Category Archives: Florida Panthers Gear

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Sergei Bobrovsky had a great game against his former team as the Florida Panthers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 for a much-needed win.
Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky shook off the cobwebs last night as he beat his former team, the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. Bobrovsky had 10 days of rest and it certainly helped. Let’s get right to the recap of last night’s wonderful win!

Evgenii Dadonov opened up the scoring early for the Panthers as he scored 18 seconds into the game, assisted by the young captain Aleksander Barkov and Keith Yandle, to make the score 1-0. Josh Brown also had a fight in the first and it was a great one. Brown then scored a goal in the second period, assisted by Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, to make the score 2-0.

It’s worth mentioning that Barkov and Huberdeau are one of the top scoring lines in the entire National Hockey League. When they are on the ice together, everyone around them seems to mesh together beautifully. There’s a certain leadership and maturity that they bring to the team despite their young age and it’s a wonderful thing to witness as a hockey fan.

The next goal was scored in the third period by Brett Connolly on the power play, assisted by Keith Yandle and Mike Hoffman, to make the score 3-0 Panthers. The next goal was scored by V. Gavrikov and assisted by Texier and Anderson to put the Columbus Blue Jackets on the board and eliminate the possibility of a shutout for Sergei Bobrovsky and the Florida Panthers.

However, all was well as Hoffman, assisted by Colton Sceviour, would put the game away on an empty-net goal and send the Blue Jackets back to cold Ohio empty-handed. Last night was also very special as the Panthers honored the Koffee Kult’s Hero Among Us, who was a WWII Veteran who also celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday.

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As always, the appreciation for his service was felt as the fans gave him a warm round of applause. The three stars of the game were Aleksander Barkov, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Josh Brown. Tonight we’re right back at it for a back to back. Tonight we face the San Jose Sharks. Let’s leave them singing “Baby shark, boo hoo hoo.” That’s all I got for now. As always, thanks for reading and as always Let’s Go Cats!!!!

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The Panthers’ offense has gone cold.

For the second game in a row, the Panthers — who entered this week with the fourth-highest scoring offense in the NHL — were held to just one goal.

On Thursday night at the BB&T Center, it was the New York Islanders who shut down the Panthers 3-1.

Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky had 27 saves as Florida lost its second consecutive game and fell to 3-3-0 during this nine-game homestand, which is the longest in franchise history.

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“It’s unfortunate we lost the game. It’s the NHL — it’s not easy to win,” said Bobrovsky, who has allowed just six goals in his past four games. “But we have a great group of guys, very talented and skilled. We believe in each other. We will work hard and move on.”

Mike Hoffman scored Florida’s lone goal, his 12th of the season.

Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss stopped everything else — 32 shots in all — as the Islanders improved to 19-0-1 this season when scoring at least three goals.

Perhaps Thursday’s result should come as no surprise. The Islanders are a very good team with elite goaltending.

Since the start of last season, only the Washington Capitals and St. Louis Blues have earned more wins than the Islanders.

And, entering Thursday, the Islanders’ goals-against average of 2.38 ranked third in the NHL.

Devon Toews and Mathew Barzal scored power-play goals for the Islanders, and Anders Lee added an empty-netter with three seconds left. Jordan Eberle added two assists, his first such game since Oct. 11.

New York went 2 for 4 on its power play. The Panthers went 0 for 3, and their failure with the man advantage midway through the third period helped seal their fate.

Greiss, who robbed Brett Connolly with 3:55 left in the third, broke his personal two-game losing streak and also beat the Panthers for the second time this season. He beat them 2-1 on Nov. 9.

New York opened the scoring on a power-play goal with just 49 seconds elapsed in the second period.

The power play started at the end of the first, when Florida’s Frank Vatrano was called for tripping Toews. Then, thanks to an effective Lee screen, Toews’ long shot from the point made it past Bobrovsky. Eberle earned the assist for his set-up pass.

Florida got in trouble with another penalty — this time Panthers center Vincent Trocheck caught holding Anthony Beauvillier — and New York’s power play converted again.

Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar tried to pass the puck out of his own zone, but Eberle intercepted and fed to Barzal, who scored on the open left side of the net with 4:49 expired in the second.

Weegar, meanwhile, cracked his stick on top of the Panthers crossbar in disgust.

Florida cut its deficit to 2-1 with 9:36 gone in the second. Panthers defenseman Mark Pysyk, playing his first game since Dec. 3 after picking up several healthy scratches, jumped up to create a two-on-one opportunity. Pysyk then passed to Hoffman, who fired a high shot from the left circle, beating Greiss stick-side.

But the power play came up empty, and the Panthers couldn’t crack New York’s air-tight defense.

“That’s what they do — they try to frustrate you,” Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said.

“They check you. They outwork you. We didn’t play anywhere near as hard as we had to play to be successful.”

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Photo gallery: Islanders at Panthers | Thursday, December 12, 2019
Florida Panthers center Brian Boyle (9) fights with New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) during the second period of an NHL regular season hockey game at the BB&T Center on Thursday, December 12, 2019 in Sunrise. DAVID SANTIAGO [email protected]
Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov (16) and Aaron Ekblad (5) battle for a puck against New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) during the third period of an NHL regular season hockey game at the BB&T Center on Thursday, December 12, 2019 in Sunrise. DAVID SANTIAGO [email protected]

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After deciding to keep pending UFA Mike Hoffman on the roster to start the season,there have been multiple differing opinions on about his value to the team.
There’s a lot of great things about Mike Hoffman‘s game as a Florida Panther. Led the team in power-play goals, held a massive point streak in his first month with the team, and has one of the loudest slapshots in the NHL. Since arriving, he’s been a massive part of the power play that ranked 2nd in the NHL last season.

There’s also a good amount of questionable things about Hoff’s play. He’s not the fastest skater, doesn’t use his size as well as a lot of others his frame, and shows a consistent struggle to contribute at even strength.

Personally, I’ve gone through a lot of different opinions on Hoffman. At times, I’ve had to appreciate how much work he’s done for the Panthers’ power play, whether it was him scoring or just providing an option. Others points, usually when the Panthers are struggling, it’s incredibly frustrating to watch Hoffman’s little creativity at even strength.

Hoffman, unlike Aleksander Barkov or Evgenii Dadonov, doesn’t really create his own shot effectively. He doesn’t have much of a go-to move when isolated, but rather creating space off the puck and waiting for a perfect saucer pass to clock into the top shelf.

In 108 games as a Panther, Hoffman has produced an impressive 88 points, with 46 of those being goals. Since the start of last season, that is the most goals out of any Panthers player in that time frame, with Barkov’s 42 as a close second.

While that’s one way to look at it, you also have to look at the points shares between 5v5 and 5v4/5v3. Out of Hoffman’s 88 points, 42 of them have been on the power play, the most amongst forwards since Hoffman’s debut. Keith Yandle‘s 50 points top Hoff’s 42, however, Yandle has only had eight goals amongst those 50 points, whereas Hoffman has 22 power-play goals.

So, there’s a clear sign that Hoffman is much more of a threat on the man advantage in comparison to 5v5, but even still, he’s scored the most goals amongst Panthers since he joined. That continues to raise the question, how do you value him?

He’s played on three lines since joining the Panthers, showing he has too much talent compared to the third liners, but not being able to consistently play with Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau on the top line. Hoffman has typically played on the second line with Vincent Trocheck and Frank Vatrano (or Brett Connolly this season).

With all that considered, a glaring problem with Hoffman at the moment is that he is a pending UFA. With the Panthers having to pay both Hoffman and Dadonov this off-season, it seems more likely Dadonov will be the one who is extended.

With players like Kevin Hayes getting $8 million, it’s likely that both Hoffman and Dadonov, both 30, will look for around that same price tag. The Panthers will likely have around $12.4 million in free cap space with Jayce Hawryluk and Mark Pysyk coming off the books, and it’s very unlikely that Hoffman and Dadonov will call it even and take $6 million each.

With that, it makes Hoffman expendable, to an extent. If Florida can dangle him to a team in need of goalscoring in exchange for a decent defenseman, Dale Tallon could consider pulling the trigger. Trading Hoffman, someone who’s shown he can put together a consistent point streak at any time, might not be a good idea for a team that wants to make a deep playoff run.

