There is no team that is enjoying post-Christmas hockey more than the Florida Panthers. The team from Sunrise, Florida has compiled an 8-0-1 record since the holiday break, and the offense has been off the charts.
On Saturday, the Panthers struck for an impressive nine goals against the Columbus Blue Jackets, marking the second time that the club has tallied nine markers in a game during this championship-caliber outburst. It also gives Florida 16 goals in the last two games, as the Panthers scored seven times in Friday’s contest.
Overall, the team has recorded 54 goals over the last nine matchups, posting a +30 goal differential over that time. Even in the lone loss during that span, the Panthers manage five goals, exemplifying just how hot this offense is.
The Florida Panthers are lighting the lamp at an incredible rate.
The stars of the Florida Panthers, as you might expect, have been leading the charge since late December. Forward Jonathan Huberdeau is as hot as any player in the NHL, as he has recorded 15 assists and 20 points in his last nine contests. Florida has been led in the goals department by forward Anthony Duclair, who has deposited the puck in the back of the net seven times in the last nine games.
The offense has been coming from the defensemen on the roster as well. Aaron Ekblad has accumulated 11 points (two goals and nine assists), while MacKenzie Weegar has ten points (three goals and seven assists).
Obviously, the Panthers will not be able to maintain this type of offense, as no team would be capable of sustaining six goals per game over an extended period of time. Still, knowing that Florida is capable of this type of scoring reaffirms the idea that this could be an extremely dangerous team once the playoffs roll around.
With a 26-7-5 record, the Panthers sit atop the Atlantic Division, tied in points with the Tampa Bay Lightning while having played two fewer games. Florida’s 57 points, .750 point percentage, and +47 goal differential are all top marks in the NHL.
The next test for the white-hot Florida offense will be a five-game western road trip. With slumping teams and susceptible defenses lurking ahead, expect the Panthers to continue this offensive barrage.