Two to go: Florida Panthers homestand after three

Florida returned from a six-city road trip (going 2-3-1, or 5 of 12 possible points) on Tuesday, February 8th; thus began a five-game homestand from Sunrise, which continues Wednesday against Philadelphia. How have the Cats fared on the scoresheets over the first three matches?

2/8:  a 2-1 St. Louis regulation victory.  FLA notables... PP: 1 for 4 (25%).  PK: 5 for 5 (100%).  Goal: Dennis Wideman (8th).  Assists: Stephen Weiss, Michael FrolikHits: Steve Bernier, Rostislav Olesz (6 apiece, Blues won the night 40-28).  SOG: Chris Higgins (5).  Plus/minus leader: 9 tied at even.  Plus/minus trailer: David Booth (-2).  TOI leader: Wideman (25:30, 28 shifts).  TOI trailer: Darcy Hordichuk (3:26, 6 shifts).  Saves: Tomas Vokoun (26).  PIM leader: Bryan Allen (5 min, fight with B.J. Crombeen).  Blocked shots: Wideman (3).  FLA won 62% of faceoffs (29-18).

2/10:  a 3-2 Buffalo overtime victory.  FLA notables... PP: 1 for 1 (100%).  PK: 2 for 2 (100%).  Goals: Bernier (5th), Marty Reasoner (11th).  Assists: Jason Garrison, Wideman (2).  Hits: Jack Skille (10, Panthers won the night 51-41).  SOG: three tied with 4.  Plus/minus leaders: Reasoner, Radek Dvorak (+1).  Plus/minus trailer:  Booth, Higgins (-2).  TOI leader: Wideman (27:47, 31 shifts).  TOI trailer: Hordichuk (3:22, 6 shifts).  Saves: Vokoun (24).  PIM leader:  Hordichuk (5 min, fight with Cody McCormick).  Blocked shots: Wideman (3).  Clubs tied in faceoff wins at 50% (29-29).

2/13:  a 3-2 Florida regulation victory over San Jose.  FLA notables... PP: 0 for 3 (0%).  PK: 1 for 1 (100%).  Goals: Mike Santorelli (15th), Higgins (10th), Garrison (3rd).  Assists: Cory Stillman, Keaton Ellerby, Reasoner (2), Wideman, Higgins.  Hits: Hordichuk (6, Panthers won the night 36-29).  SOG: Higgins (5).  Plus/minus leaders: Mike Weaver, Wideman (+2).  Plus/minus trailerJoe Callahan (-2).  TOI leader: Wideman (26:06, 27 shifts).  TOI trailer: Hordichuk (5:18, 7 shifts).  PIM leader: Allen (17 min; instigator, fighting, misconduct vs Jamal Mayers).  Blocked shots:  Garrison (5).  FLA won 45% of faceoffs (24-29).

A few trends...or not:

  • Not much question Dennis Wideman will continue in his role as TOI master of the Cats' domain as things stand now. A return by captain Bryan McCabe - perhaps rather soon - could cut into those minutes, while Garrison's strong play of late may invert the entire equation.
  • 82 to 75 (cumulatively) on faceoff wins is sharp, but how much is Weiss' nagging hand injury holding them back?
  • More WideMania: guy's on a four-game point streak (2 goals, 3 assists), with 4 of those points over the past three at home.
  • David Booth is struggling mightily on offense, with no points and a -4 during the homestand. Opportunites are there, given his 11 SOG and uncountable missed attempts.
  • In only two games with his new club, winger Jack Skille has yet to score in any capacity but his effort is unquestioned: 14 hits and 5 blocked shots. Shots on goal are another story: 2 total. In one game (Buffalo).
  • What's with Santorelli? No hits one night, five the next, then zippo once again? Someone please define this dude's role before March. Word on the street is this club is being built from a foundation of physicality...
  • He's not scoring, but Olesz has at least dotted the the past three with, well, something: a +2 and 9 hits.
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