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Thursday night, the Cardiac Cats made their dramatic return, erasing their second 4-0 deficit in a matter of two weeks in a 5-4 OT win over the Anaheim Ducks.
Let’s be clear, the Florida Panthers were nowhere near their best. The comeback win was very impressive, but it’s not a game that this team can play consistently and expect to pull off results.

It’s highly improbable, there have only been four games in which a team has overcome a four-goal gap to earn a win. The Florida Panthers have done it twice.

It came with logical lineup changes and some selfless passing, but Florida somehow got the job done, scoring five goals in a span of 24:00 to defeat the Ducks on home ice. For the first 36:00, however, the Panthers should not be proud of how they played.

It was a kind of game that Anaheim wanted to play, and Joel Quenneville‘s team were surprisingly being not just out-played, but out-coached. The game was very narrow, neither team really spreading the puck out in the neutral zone, but rather staying condensed, patient, defensive. This is not how the Florida Panthers win games, but for the Ducks, they were quite content with the pace.

It showed on the scoreboard, too. Four goals unanswered left Florida in a deep hole with less than 2:00 to go in the second. Brett Connolly‘s quickfire two goals might’ve been the spark of the comeback, but it wasn’t anything different from how the Panthers had been playing. The real change came coming out of the locker room, heading into the final 20.

In previous years of coaching, the Florida Panthers have been very gung-ho to making drastic changes when facing a huge lead. Tom Rowe and Bob Boughner are both equally as guilty to messing with all four lines over one intermission. Players like Mike Hoffman would go through three lines in one game in an effort to make something work.

Now, Joel Quenneville knows what he has in his players, and knows how to get the best out of them. Instead of trashing the first line because they’d been held scoreless by putting someone like Connolly on it, Quenneville made just one change; Frank Vatrano to line two, Mike Hoffman to line three.

The change didn’t seem too meaningful but was a stroke of genius. While he didn’t get any points in the 3rd period or OT period, Vatrano was electric in this comeback. Vatrano laid hit after hit and started chasing the pucks deep in the Anaheim zone, something Florida did very little of in the first two periods.

Anaheim’s first goal of the game came off an extended shift in which the Panthers’ forwards eventually lost focus and left Max Jones wide open at the side of the net. Florida’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th goals all came on extended shifts, moving around in the zone, and catching the Ducks napping.

Before we get too much into the goals, two players deserve some immense credit for keeping the Ducks at bay; Mike Matheson and Sergei Bobrovsky.

Matheson, who is usually to blame on a nightly basis for a goal, was really impressive at getting back in defense. He made a great play on Derek Grant in the second period (even though Denis Malgin would trip Grant seven seconds later, leading to ANA’s third goal) to poke the puck free on a potential breakaway. In the third, he did that same thing, stripping Troy Terry of the puck when he could have iced the game.

For Bobrovsky, it’s pretty straightforward. Look at the stats tonight, you’ll think he struggled again, but see how three of the four goals really weren’t his fault (Jones wide open in the slot, Jakob Silfverberg screening the goalie on Rickard Rakell‘s power-play goal, and Keith Yandle‘s giveaway leading to Ondrej Kase‘s unassisted goal). Yet again, Bobrovsky was immense in the fourth period, saving all 12 shots on goal to keep Florida alive.

For certain, however, this comeback does not happen without Aaron Ekblad. He has been, to put it lightly, fantastic under Joel Quenneville. His defense looks improved, he’s smarter with the puck, and he finally got to flash some of his two-way value, getting two goals and a primary assist to lead the Cats’ charge.

He won the first star of the night, getting the game-winning goal and primary assist to Dominic Toninato‘s game-tying goal, but it still just doesn’t say enough about his game. He was great defensively, the only time he gave up a goal was Yandle’s giveaway, he kept multiple plays alive with his effort, and was rewarded handsomely. Also, the celebration on the game-winner was sick.

It all comes with one thing: confidence. Under Rowe, Ekblad suffered a bad concussion, in which he was rushed back into the lineup, and played well below his standard. Under Boughner, Ekblad was constantly put into bad situations and really began to lack courage on a nightly basis.

Now, Ekblad has transformed back into 2015-16 all-star Ekblad. 23:30 of time on ice, the most amongst all Panthers, two blocks, three shots on goal (two goals, one which led to a goal), two blocks, three points, arguably the best game of his career.

