4 Big Questions for the Florida Panthers in 2020-21

The Florida Panthers. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
The Florida Panthers. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /
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Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

There are four big questions the Florida Panthers will need to answer in 2020-21.

We continue to go along with our 2020-21 NHL Season Previews. After taking a look at the Edmonton Oilers, we will now analyze the Florida Panthers.

It was a disappointing 2019-20 season for Florida as they had huge expectations with the additions that former GM Dale Tallon made. The free agent signings, including Sergei Bobrovsky, didn’t seem to help the Panthers get to an elite level. They made the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round before being eliminated by the Islanders in four games.

What followed was Tallon getting fired and former Columbus assistant Bill Zito stepping in as the team’s new general manager. The front office signed a few free agents but made the crazy decision to not bring back Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman.

With a team that has more holes on the roster than before, there is some uncertainty about this team. Many people are skeptical as to how the Panthers will make the playoffs. Without delaying any longer, let’s talk about the four biggest questions facing the Florida Panthers heading into the 2020-21 season.

Florida Panthers
Sergei Bobrovsky (72). (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

4. Can Sergei Bobrovsky get back to an elite level?

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Florida made the biggest splash last offseason by acquiring superstar goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. There were huge expectations, but they ultimately weren’t fulfilled. Bobrovsky had a hard time throughout his first year in Sunrise. For the Russian netminder, his numbers are still hard to look at. For the 2019-20 season, Sergei just averaged a .900 save percentage and had a goals-against average of 3.23. He allowed 151 shots to get past him.

It is even more alarming that backup goalie Chris Driedger, who had previously had only three games of NHL experience before last season, outperformed him. There is no doubt that Bobrovsky disappointed plenty. There is no question that he has to be better for the Panthers to improve. While most of his play was directly on him, most of it wasn’t. Being that this is his second season now in Florida, he should be used to his surroundings by now, and many if not everyone is expecting him to get back to his Vezina Trophy level of performance.

If he doesn’t, his job could be on the line, especially when Spencer Knight is getting closer to being an NHL regular. The Panthers have had one of the worst defenses in the NHL for the last handful of seasons, which is a reason as to why Bobrovsky had a tough time in his first year. This leads us to the next question that the Panthers need to answer.