-- Fans voted Stephen Weiss as the team's Most Valuable Player after the center scored a career high 28 goals and led the team in scoring with 60 points.
But it was the play of goalie Tomas Vokoun that gave the Panthers a chance to win every night – and for a few months, Vokoun played just about every night.
Vokoun may have slipped at the end of the season, but by then, the Panthers probably benefited from losing.
-- The Panthers found a gem in the draft last June, with Florida taking Russian defenseman Dmitry Kulikov with the 14th overall pick.
Kulikov was rated in the top 10, but fell to Florida as teams were scared off because he had a contract in Russia. Kulikov had a strong training camp, finagled his way out of the contract and made the team as a 19-year-old. Kulikov ended up logging big minutes and the team has high hopes for his offensive upside.
-- Florida's 36 road points was only 21st in the league, but the Panthers had some of their biggest moments away from Sunrise. The Panthers won in Detroit for the first time since 1996 – part of a three game road sweep that saw the team win in Buffalo, Detroit and New York.
The Panthers also got some revenge for Mike Richards' hit on David Booth by beating the Flyers in Philadelphia both on the scoreboard and in the ring on Dec. 21.
-- The Panthers were only 6-10 in shootouts this season, but that was a big improvement over last season when Florida won just three shootouts. Florida started the season with wins in four of its first five shootout games.
Since the start of the shootout format in 2005-06, the Panthers have the most losses (37) and the lowest winning percentage (.351).
-- On Jan. 3, Radek Dvorak scored three goals in a win over the defending champion Penguins, making him the fourth Panthers player to record a hat trick in the season. The last time Florida had four hat tricks in a single season came in 2005-06.
Nathan Horton (Dec. 14 at the New York Islanders), Stephen Weiss (Dec. 2 vs. Colorado) and Steven Reinprecht (Oct. 30 at Dallas) were the other three to accomplish the hat trick.
FIVE THINGS THAT WENT WRONG
-- David Booth led the Panthers in scoring last season and was expected to post over 30 goals again this season. But on Oct. 24, Booth was knocked unconscious by Philadelphia's Mike Richards and missed 45 games. After returning and finally getting up to speed, Booth was knocked out again in Montreal on March 25 and lost for the rest of the season. Booth ended with eight goals.
-- The Panthers didn't have much of a home ice advantage as their 14 wins at BankAtlantic Center were fewest in the league. Florida even lost as the designated home team on opening weekend in Helsinki, Finland.
Florida also struggled against Southeast Division teams, going 8-13-3. The Panthers lost all six matchups with the Capitals. For the first time in franchise history, the Panthers finished last in their division.
-- Florida's power play didn't offer anything special this season, with the Panthers finishing 29th in the 30 team league when holding the advantage. The Panthers scored 44 goals on 309 tries for a success rate of 14.2 percent. Before getting a power play goal Saturday in Tampa Bay, the Panthers hadn't scored a power play goal in six straight games.
The penalty kill wasn't much better; Florida ended ranked 23rd with a stop rate of 79.4 percent. St. Louis led the league with a rate of almost 87 percent.
-- The Panthers struggled to score throughout the season and their 202 total goals were third worst in the league, leading just Calgary (201) and Boston (196). The Panthers set a franchise record by scoring two goals or fewer in 14 consecutive games. The Panthers also ended the season by scoring three goals or less in their final 10 games.
-- Florida expected much more production from certain players than it got back. Rostislav Olesz scored Sunday, giving him 14 goals – tying a career high. In his final 30 games, Olesz had one goal and two assists. Kamil Kreps (five goals, nine assists) and Gregory Campbell (two goals, 15 assists) definitely struggled throughout the season.
The Panthers had hoped free agent signee Ville Koistinen would help out on the blue line, but Pete DeBoer played him at forward instead before the team waived him and sent him to the minors. Koistinen had season ending knee surgery while playing in the AHL.