The Panthers looked dead in the water just a few short months ago, but they’ve resurged and are just one point behind the Hurricanes for the second Wild Card spot.
They are getting big-time production from Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck (who may or may not have been tripped) and Jonathon Huberdeau.
All three of these guys are 24 years old or younger which gives them a nice core to build around. Plus you can’t forget about Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle on the blue line; both are forces to be reckoned with.
When healthy, Roberto Luongo still looks like vintage Luongo. At 38-years old he has a .928 save percentage and a 2.57 goals against average.
Fourteen of his 21 starts have been quality starts giving him a solid quality start percentage of .667. If two out of three times you’re getting a quality start from your netminder you’re in good shape.
They have a very offensive minded defensive core but lack the scoring depth from their forward group.
They have the 10th most goals in the conference but have given up the sixth most goals in the East as well. With a -13 goal differential they are on struggling to keep it out of their own net more than they score.
This team is 8-2 in their last 10 games and might just be getting hot at the right time to make a playoff push.