Well there are a lot of stuff going on regarding the Panthers defense, I see different people defending (no pun intended) it and I see people hating it.
I wouldn’t say I hate it but I’m on the side that considers it to be worse than last year, but I still see people who don’t agree and often had the PK as their argument.
And granted, the PK has been nothing but AMAZING almost all season long, but let’s look at the big picture and work it out..
Okay, so when you are on the penalty kill, you are allowed to just dump the puck whenever you want.
Many teams find it difficult on the power play for that reason as they can never get set up.
Granted, defending isn’t very easy either and needs a lot of skill and discipline, but my guess is that it is clearly much easier to defend in this situation than it is to attack.
The PK is a group that is solely just determined on getting the puck out of their defensive zone, and just not let the other team set up.
5 on 5 is a completely different situation as you are part of a line that is suppose to get the job done in the offensive zone.
So when you are pushed back, how are you going to handle that?
Not to mention that you have to change in a few moments, and line changes can screw things up with communications and such.
The Panthers ranked among the best in the NHL right now in penalty kills if I’m not wrong?
And if we then take a look at their numbers overall this season, they are 176 goals against in 63 games and that gives a total of 2.79 goals per game.
Last year they went 203 goals against in 82 games which gives a 2.47 goals per game, with 19 more games played.
That’s roughly a 12 % difference from last year.
Not to forget that the offense this year is 159 goals in comparison with last years total of 239!
The goal difference right now is 2.52 vs 2.91 from last year, that means the Panthers needs to score 80 goals in 19 games to match last seasons total.
So is the Panthers defense really that bad?
Well one can safely say that there is a difference and the math tells you that their defense actually is worse this year than it was last year, and Florida currently ranks 15 in the league in goals against.
It doesn’t matter if your penalty kill is awesome if your defense can’t get the job done 5 on 5. It could win you a game here and there maybe, but that’s not good enough.
The Panthers are right now 10th in the standings with a 29-23-11 record, compared to last year when they went 47-26-9 and ended third in the East and winning their division.
But the big reason I think me and many others bash the defense more than it deserveres, probably is because of the offense that is not showing up.
Just look at the numbers, and we can clearly see that the biggest problem the Florida Panthers have right now is the offense.
And this is a little off topic but yes, Huberdeau has been hurt for 51 games (or something like that), but that’s just a pathetic excuse for a whole team to fall apart on.
Now go and listen to some Kraftwerk and let’s kick Dallas on Saturday 🙂