As I said in the beginning, the Panthers cannot continuously play like this. Coming back from 4-0 down is so improbable, there have only been four seasons in which teams have come back from 4+ goals more than three times. This is the first time of this century there have been four 4+ goal comebacks.

The Panthers, however, deserve some massive praise for this. For a team to play as bad as they did, yet still find a way to win isn’t just the sign of a good team, but a sign of champions.

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Le gardien des Panthers de la Floride Chris Driedger ne pouvait pas espérer un meilleur dénouement pour son premier départ dans la Ligue nationale de hockey (LNH), samedi soir, face aux Predators de Nashville.

L’homme masqué de 25 ans a repoussé l’ensemble des 27 rondelles dirigées sur son filet et sa formation l’a emporté au compte de 3 à 0.

«Honnêtement, je suis sans mots, a indiqué Driedger au site internet de la LNH après sa brillante performance. C’était un long chemin. Ils m’ont dit que j’amorcerais le match d’hier [vendredi]. J’étais vraiment nerveux au début, mais une fois que la rondelle est tombée, je me suis senti bien.»

«C’est incroyable, a-t-il poursuivi. Tous les tirs que je voyais, j’étais en mesure de les arrêter. Si je ne les voyais pas, ils [mes coéquipiers] les bloquaient. Ils ont fait un travail impressionnant en avant de moi.»

Un parcours sinueux

Ce n’était cependant pas la première fois que Driedger gardait les buts dans le circuit Bettman, puisque lors de son passage avec les Sénateurs d’Ottawa, il a été appelé en relève à trois occasions, et ce, lors de trois campagnes différentes.

Le natif de Winnipeg et son équipement ont cependant beaucoup voyagé depuis. En effet, le gardien a porté l’uniforme de neuf équipes depuis le début de sa carrière professionnelle en 2013-2014. Il a d’ailleurs joué pour cinq formations de la Premier AA League (ECHL).

Driedger a amorcé son parcours dans l’organisation des Panthers lorsqu’il a signé un contrat de deux saisons en février 2019. Cette saison, il a été dominant avec les Thunderbirds de Springfield dans la Ligue américaine, maintenant une moyenne de buts alloués de 2,09 et un taux d’efficacité de ,938.

Un message à Sergei Bobrovsky

Si les statistiques de Driedger lui ont permis d’obtenir un premier départ dans la LNH, les malheurs du gardien Sergei Bobrovsky peuvent également expliquer que l’on soit à la recherche de solutions en Floride.

Le Russe, qui possède un contrat de sept ans d’une valeur totale de 70 M$, détient le deuxième pire pourcentage d’arrêts (,884) de la LNH. En 21 matchs, il a aussi maintenu une moyenne de buts alloués de 3,48.

Bobrovsky devait initialement obtenir le départ contre les Panthers, mais l’entraîneur-chef Joel Quenneville en a décidé autrement après la piètre performance de son numéro 1 contre les Capitals de Washington, mercredi.

«C’était un match où nous avons bien joué et nous avions besoin de quelques arrêts pour l’emporter», avait dit le pilote lors de la conférence de presse suivant ce revers de 4 à 3.

Reste maintenant à voir si le blanchissage de Driedger donnera un certain sentiment d’urgence à Bobrovsky.

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REST OF SEASON OUTLOOK AND POSITION RANK
Expect Evgenii Dadonov to be a reliable fantasy starter the rest of the season. His 119 projected fantasy points puts him at #9 behind Mark Stone and ahead of Johnny Gaudreau. He has averaged 2.12 fantasy points in his past 113 games, which is less than our projected per game average. He is projected to average 2.42 fantasy points. His rank based on avg proj (#11) is worse than his rank based on total fantasy points. He is underrated if you compare his ownership based rank with his projection rank. At 96%, he is the #14 most highly owned right wing. Evgenii Dadonov is expected to improve on this season-to-date’s #16 fantasy position rank.

REST OF SEASON RANK (RW) PROJECTION FANTASY STATS SINCE 2019
#7 Teuvo Teravainen (98% OWN) 139 FP, 2.9 per game 216 FP, 82 gp, 2.63 per game (#11)
#8 Mark Stone (99% OWN) 128 FP, 2.78 per game 209 FP, 77 gp, 2.71 per game (#9)
#9 Evgenii Dadonov (96% OWN) 119 FP, 2.42 per game 172 FP, 82 gp, 2.1 per game (#21)
#10 Johnny Gaudreau (100% OWN) 118 FP, 2.57 per game 264 FP, 82 gp, 3.22 per game (#6)
#11 Matt Duchene (93% OWN) 116 FP, 2.31 per game 178 FP, 73 gp, 2.44 per game (#14)
These projections power SportsLine’s Computer Picks and Fantasy Data. But for contest winning DFS optimal lineups by top experts like Mike McClure visit SportsLine’s new Daily Fantasy Hub.

EVGENII DADONOV WEEK 11 AND 12 FANTASY OUTLOOK
Evgenii Dadonov is projected for 2.18 fantasy points in one game the rest of the week in week 11 which ranks him as the #37 projected right wing for the week and a starter for most fantasy teams. This is projected to be a slightly below average game with fewer fantasy points than he is projected to average per game the rest of the season. He is ranked above Jakob Silfverberg but behind Luke Kunin the rest of the week. Week 12 will be better based on projected rank (#15). He is projected for 7.27 fantasy points.

12/13 TO 12/15 RANK (RW) PROJECTION ROS FP PROJ AVG
#35 Josh Bailey (52% OWN) 2.2 FP, 1 GP 1.98 FP
#36 Luke Kunin (5% OWN) 2.19 FP, 2 GP 1.03 FP
#37 Evgenii Dadonov (96% OWN) 2.18 FP, 1 GP 2.42 FP
#38 Jakob Silfverberg (70% OWN) 2.15 FP, 1 GP 2.01 FP
#39 Sam Reinhart (82% OWN) 2.06 FP, 1 GP 2.39 FP
12/16 TO 12/22 RANK (RW) PROJECTION ROS FP PROJ AVG
#13 Brock Boeser (99% OWN) 7.4 FP, 3 GP 2.32 FP
#14 Johnny Gaudreau (100% OWN) 7.3 FP, 3 GP 2.57 FP
#15 Evgenii Dadonov (96% OWN) 7.3 FP, 3 GP 2.42 FP
#16 Sam Reinhart (82% OWN) 7.1 FP, 3 GP 2.39 FP
#17 T.J. Oshie (95% OWN) 7.1 FP, 3 GP 2.36 FP
FANTASY PROJECTIONS AND ACTUAL STATS
The tables below show projected stats (totals and averages) for the rest of the season and upcoming weeks. Also included are actual stats from the current and last season.

EVGENII DADONOV FP PTS G A SOG PPG
Rest of ’19-20 119 43.2 20.1 23.0 135 5.3
– Per Game (49 Proj) 2.42 0.88 0.41 0.47 2.75 0.11
12/9 to 12/15 (1 Game) 2.18 0.84 0.39 0.45 2.59 0.10
12/16 to 12/22 (3 Games) 7.3 2.62 1.22 1.40 7.9 0.32
’19-20 Season 68 24 12 12 81 5
– Per Game (31 GP) 2.18 0.77 0.39 0.39 2.61 0.16
’18-20 Seasons 240 94 40 54 276 13
– Per Game (113 GP) 2.12 0.83 0.35 0.48 2.44 0.12

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During the 2019 NHL offseason, General Manager Dale Tallon signed fourth-line centerman Noel Acciari to a three-year contract worth a total of $3.5 million.
With the Florida Panthers currently sitting in a playoff spot in the competitive Eastern Conference, center Noel Acciari is seemingly appearing as a free agent steal for Florida, thus far.

The former Bruin was relatively productive during his tenure with the physical Boston Bruins. The Cats lured away Acciari from their division rival in hopes that he would provide instant stability to their bottom-six forward group, particularly the fourth line.

Quite frankly, through the first eighteen games of the 2019-20 season, Noel Acciari as been one of Florida’s most valuable players on their bottom-six unit. The American native has been a stable anchor for the Panthers’ bottom line, performing exceptionally well on both ends of the ice.

While participating in 15 regular-season games, Noel Acciari has already recorded 4 goals while playing a career-high of 15:19 per game. Moreover, Acciari has performed relatively well in the faceoff circle, producing a winning percentage of 47.3% on the season.

