From NHL debuts to shootout drama, the Florida Panthers‘ second week of hockey has been exciting.
The Panthers (4-1) are playing exemplary hockey, and it’s become recognized by all of the NHL. Florida’s aggressivnes on the puck has expanded their roster and resulted in a multitude of goals.
Here are the Panthers’ three stars of the week.
1st star: Aleksander Barkov (1G, 2A)
The only thing intertwining in the Panthers’ system is their lines, and Barov is at the helm of it. Joined by wingers Anthony Duclair and Carter Verhaeghe, Florida’s first line was responsible for 10 points, with Barkov in the core for a lot of those critical plays. Duclair and Verhaeghe account for the speed, while Barkov has excelled at passing and finishing.
2nd star: Anthony Duclair (0G, 4A)
Duclair’s stick handling is the perfect substitute for Jonathan Huberdeau, so the All-Star left winger can take his leadership down to the second line. Duclair has been the “Apple Tree” of the Florida Panthers, having accounted for six assists through the first five games of the season, with four of those coming in this past week. Duclair’s ability to find holes in defenses has created spaces for his teammates to score.
3rd star: Aaron Ekblad (0G, 2A)
Ekblad being paired with Mackenzie Weegar on the top defensive line is a gift sent from above. Both Ekblad and Weegar play with more of an aggressive mindset, which fits perfectly with any Panthers line in 2021, but especially at the top.
This week, Ekblad’s passing game once again showed out for everyone to see. Puck movement has been prominent in the Panthers game in 2021, and with Ekblad on the ice most of the time, those key passing moments are showing out in very good ways.