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Wednesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

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Center Jerred Smithson (above) and winger Wojtek Wolski are the only active players on Florida's roster to not yet receive a penalty; both forwards have played six games with the Panthers
Center Jerred Smithson (above) and winger Wojtek Wolski are the only active players on Florida's roster to not yet receive a penalty; both forwards have played six games with the Panthers

It's a statistic that's received relatively little attention around these here parts - probably since in the Big Picture, it doesn't mean a whole lot...at all - but the Florida Panthers currently rank seventh in the National Hockey League in fewest penalty-minutes per-game with 9.8, trailing sixth-place Toronto (9.5) while barely "leading" the Capitals (10.0). Looking purely at the Eastern Conference, the Cats slot in at fourth behind - get ready - the Isles, Hurricanes and Leafs, all clubs with significantly lower overall point totals, i.e. ho-hum.

Want to get really dirty regarding penalties? Bench minors - seemingly a staple stat throughout 2011-12 for the Panthers - have occurred less than most of us likely imagined: happily far short of the several dozen any unbiased observer would be inclined to estimate after having witnessed three games drawn from a hat, Florida has actually received a mere 10, "good" for second-highest in the league behind Detroit's 11. Wait...Detroit?

The Eastern Front

Rank

Team

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

GF

GA

Home

Away

L10

Streak

1

NY Rangers

65

42

16

7

91

180

137

22-7-2

20-9-5

5-3-2

Lost 1

2

Boston

65

39

23

3

81

214

154

19-12-2

20-11-1

4-5-1

Won 1

3

Florida

65

31

22

12

74

163

184

16-9-8

15-13-4

4-5-1

Won 1

4

Pittsburgh

65

39

21

5

83

209

168

21-8-2

18-13-3

8-2-0

Won 6

5

Philadelphia

65

37

21

7

81

213

193

16-10-5

21-11-2

6-4-0

Won 3

6

New Jersey

66

37

24

5

79

184

176

17-12-3

20-12-2

5-4-1

Won 1

7

Ottawa

68

35

25

8

78

209

201

17-13-3

18-12-5

7-3-0

Won 1

8

Winnipeg

67

32

27

8

72

176

187

21-10-4

11-17-4

6-2-2

Won 2

9

Washington

66

32

28

6

70

175

188

21-10-3

11-18-3

4-5-1

OT 1

10

Tampa Bay

66

31

29

6

68

187

226

20-10-2

11-19-4

7-3-0

Lost 1

11

Buffalo

66

30

28

8

68

163

186

16-11-7

14-17-1

6-2-2

Lost 1

12

Toronto

66

30

29

7

67

198

206

16-13-5

14-16-2

2-7-1

Lost 1

13

NY Islanders

66

28

29

9

65

155

195

15-14-5

13-15-4

4-5-1

Won 2

14

Carolina

66

25

27

14

64

175

200

17-13-6

8-14-8

5-2-3

Won 1

15

Montreal

66

25

31

10

60

170

184

12-15-8

13-16-2

2-7-1

Lost 1

*

Why last night rocked:

  • CAR over WSH, 4-3 (OT); Canes were down by 2 before making it interesting. Caps now 0-2-1 in last three
  • BOS over TOR, 5-4 (REG); I was initially against this outcome, given the Broons were within striking distance of FLA, but one more club has likely been shown the door

Why last night jonesed:

  • OTT over TB, 7-3; Sens' Michalek: PPG, ENG, SHG in final 12:12 of third period. Throw in an assist and plus-4 on the night. Sick.
  • NJ over NYR, 4-1; Brodeur stops 24, Rags beginning to plateau? 3-3-1 last seven.
  • PHI over DET, 3-2 (REG); Wings are 2-4-1 in last seven as Flyers go 6-3 over past nine; face Panthers at Wells Fargo Center tomorrow.

Panthers Playoff Update:

Why tonight is a Big Deal in SoFla:

Focusing on clubs within 6 points of Panthers (74P); teams FLA needs to lose in bold

  • CAR at BUF (68P), 7 p.m.; Canes: 4-2 at Sabs over past six. Oh, and they've gained points in 6 of last 7.
  • TOR (67) at PIT, 7:30 (NBC-SN); just going through the motions here

Next up for the Cats:

  • Allllll together now: tomorrow evening. At Philadelphia. LBC Game Thread utilizes the OptiGrab at 6:30, thereby avoiding those nagging loose frames forever.

Did you know:

  • Of the 18 points (7G) forward Marcel Goc has accumulated over his 40 appearances this season, 12 (5G) have come in 21 games on the road

Tuesday’s Organizational News: