Notable Players Out: Roberto Luongo
First Key Game: Opening night (10/3/2019) the Panther’s crucial first game will be against in-state and in division rival Tampa Bay Lightning.
Odds to win the division
13:2 (4th overall) (via Betway)
Is this a bet worth taking?
This bet is… Not worth taking. I am impressed with the moves the Panthers have made especially compared to the minimal steps other teams in the Atlantic have made. But while Florida looks sharp, there are three other juggernaut teams in the division who look much more likely to wrap up the playoff places.
There are other teams in the Atlantic that are better values to be had and with Quenneville coming in and with Bobrosky coming in they should have an easier time keeping pucks out of their net but are facing some of the top offenses in league with their division.
Keys To The Season
Story to watch
Will the big splashes be worth it? While the Panthers have made splashes in the past, Coach Q and Bobrovsky are next-level talents. This team and fanbase is starving for the playoffs and players have come out and said as much. They need to fill the barn and show Panthers fans they are not just offseason winners but can ice a winning squad.
Player to watch
Aleksander Barkov– while there are other stories I think Barkov will be the one to watch this season. While he is mentioned as one of the most underrated players in the league Barkov had 96 points last season. This put Aleksander 10th in the league for points, while this is impressive he was also a -3. There is something to be said about this, and it wasn’t about his play the Panthers rarely got the “timely” save last season.
If Barkov can continue his strong game and help lead the Panthers, he will be a household name.
Health. While the Panthers look solidified in their defensive corps, Anton Stralman is 33 and missed a fair amount of games last season. They may need to add another defenseman at the deadline to pursue a run.
If the Panther were an animal, what would they be?
Groundhog. While the Panthers have looked primed to strike in league with the talent they have in the past this will be the real test. Is it six more weeks of winter in sunrise come playoff time or will the Panthers be heading for the beach?