Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger (60) is congratulated by goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) after they defeated the Nashville Predators during an NHL hockey sport, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Damage of day, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers start every season with the identical issue, to fetch off to a solid start and never select an early hit in the standings.
And this year, it took place.
The Panthers misplaced to Detroit 4-1 on Sunday, considerable resulting from it modified into the first time in nine games this season in which Florida didn’t fetch now not lower than a point in the standings. Florida’s 6-1-2 start through nine games is the second-most effective in franchise history, topped finest by the 6-0-3 file to initiate the 1996-97 season.
“We’ve been consistent in most games,” Florida coach Joel Quenneville acknowledged. “Whether or now not forward or behind, tie games, we appear to play the identical intention and don’t swap the vogue and follow it.”
Starting neatly doesn’t allege Florida anything. Starting poorly, nonetheless, has pleasing noteworthy snuffed out some Panthers seasons earlier than they even started.
The 5 Florida groups that went to the playoffs — 1995-96, 1996-97, 1999-2000, 2011-12 and 2015-16 — averaged 12 standings points throughout the season’s first nine games. Final season’s crew, which made the qualifying round that preceded the playoffs, had 11 points through nine games.
The 18 Florida groups that mustered no extra than nine points in the standings at this point in the season combined to play zero playoff games.
So, it’s a start.
“I in reality feel treasure we had a mountainous start to the season,” acknowledged Florida’s Alex Wennberg, who had the target in Sunday’s loss. “Clearly, right here’s now not the tip result we wanted, but we are able to’t bury our heads too noteworthy in this one. Upright now, it’s a a form of time table where you’re playing them again and I in reality feel treasure that’s a mountainous different to come again at it.”
Florida plays the Pink Wings again at residence on Tuesday.
There were plenty of correct indicators: Jonathan Huberdeau had a 5-point sport ultimate week, he and Aleksander Barkov have a combined 23 points to this point, unique Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe has six goals already after having nine ultimate season with Tampa Bay, and goalie Chris Driedger — off to a noteworthy higher start than Sergei Bobrovsky — has a 1.97 goals-against common and .937 attach percentage.
“Driegs is de facto correct,” Huberdeau acknowledged. “When he’s in safe, I think we correct in reality feel peaceful in entrance of him.”
Florida’s sprint of points in eight consecutive games also matched the sixth-longest such bound in franchise history. Past Florida groups have had three nine-sport point streaks, the 1996-97 crew had a 12-sport bound to initiate that season, and the file modified into a 13-sport sprint by the 2015-16 Panthers.
There’s obviously a lengthy intention to trot, however the Panthers finally have the start they wanted.
“Tons of correct, obvious things, starting off right here in the excellent vogue,” Quenneville acknowledged.
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