The Florida Panthers have played six games so far in the 2013-14 season and have shown their fans flashes of both stellar play and a complete lack of execution. Today’s game against the Los Angeles Kings was a sign of more of the latter, and that’s been the case in four of the six games.
In their two wins, the Panthers have pushed ten pucks into the oppositions’ nets. In their four losses, Florida has scored nine times. The lack of goals in the losing efforts have come from getting outworked and smothered in the offensive zone.
Today once again, the Panthers got off a meager number of shots, a total of 20, and none in the final nine minutes of both the first and second periods. In both of its wins, Florida got 39 shots from their offensive lines.
While the offense has been hit-or-miss, the play in goal has actually been dependable, but dependably mediocre. After six games Florida is averaging allowing four goals per game. This is putting pressure on an offense that is struggling to make plays consistently and needs to improve. Tim Thomas may return from his groin injury soon, and while his potential is higher than Jacob Markstrom‘s, he has also had an up-and-down season in the net.
There seems to be a big difference in the emotional level of this team on a nightly basis that highly impacts their play. The Panthers have seemed like a different team in their intensity and effort in their two wins as compared to their four losses. Their two victories are partially attributed to the fact that both of them came in opener games.
The Panthers wish that every game could be an opener. Their two solid performances were the season opener in Dallas Stars and their home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Until the Panthers can find a way to even out their emotions and create some consistency, winning two out of every five will be the ceiling for them.