Imagine the NHL’s Atlantic Division being dominated by two teams from Florida. If you’ve been paying attention lately, there’s little to be left to the imagination. In 2014-15, the Lightning won the Eastern Conference title and played in the Stanley Cup final. Then in 2015-16, the Florida Panthers captured the Atlantic Division regular-season crown. It’s been a long, slow and at times painful rebuild for the Panthers, who made the playoffs in the spring of 2016 for the first time since the 2011-12 season and and only their second appearance since 1999-2000.
As their first-round playoff exit displayed, the young Panthers still have many lessons to learn, but the educational curve with this team is proving to be one that they are ascending quickly and Florida is clearly a team to watch for on the horizon of NHL contenders.
When they talk about the rat patrol at Florida Panthers games, it has nothing to do with a 1960s television series about A World War II unit stationed in North Africa. No. Florida’s rat patrol was initiated by Scott Mellanby, a forward on the Panthers’ 1995-96 Stanley Cup finalist club.
Prior to a game that season, Mellanby killed a rat in the team’s dressing room with his hockey stick. Using the same stick in the game, Mellanby recorded a two-goal effort, and afterward, Florida goalie John Vanbiesbrouck dubbed his performance a rat trick.
At the next home game, an excited fan tossed a plastic rat on the ice after a Panthers goal. The appearance of the rats on the ice grew with each game until by the time the Panthers were on their playoff run, hundreds of the plastic rats would rain down following every Florida tally, creating a tradition that continues today.
Another curiosity about the rat tradition – 1996, the year of Florida’s only Stanley Cup final appearance, was the year of the rat on the Chinese zodiac calendar.
Florida Panthers Betting Lines Today
Ready to put some money down on the Panthers? Look below to find out who they play next and don’t forget to reference the game odds. It’s an essential first step in the betting process.
Florida Panthers Scores & Schedule
The Florida Panthers scores and game schedule are right here and what they will reveal to you is that is if you plan on wagering on Panthers games, you should expect to be perched on the edge of your seat for most games.
The Panthers played in 48 one-goal games among the 82 regular-season games they played during the 2015-16 NHL season, up from the 37 one-goal games they performed in the previous campaign. They’ve fared quite well in these tight quarters, going 22-11-15 in 2015-16 and 16-8-9 in 2014-15. Those numbers have included five 1-0 outcomes over the past two seasons and Florida is 3-2 in those games.
Florida Panthers Standings Right Now
The Florida Panthers up to date standings are listed below and in 2015-16, for the first time in franchise history, Panthers produced a 100-point campaign, going 47-26-9 for 103 points.
The team’s previous mark of 98 points was established in 1999-2000, while the only other first-place finish in team history came when the Panthers topped the Southeast Division in 2011-12.
If the Panthers want to climb even further up the ladder to reside on a regular basis, it would help if they could enhance their special teams play. The Panthers were 23rd on the power play in 2015-16 (16.9 per cent) and 24th overall on the penalty kill (79.5 per cent). They were 15th among the 16 NHL playoff teams on the power play and 14th overall among the 16 postseason participants on the PK.
|4||Columbus Blue Jackets||83||60||29||16||199||145|
|6||New York Rangers||82||62||33||20||206||164|
|7||San Jose Sharks||79||61||29||18||170||145|
|15||Toronto Maple Leafs||69||61||22||20||189||182|
|16||New York Islanders||68||61||25||22||180||182|
|17||St. Louis Blues||67||61||24||25||172||177|
|20||Los Angeles Kings||62||60||18||27||146||150|
|21||Tampa Bay Lightning||62||60||22||25||166||170|
|24||New Jersey Devils||61||61||17||25||142||176|
|26||Detroit Red Wings||58||60||14||26||150||178|
How To Win At Florida Panthers Betting
A significant reason for the uptick in the Florida Panthers that led to a first-place finish in the Atlantic Division and a playoff position being secured in 2015-16 was the balanced scoring produced by the team’s forward group.
For the first time in the history of the franchise, which dates back to 1993, the Panthers suited up a half-dozen 50-point scorers. Another franchise first was the four players who potted 25 goals. Overall, 10 Panthers scored at least 14 goals and 11 Florida players registered a minimum of 30 points. The former total was an NHL high, while the latter number shared top spot in the league with the New York Rangers.
The fortunes of the Florida Panthers took an immediate upward turn thanks to their misfortune. Going 29-45-8 in 2013-14, Florida missed the playoffs but won the NHL entry draft lottery, earning the right to grab standout defenseman Aaron Ekblad with the first overall selection of the 2014 draft.
Equipped with size (6-4, 216 pounds), mobility, hgh-end skill and a hockey IQ that is off the charts, Ekblad was the NHL’s rookie of the year in 2014-15 and appeared in the NHL All-Star Game in each of his first two seasons. As Florida continues to mature into an NHL powerhouse, Ekblad will serve as the cornerstone of that growth.
Call him the ancient warrior, but you have to give Jaromir Jagr this – the Florida Panthers right-winger has discovered the elixir of youth and like fellow hockey legends Gordie Howe and Chris Chelios, seems to have found a way to defy the aging process.
Jagr was second on the Panthers with 27 goals in 2015-16 and surpassed Brett Hull to move into third place on the NHL’s all-time goals list, but it isn’t just about his longevity.
Originally selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990 NHL entry draft, Jagr, who turned 44 in 2016, is still playing the game at a high level and his work ethic and dedication to fitness are serving as inspirations to the young Panthers, who are able witness first hand that if they take care of their body now, it will take care of them later in their careers.