Furthermore, his value comes from the intangibles and playing a potent physical, defensive-minded style of play. He’s already registered 20 total hits as well as 19 blocked shots while centering the gritty, forechecking fourth line.

In essence, Acciari doesn’t commit inexcusable penalties (2 penalty minutes in 2019) and rarely turns the puck over to the opposition (1 giveaway in 2019). Additionally, he’s developed outstanding chemistry with fellow wingers Colton Sceviour and Dryden Hunt, forcing head coach Joel Quenneville to keep the trio together for the majority of games.

Basically, the 27-year-old has fit in extremely well with the Panthers. He’s providing a much-needed veteran presence to a youthful bottom six, along with a powerful voice in the locker room.

As well, he’s also provided the Panthers with a crucial weapon on the penalty kill. With the help of Acciari killing an abundance of penalties, the Cats have improved their PK percentage to roughly 82%, which ranks among the top ten in the entire National Hockey League.

Despite missing three games due to injury, the Panthers were able to remain in a playoff position but truly missed Acciari’s presence on the fourth line. The Rhode Island native has certainly provided a positive impact, considering that he’s currently completely healthy and recovered from his past knock.

In hindsight, the Cats will need to depend on Noel Acciari in order to potentially clinch a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Having a fourth line that can chip in every night is crucial in today’s game, and with Acciari leading the charge on that line, the Panthers are in good hands knowing they can depend on him nightly.

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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Roberto Luongo regrets not having more friends and family at his last game with the Florida Panthers. If he had known he was retiring, a decision he didn’t make until weeks later, he would have ensured that more of the people closest to him were there that night.

They’re all invited for his jersey retirement instead.

The Florida Panthers announced Monday that they will send Luongo’s No. 1 jersey to the rafters on March 7. Fittingly, the opponent will be the Montreal Canadiens — the hometown team for their now-retired goaltender.

“Hopefully, there will be a lot of people in the building to enjoy that special moment with me,” Luongo said.

Luongo will become the first Panthers player to have his number retired.

“Roberto is a cornerstone of Panthers history and an icon of the game,” Panthers owner Vincent Viola said. “He has represented himself and the Panthers with tremendous dignity, determination and a standard of excellence throughout his career. Roberto exemplifies what it means to be a Florida Panther. … There is no player more deserving to be the first Florida Panther to have his jersey number retired.”

Luongo retired in June after 19 NHL seasons, most of them with Florida. His 489 career victories are third in NHL history behind Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy.

“There was never a question in any of our minds that Roberto would be the first Panthers player to have his number retired by the franchise,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. “One of the game’s most iconic goaltenders, he gave his heart and soul to the Panthers and the South Florida community and carried himself with dignity, modesty and humor.”

Luongo is Florida’s all-time leader in wins, shutouts and saves. He was a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Canada, plus helped his home nation win two world championships and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He entered the offseason intending to come back for at least one more year, then realized over the next few weeks that his body didn’t want to go through what would have been a 20th season.

“I knew that I was at the point in my career where my body just didn’t want me to go through the motions,” Luongo said. “The more we got into the summer, the more I realized it was time to step away from the game.”

The Panthers previously retired two other numbers — 93 for former Panthers president Bill Torrey in commemoration of the franchise’s inaugural game being played in 1993, and 37 for original owner Wayne Huizenga, in tribute to both his being born in 1937 and that being his lucky number.

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The Flyers are sorry to see November come to an end. It was one of the best in franchise history.

They went 10-2-4 for a league-best 24 points to move into third place in the Metropolitan Division, three points behind the Islanders.

The Flyers have 13 games in December, starting Tuesday with a brief three-game homestand. Before we get into this week’s opponents, a little frivolity.

