Player News - Panthers

Date: Team: Pos:

Hall of Fame defenseman and Panthers analyst Denis Potvin says part of what makes Aaron Ekblad so good already is his advanced mind for the game.

Ekblad has 19 points in 32 games and is averaging 22:05 of ice time. The 18-year-old defenseman and Predators forward Filip Forsberg are leading the Calder trophy race. "I think he's a very smart kid, and that gives him a big boost," said Potvin. "He's well schooled. Bobby Orr is his agent, so that helps. He knows how to deal with the media, the fans ... and he thinks the game really well. You would say he thinks the game really well if he were 25, and he's 18."
Dec 27 - 7:56 PM

Brian Campbell has been a huge disappointment this season.

Despite leading all Panther defensemen in power-play ice time, he has registered only one assist in his last 14 games and has mere eight points in 32 games this season. Campbell is clearly off to the worst start of a season in his career and there have been few if any signs he will be able to turn it around anytime soon.
Dec 27 - 9:19 AM

Look for Roberto Luongo to get the start Sunday when the Panthers return to action against the Maple Leafs.

Luongo is having a fine bounce-back season in sourthern Florida with a 2.30 GAA and a .924 save percentage. Make sure you have him active Sunday.
Dec 27 - 9:13 AM

Willie Mitchell leads the Panthers with 76 blocked shots.

That's more than double the total rookie Aaron Ekblad, who sits second on Florida with 36 blocks. Mitchell has also posted 51 hits and two points in 32 games. He's provided the Panthers with leadership and has helped them become stingier defensively, but his fantasy value is very limited.
Dec 26 - 6:31 AM

Aaron Ekblad has already broken Florida's franchise record for assists by a rookie defenseman.

He has 14 helpers in 32 games, which surpasses Dmitry Kulikov's total of 13 during the 2009-10 campaign. Ed Jovanovski had 21 points as a rookie and Ekblad is close to breaking that record as well. He leads all rookie blueliners in goals (5), assists (14), points (19) and plus-minus (plus-6). He also ranks second among all first-year players with 22:05 of average ice time per game.
Dec 26 - 6:25 AM

Roberto Luongo registered his 386th career victory on Monday.

That gives him sole possession of 12th place on the NHL's all-time win list. He just surpassed Mike Vernon and is three victories behind Dominik Hasek for the 11th spot. Luongo doesn't want to reflect on milestones right now, as he is focused on the 2014-15 season. "The standings is what is important to me right now," he said. "I just want to keep accumulating wins as a team, stay in the hunt and hopefully grab one of those [playoff] spots."
Dec 25 - 10:29 AM

Brandon Pirri doesn't mind battling for his spot in the lineup.

He was scratched last Saturday against Pittsburgh, along with Jimmy Hayes, but both of them were back in the fold for Monday's rematch with the Penguins. Brad Boyes and Tomas Fleischmann were scratched on that night. "There is definite in-house competition, which makes everyone better," Pirri said. "For me, I have to produce when I have the opportunity to be in the lineup. I haven't cashed in recently. I just have to do it." He doesn't have a point in his past 10 appearances.
Dec 25 - 10:22 AM

Shawn Thornton has been dealing with a groin injury since the beginning of the season.

He has missed the last seven games due to the ailment. "It's been there basically since the first game of the year and it's gotten progressively worse," Thornton said. "I was going to take some time off there but we were short bodies and I played through it. Once guys got healthy, it would have been selfish for me to try and play through it. It's time to get it healed for the playoff push." Florida enters the Christmas break just two points behind Washington for the last Wild Card spot in the East. Thornton won't supply much offense when he's able to return, but he can add toughness and leadership.
Dec 24 - 4:14 PM

Sean Bergenheim earned a pair of assists in Florida's 4-3 shootout win over Pittsburgh on Monday.

He had the primary helper on both of Jimmy Hayes' markers in third period. Bergenheim also changed the momentum of the game in the second when he nailed Penguins pest Bobby Farnham with a big hit. The Panthers scored late in the middle frame to go into the intermission tied 1-1.
Dec 23 - 10:36 AM

Tomas Fleischmann was a healthy scratch Monday night.

He logged 12:28 of ice time on Saturday versus Pittsburgh in his last outing. Fleischmann had two goals and three assists in a four-game point streak prior to going scoreless in his past four appearances.
Dec 23 - 10:30 AM

Jussi Jokinen scored his fourth goal of the season on Monday against his former Pittsburgh teammates.

He amassed six shots on goal in a season-high 21:18 of ice time. Jokinen has 17 points in 31 games with the Panthers.
Dec 23 - 10:27 AM

Goalie Roberto Luongo stopped 27 shots in regulation and overtime before he and the Florida Panthers defeated the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in the seventh round of a shootout Monday night.

Luongo is enjoying a good season in Florida, with a record 12-7-6, a goals-against average of 2.28 and a save percentage of .926. He's still one of the NHL's elite goalies and he's not doing any disservice to his fantasy-league owners.
Dec 22 - 11:07 PM

Jimmy Hayes delivered two goals in the Florida Panthers' thrilling, 4-3 shootout victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins Monday night.

Hayes is having a nice season and now has nine goals. He also was a plus-3 on the night. Hayes also was instrumental in a goal by teammate Jussi Jokinen. He didn't get an assist but he did attract attention from the Penguins and opened up space for Jokinen, who scored his fourth goal of the season. Aleksander Barkov scored the game-winning goal for the Panthers in the seventh round of the shootout. Sean Bergenheim had a first-rate night for the Panthers in this one, notching two assists, two hits and three shots on net.
Dec 22 - 10:54 PM

Brad Boyes and Tomas Fleischmann will be healthy scratches Monday night against the Penguins.

Boyes had just dressed for the Panthers on December 20th, but will find himself on the sidelines Monday night. It has been a miserable year for the 32-year-old winger as he's compiled just five goals and nine assists in 30 games. Fleischmann has been even more disappointing if you can believe that, scoring just three goals and five assists in 29 games played.
Dec 22 - 5:17 PM

Roberto Luongo will be the starting goalie for the Panthers Monday against the Penguins.

Luongo will have his hands full with Sidney Crosby and the Penguins Monday night, but he does have a respectable 13-9-3 record in 27 career games against them. In his only start against Pittsburgh this year, he stopped 31 of 34 shots in a 3-1 loss Saturday night. On the season, the Panthers goalie has a 12-7-6 record, 2.28 goals-against-average, and .926 save percentage.
Dec 22 - 5:11 PM

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