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Tuesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

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Cats get a little bit of needed help from Islanders

Columbus Blue Jackets v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The Florida Panthers long (and I do mean long) shot bid for an unlikely playoff spot got a little bit of help last night as the New York Islanders blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets by a 2-0 count.

The Cats trail the Blue Jackets (WC2) by seven points with each team having 13 games left to play. As I posted the other day, expecting the Panthers to win all their remaining games is simply too much to ask, but if Columbus (5-5 in last ten) continues to waffle the rest of the way, the door could get left slightly ajar.

That same type of .500 hockey would have to apply to Montreal, and Philadelphia would need to cool off a bit, too.

So let’s say Columbus and Montreal each go 6-7 the rest of the way. That puts them at 91 points, meaning the Cats would need to finish out by amassing 20 points in their final 13 tilts. Extremely difficult, but not outlandishly so. There is still a glimmer of hope, so I’ll keep the candle burning until the math says otherwise.

The Springfield Thunderbirds had a good weekend, picking up 5 out of a possible six points.

On Friday, Springfield beat the Devils 3-2 in Binghamton with the goals going to Jean-Sebastien Dea, Paul Thompson and Sebastian Repo. Assists went to Thompson, Anthony Greco, Jacob MacDonald and Harry Zolnierczyk. Chris Driedger made 27 saves to get the win.

The Hartford Wolf Pack took a 3-2 overtime decision from the T-Birds in Springfield on Saturday. Harry Zolnierczyk and Anthony Greco were the goal-scorers. Jean-Sebastien Dea, Paul Thompson, Juho Lammikko and Ryan Horvat drew assists. Alex Sakellaropoulos made his first AHL appearance and finished with 24 stops.

On Sunday, the Thunderbirds bounced back with a 3-1 road win over the Providence Bruins. Lamp-lighters were Joel Lowry, Anthony Greco and Vincent Praplan. Assists went to Julian Melchiori , Jonathan Ang, Riley Stillman and Jean-Sebastien Dea. Chris Driedger made 25 saves to post his 11th win.

Springfield (26-24-7-5) is in seventh place in the Atlantic Division, and like its parent club, currently seven points out of a playoff spot.