Flyers Trivia
Who led the Flyers in scoring during November with 15 points in 16 games?

a) Claude Giroux b) Travis Konecny c) Sean Couturier

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This week’s opponents
Game No. 28 – Tuesday, vs. Toronto (7 p.m., NBCSP)
About the Maple Leafs: This will be the third and final regular-season meeting between the Flyers and Leafs. The previous two each were won by the road team in a shootout. Andreas Johnsson won it for Toronto in the 11th-round in Philadelphia on Nov. 2, while Sean Couturier lifted the Flyers a week later. … The Maple Leafs have won four of five, a modest run that coincided with Brandon Keefe replacing Mike Babcock as head coach on Nov. 20. … Frederik Andersen will start in net. The Leafs turn right around and host Colorado on Wednesday, which is probably why No. 1 goalie Frederik Andersen will start this intraconference game against the Flyers. … Mitch Marner will not play. He suffered a high ankle sprain against the Flyers on Nov. 9. … Leafs captain John Tavares has goals in his last three.

Where they stand: 13-11-4 (30 points), trail Atlantic Division Boston by 13.

Game No. 29 – Thursday, vs. Arizona (7 p.m., NBCSP)
About the Coyotes: One of the surprise teams of the season. This the second of a four-game road trip for the Coyotes, who actually have a better record on the road (8-3-3) than at home (7-6-1). … Former Flyer Rick Tocchet has just one win in five games as a head coach at the Wells Fargo Center dating back to his days with Tampa Bay. Overall against his former club, Tocchet is 2-6-3. … No. 1 goalie Darcy Kuemper came into the week leading the NHL with a .935 save percentage. Backup Antti Raanta was 11th at .924. … Old friend Phil Kessel has one goal in his last 15 games and is -13 in that span.

Where they stand: 15-9-4 (34 points), second place in the Pacific. Through 28 games last season, the Coyotes were 13-13-2.

Game No. 30 – Saturday, vs. Ottawa (1 p.m., NBCSP)
About the Senators: Are last in the NHL in power play efficiency, but you have to applaud the consistency of their inconsistency. They are 4-for-42 at home and 4-for-44 on the road. Ottawa has scored eight power-play goals and allowed four shorthanded goals. Ugh. …Have lost four in a row. The game in Philadelphia will be the last of a five-game road trip. … Goalie Craig Anderson came into the week on IR with a lower-body injury, but is due to come off soon. … Best save of the week was by defenseman Mark Borowiecki, who broke up a robbery attempt near Vancouver (where the Senators are playing Tuesday). Bruce Garrioch, of the Ottawa Sun, reported that Borowiecki on Sunday drilled a person on a bike who had just committed a robbery.

Where they stand: 11-15-1 (23 points), seventh place in the eight-team Atlantic Division.

Bruce Garrioch

@SunGarrioch
Mark Borowiecki broke up a robbery attempt in Gastown yesterday. Was able to get someone’s backpack returned by knocking down a person on a bicycle who had taken a bag. #Sens

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Special teams report
Power play/NHL rank PP/Last 5 games Penalty kill/NHL rank PK/Last 5 games
Flyers 19-96, 19.8% (12th) 2-14, 14.3% 66-77, 85.7% (3rd) 11-12, 91.7%
Toronto 16-82, 19.5% (13th) 3-8, 37.5% 66-88, 75.0% (26th) 9-10, 90.0%
Arizona 15-82, 18.3% (19th) 3-9, 33.3% 65-80, 81.3% (16th) 10-13, 76.9%
Ottawa 8-86, 9.3% (31st) 2-11, 18.2% 80-97, 82.5% (13th) 13-15, 86.7%
Last week/Nov. 25-Dec. 1
The Flyers went 4-0 with home wins against Vancouver and Detroit and road victories at Columbus and Montreal (in overtime).

Our three stars for the week:

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1. Sean Couturier (5 pts., +6)

2. Carter Hart (2-0, .960 save pct., 2 GA in 119:13)

3. Jake Voracek (6 pts., +5),

This week in Flyers history
Dec. 8, 1987: Ron Hextall became the first goaltender in NHL history to directly score a goal when he fired a shot into a vacant net in the Flyers’ 5-2 win over Boston. Eight years earlier, Islanders goalie Billy Smith was credited with a goal after the Colorado Rockies fumbled a puck into their own empty net, and Smith was determined to be the last Islanders player to touch it.

Hextall repeated the feat the following year at Washington and remains the only goalie to score in a playoff game. Five other goalies have shot pucks into empty nets since Hextall. The most recent being Phoenix’s Mike Smith in 2013.

