up from 2.68 last season), allowing fewer goals (2.76 per game, down from 3.31 last season), and winning more games (33, up from 25 last season). This is a team that is trending in the right direction and looks poised to make a deep run in the playoffs this season.
These are just a few of the silver linings of the Florida Panthers’ season so far. Despite some early struggles, the team has been one of the NHL’s best teams in recent months and looks poised to make a deep run in the playoffs. For Panthers fans, there is plenty to be excited about as the team enters the stretch run of the season.