There is no doubt that the Florida Panthers are a team that didn’t benefit from the long NHL lockout. Florida is sitting in last place right now in the Eastern Conference and odds are slim that the team will make the playoffs after doing so last season. There are some things that the team can do between now and the beginning of next season though that could allow the team to rebound more quickly.
The first thing that has to happen is for the team to get better goaltending. The Panthers are last in the league in that category, giving up over three goals per game. That’s not a winning formula and even after getting a 3-1 win over Thursday, Florida is still 9-16-6 for the season heading into Saturday’s play.
The penalty kill is also worst in the NHL and that could lead to a lot of the goals being scored that raises their goals against average. I know that general manager Dale Tallon brought in a lot of talent from his days with the Chicago Blackhawks but a lot of that talent has been underachieving or been hurt.
I really believe that the team can be better next season just from the fact they will be healthier, and maybe having a regular off-season will assist the team in getting back on track. There were a ton of expectations on the team this season after winning their division last year, but the team has not been able to follow that up. The Panthers need to make a few changes here and there, but should be in much better shape by the beginning of next season.