The Florida Panthers‘ momentum never seems to stop. After allowing the first goal, the newly deemed “Comeback Cats” have given the NHL a permanent notice of a most likely come back every time they step on the ice.
With tonights win over Chicago, the Florida Panthers move to 12-4-3 in 2021 after conceding first.
The story early in this game was the explosive outbreak of Chicago, as Patrick Kane opened for both teams on the scoring sheet, which looked like a very costly turnover on Florida’s side. For the Blackhawks, this takeaway would be a very key reason they had a lot of momentum through the first two periods of Monday’s game. Chicago only took away the puck one other time, while Florida was able to earn six takeaways.
Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling had his best game dressed for Florida. While earning an assist and being credited with a hit, Forsling scored his first goal as a Panther, which truly brought all the momentum towards their side of the table. With only two assists before Monday’s match, Forsling was looking for a chance to finally break out and prove his worth to Florida. Also earning a plus-minus of one, Forsling may be starting to see a change of the tide going his way.
Now halfway through the 2021 season, Florida currently sits atop the league with 42 points and an outstanding 19-5-4 record.
“We’re just a different team this year and I think the league is starting to notice that,” defenseman Mackenzie Weegar said. “We deserve all the credit that we’re getting right now. It’s fun to be in South Florida.”
Head coach Joel Quenneville said: “You couldn’t say enough good things, but at the same time we want to get better as we go along here.”
Now on a four-game win streak, the Panthers move into the second half of the season with the most momentum, ready to make a push towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Star of the Game: C Aleksander Barkov (1G, 2A)
It’s evident that Barkov is the hardest-working player on the ice every game. It doesn’t matter who, when, or where the Panthers play, he’ll always leave everything out on the ice.
“Pretty much every shift guys are left with their jaw hanging on the floor,” defenseman Aaron Ekblad said.
The Florida Panthers leader is now tied for the most points for Florida in 2021, tying LW Jonathan Huberdeau with 34 Points.
“All I want to do is work hard for this team. I want to win,” Barkov said.
In his third year as the Panthers’ captain and his eighth career year, Barkov is putting the NHL on notice for the intensity that Florida brings every night.