Fleischmann, Weiss and Versteeg, not exactly hockey household names until now. Anyone before this season started who said that the Florida Panthers would have the number 1 scoring line in the NHL would have been laughed at. We are currently a third of the way through the 2011-2012 season and statistically that is exactly where they are positioned.
What is most remarkable is that this line came together in just this past off season. To have chemistry this quickly and to be leading the NHL in points is probably more than even Dale Tallon envisioned when he brought in Kris Versteeg from the Philadelphia Flyers and Tomas Fleischmann from the Colorado Avalanche.
What is also surprising is this line is equally impressive being a two way line. Each of the members of this line has an excellent +/- ratio as well. This is no doubt one of the reasons why the Panthers are sitting atop the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division. For the stat geeks:
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks are the only teams with line mates with numbers that are higher. Vancouver has the Sedins with Daniel having 33 points (12-21) and Henrik with 30 points (8-22) but the third member of their line is not in the top 10. It also is not too surprising that twins would have chemistry either.
Chicago has Jonathan Toews with 32 points (17-15) and Patrick Kane with 30 points (8-22) who are leading the league in goals and assists respectively. They have not played together for most of this season so their stats are a little misleading as they have only recently been paired together on the same line. Either way I’m sure Fleischmann, Weiss and Versteeg have to be happy with being in the same company as the Sedins and Toews and Kane.
It is probably too early to name this line of Fleischmann, Weiss and Versteeg, as they have not been together long enough. There are those who are superstitious and believe the minute you name a line it will be broken up or worse yet hit a bad patch. One things for sure though they need to be recognized for what they have achieved so far this year.
Now I’ve seen it suggested they should be called the Flash line since Tomas Fleischmann’s nickname is Flash. On message boards I’ve seen some creative names like the Flash, Dash and Cash line because of Fleischmann and the lines speed and they always cash in with goals. The STEAK line for Stephen, Tomas & Kris and apparently they have steak dinners together frequently or Cat scratch fever for the obvious reason.
All I know is the most descriptive name for what they have meant to a dying organization is the Life Line. They not only have injected life into a dying franchise they are making it fun to go back to BankAtlantic Center again. Whenever you can get people to sit inside a cold ice rink and fill the stands when it is sunny and high 70 degrees outside, I’d say that indeed makes you the Life Line of the Florida Panthers.
- It should be noted today the Panthers made trade with the Dallas Stars when the Cats acquired F Krys Barch and a 6th round pick in 2012 in exchange for F Jake Hauswith and a 5th round pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft.
- Also F Bracken Kearns was sent to AHL affiliate San Antonio.
Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow when the Panthers take on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins on FS-F or on radio 560 WQAM @ 7:00 pm local time