After the win against Philadelphia four days ago, the Florida Panthers may have been looking forward to postseason round 1. Against Carolina and Edmonton, the Cats looked unfocused dropping a possible 3 points.
Besides a surge after giving up the first goal, and Stephen Weiss' desperate determination, the Panthers' offense has been stuck on the perimeter. Even their powerplay has failed to get shots on goal. Instead they have elected to pass it back and forth at the top of the umbrella before turning it over.
Still only one point behind Boston for the 2nd seed in the East. Still 4 points up on Washington with a game in hand. But despite their good standing, the 3 points they gave away to teams fighting over lottery picks, would have given the Panthers the 2nd seed by 2, leveling the game in hand Boston has on them. It would have put the Capitals 7 points out, plus the game in hand Florida has on them.
Alternatively, they took two games off. They had a chance to put enough distance between themselves and the rest of the Southeast Division that, ultimately, would have locked it up.
The overtime frame against Edmonton showcased Stephen Weiss's toughness. A forty second shift captured all the emotion of missing the playoffs every year as a 10 year NHL and Panthers veteran. Weiss wants it.
If the Panthers can feed off their Assistant (oh can we just give him the C already?) Captain's passion, the Panthers will fare well against their remaining schedule.
With Boston still skidding, playing a red hot LA team tonight, the Panthers have a chance at 2nd seed if they turn it around now. They can ill-afford to lose any more games this season, save a possible one in Detroit.