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Hextall’s goal against the Bruins capped an unforgettable night at the Spectrum which began with a frightening first period injury when Brad Marsh was checked violently (but cleanly) into the boards. Marsh initially went into convulsions and was rushed to the hospital.

“When I got to the ice, he was out cold,” Flyers trainer Dave Settlemyre told The Inquirer that night. “When he hit his head on the ice, it split open. At that point, you don’t worry about closing the cut. When we first got to him, he was breathing all right, then he started to go into seizure – he sort of swallowed his tongue.

“We put a screw in (his mouth) to keep him from swallowing his tongue. We quickly got a neck brace for him. He was starting to come to when we put him on the stretcher, and when we got him to the ambulance, he was awake and moving his arms and legs. That was the biggest thing you worry about – spinal injuries.”

Flyers forward Scott Mellanby summed it up best after finding out that Marsh was alert and responsive.

“God, what a night,” said Mellanby, who was 21 at the time. “First one of the scariest things I’ve even seen happens, and then Hextall’s goal. I’m just exhausted by it all. ”

Trivia answer
Sean Couturier had six goals and nine assists to lead the Flyers in scoring during their highly successful November.

He said it
“It’s not as bad as it looks — I’m assuming it looks pretty bad. It’s just a slice, nothing major. … It’s not as big of a deal as you might think.”

– Defenseman Matt Niskanen, who on Friday took a puck to the face, which required 15 stitches. Fortunately, it banged off his visor, which caused him to be cut. He was back after missing half a period, and assisted on a key goal by Sean Couturier.

A2D Radio
@a2dradio_com
Matt Niskanen is a Philly kind of guy… #Flyers #FlyersNation #FlyOrDie #LetsGoFlyers

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Latviešu uzbrucējs Miks Indrašis piektdien svinēja uzvaru Kontinentālās hokeja līgas (KHL) regulārā čempionāta spēlē, bet vārtsargs Jānis Kalniņš cieta zaudējumu.

Indraša pārstāvētā Maskavas “Dinamo” viesos ar 2:1 (1:0, 0:0, 0:1, 0:0, 1:0) pēcspēles metienu sērijā pārspēja Ņižņijnovgorodas “Torpedo”, kurā par galvenā trenera asistentu strādā leģendārais Sandis Ozoliņš.

Maskavieši svinēja sesto uzvaru pēdējās septiņās spēlēs.

Viesus devītajā minūtē vadībā izvirzīja Mihails Čaikovskis un nākamās 50 minūtes “Dinamo” atradās priekšā. Tiesa, nepilnas divas minūtes pirms pamatlaika beigām Daņiils Iļjins izlīdzināja rezultātu.

Pagarinājumā vārti netika gūti, tādējādi tika aizvadīta pēcspēles metienu sērija, kurā Indrašis savu metienu netrāpīja, tomēr viesi svinēja uzvaru, izšķirošo “bullīti” mērķī raidot Andrē Petešonam.

Indraši šajā dueli uz ledus pavadīja 19 minūtes un 57 sekundes, kuru laikā četras reizes meta pa vārtiem un uzvarēja 11 no 17 iemetieniem.

Viņš šajā sezonā 26 spēlēs guvis četrus vārtus un veicis astoņas rezultatīvas piespēles.

Tikmēr Kalniņa pārstāvētā Helsinku “Jokerit” savu līdzjutēju priekšā ar 1:4 (1:1, 0:1, 0:2) atzina Novosibirskas “Sibirj” pārākumu. Viesiem ar diviem vārtiem un rezultatīvu piespēli izcēlās Mikaels Ruhomā.

Kalniņš šajā duelī atvairīja 16 no 19 pretinieku metieniem, bet vienu ripu viesi ieraidīja tukšos vārtos.

Indraša pārstāvētā komanda ar 43 punktiem 33 spēlēs Rietumu konferencē ieņem trešo vietu, bet Kalniņš ar kolēģiem iekrājuši 37 punktus 31 cīņā, kas dod astoto pozīciju.

Šosezon KHL čempionātā piedalās 24 komandas – pa 12 Rietumu un Austrumu zonā.

Regulārajā čempionātā katra komanda tāpat kā iepriekšējā sezonā aizvadīs pa 62 spēlēm, pēc kurām pa astoņiem labākajiem klubiem iekļūs Gagarina kausa izcīņā.