Two months into the season the Florida Panthers would face off against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. Off to their best start in a decade they would look for a good game to prove themselves to the league they were serious. Jose Theodore would step up to the challenge with possibly his best performance of the season. Going head to head with Tim Thomas, who was coming off of a career season the two goalies would battle it out in this match up, Thomas being the one to snap first.
With just 2:32 left in the third period Tomas Kopecky would score the eventual game winning goal, and Kris Versteeg would later add an empty net goal to seal the victory. Both teams battled hard all night, especially Theodore who stopped 40 shots faced for the night. Not only did Theodore answer critics who may have questioned the legitimacy of Florida’s lineup and their ability to win games. But he also answered the ones who were asking if he could return to form and beat tougher opponents. I’d say this game specifically is what really caught the leagues attention, and helped Florida with momentum moving forward. Sure, every team has down moments through a season but even when Florida were sliding I feel this game still impacted them well enough to give them confidence, known they have the ability to change things around. Theodore through the course of the season since this game, and into the playoffs proved he did still have what it takes to be a number one goaltender and will likely carry that confidence into next season.
Come back tomorrow for the number 2 individual performance of the season for the Panthers, as we focus on a player the league will be fearing nightly in the future.