Are the Florida Panthers a Contender?

Florida Panthers



You are living under a rock if you don’t know how good Florida is right now. This team has always been average at best over the last few years. They either squeak into the playoffs or just miss by a few points. The biggest need for this team has been goaltending. With the signing of Sergei Bobrovsky last offseason, this team felt like their goalie situation was fixed. It took a season, but this team has a tandem in Driedger and Bobrovsky they trust and they are putting on a show. As a result, they are off to a hot start.




Chris Driedger and Sergei Bobrovsky have records of 5-1-1 each to start the season. If you have to give the edge to one over the other, it has to be Driedger. He has excelled with his save percentage and GAA over Bobrovsky. Both have had their ups and downs early on, but having both of them down the stretch will help the Panthers immensely.



Offensive Power

These Panthers have been firing on all cylinders this season. They have been getting production from their superstars and from some unlikely heroes. How about this Carter Verhaeghe fella? He is being paid in chump change right now and he is producing at a rapid pace. He has seven goals and five assists in fourteen games so far. Not bad for a guy released from the Tampa Bay Lightning.



Another great addition to the team has been Patric Hornqvist. He was brought here in a trade from Pittsburgh and has been incredible for these Panthers. He has six goals and seven assists in fourteen games. The two-time Stanley Cup Champion has been a great leader in the locker room and a pain in the ass for goalies.



Of course, there is Jonathan Huberdeau leading the way. He leads the team in goals, assists, and points on the young season. His filthy hands and slick passing game has propelled Florida to the start they are having. He is such an underrated player in the league. How is he only making $5.9 million for the next three seasons?



To answer the overall question, I will say yes. These Florida Panthers have assembled a team that can score, play defense, and has a solid goaltending game. If they keep playing the way they are, they can make some noise in the playoffs. Keep an eye on these Cats.