5 Things the Florida Panthers Must Do to Make the 2015-16 NHL Playoffs

By Nick Villano

5 Things the Florida Panthers Must Do to Make the 2015-16 NHL Playoffs

Florida Panthers
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The Florida Panthers are always the lovable loser. They are the team nobody is afraid of and, therefore, nobody watches. The franchise is trying to change all that. They are trying to make smarter moves. Their biggest flaws are getting fixed. This could be a playoff team if these things go right.

5. Win Overtime Games

Florida Panthers
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5. Win Overtime Games

Florida Panthers
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When you are a team on the cusp of playoff contention, then you need all the extra points you can get. With the new rules for overtime, there will be an adjustment period. If the Panthers can figure that out faster than other teams, then they will gain a lot of extra points early.

4. Reilly Smith Plays Better Than Jimmy Hayes

Reilly Smith
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4. Reilly Smith Plays Better Than Jimmy Hayes

Reilly Smith
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The Panthers sent Jimmy Hayes to division-rival Boston in exchange for Reilly Smith. They are both very talented, young players. Smith needs to exceed what Hayes gives to Boston. He needs to show the potential he had two seasons ago.

3. Jaromir Jagr Needs To Play As Big As His Name

Jaromir Jagr
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3. Jaromir Jagr Needs To Play As Big As His Name

Jaromir Jagr
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Jaromir Jagr will turn 44 in the middle of this season. There is no way he can play like he did a decade ago, but he can still play very well. Having him on the team will only help. If he can provide 20 goals and 40 points, then this team will have a chance to make some noise.

2. Young Players Mature Overnight

Florida Panthers
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2. Young Players Mature Overnight

Florida Panthers
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This team has some of the most underrated young players in the league. They have Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau, among many others, who need to step up starting today for this team to be a true contender. The reigning Calder Trophy winner needs to become the No. 1 guy, taking over for an aging Brian Campbell.

1. Roberto Luongo Plays Out Of His Mind

Roberto Luongo
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1. Roberto Luongo Plays Out Of His Mind

Roberto Luongo
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Roberto Luongo is still an elite netminder. He can stand on his head on any given night. He is the key to the Panthers' season. If he can play like a top-five goalie, which he is more than capable, then this team makes the playoffs. It is that simple.

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