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FLORIDA PANTHERS 2013: What Went Right (Not Much) and What Went Wrong (Where to Stop/Start?)

FIVE THINGS THAT WENT WRONG

-- Injuries took apart the Panthers as they led the league with 338 man games lost. Sure, some minor players were gone, but Florida really struggled without the likes of Stephen Weiss (17 games played), Kris Versteeg (10), Jose Theodore (15), Ed Jovanovski (six) and Sean Bergenheim (none).

-- The Panthers felt good after a rousing 5-1 win over Carolina to open things up, but things went south in a hurry. Florida lost its next five games and never recovered, finishing last among the 30 NHL teams.

-- Goaltenders Theodore and Scott Clemmensen got off to rough starts with Theodore tearing two groin muscles right as he was turning things around. Jacob Markstrom came up and showed promise as the future starter.

-- Florida's penalty kill was not only last in the league, but it was statistically the worst since at least 1997-98 (that's as far back as the NHL stats go). The Panthers gave up power play goals almost 26 percent of the time.

-- The Panthers got shutout seven times this season as consistent scoring was a problem throughout. The Panthers ended tied for last in goals scored and 29th in 5-on-5 scoring.

FIVE THINGS THAT WENT RIGHT

-- With so many injuries, the Panthers were forced to plug holes with younger players. The experience could prove beneficial in the future as Markstrom, Drew Shore, Nick Bjugstad and Quinton Howden found what it takes to succeed at this level. Jonathan Huberdeau looks like a future star as he tied for the rookie scoring title.

-- Without Weiss, Versteeg and Bergenheim, the Panthers got strong offensive seasons from Tomas Fleischmann (who led the team in scoring for the second straight season), Tomas Kopecky, Huberdeau and Shawn Matthias.

-- Florida's power play went through stretches without production, but for the most part was pretty good. The Panthers ended with a 20.4 percent success rate -- ranked sixth in the league.

-- Believe it or not, finishing last for the first time in franchise history may prove to be something that went right. The Panthers will find out Monday whether they will pick first or second in this top-heavy draft. Florida ended the season with 10 players on the roster who are 25 or younger and will add to that youth in June.

-- If you are going to have a season like this, at least let it be a short one.

Comments

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This a strong draft so this might be the year to be bad if you have to have one but that said Panthers had the chance to pick top players in the past and passed on Rick Nash and Eric Staal instead picking Boumeester and Horton. Everyone was raving about Boumeester much like today they rave about Jones and Panthers dropped down to take him instead of taking Nash and for all the great things you can say (or not) about Boumeester the Panthers never scored enough goals to win. Defense is great but winning requires goal scoring and it is a lot more exciting watching goals being scored than 1-0 games. Remember the excitement Pavel Bure brought to Sunrise. It was electric! Panthers need a scoring centerman. Somebody tell Dale Tallon how great it was watching Bure every time he had the puck he was a threat, Panthers haven't had that type of excitement since he was traded to Rangers. That is why the there are less people in the arena. People want to see goals scored and stand up and cheer and there hasn't been enough of that in the last decade of failure.

This season's done and over. Already looking ahead to next year.

Looking forward to tonight, wouldn't mind if we got the #2 so we'd be forced to taking McKinnon (or Druion). I don't think Tallon trades the pick this year, otherwise he'll have ALOT of young guys coming due on their contracts at the same time, and they won't be able to sign them all. They'll stay and pick #1 or #2.

Trade the Primadona that Keenan was making fun of and started the bad luck since day one!

Dineen is an average coach who also won't play russians .

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