Can the Florida Panthers still make a Stanley Cup playoff run?

In Tuesday’s edition of Daily face-to-face live, hosts Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna discussed the dominating 7-1 beating the Florida Panthers inflicted on their hated rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Seravalli and McKenna wondered if Monday night’s big win could represent a turning point in what has been an inconsistent first year under Paul Maurice.

Frank Seravalli: Monday night’s Battle of Florida was truly a lopsided affair with the Florida Panthers picking up a 7-1 victory over the Lightning, which looked a bit scrappy, to say the least. . From the Florida Panthers perspective, when you look at the standings, we knew a boost was needed in this unofficial second half of the season. Is it too far to say that this was a decisive victory for the Cats?

Mike McKenna: It’s obviously a big win coming back and it looks good on paper, but it was a bit closer to a game than it looked. Bobrovsky was really good, Vasilevskiy was downright bad; it is only the second time in his career that he has been penalized for 7 goals conceded. It was surprising. When I think of the Panthers, they have an X factor in their club named Matthew Tkachuk. Over the past two seasons, he’s ranked third in NHL scoring. He is fifth in the NHL this year. When the Panthers have their full roster when Barkov is there – he left the game last night after blocking a shot with his hand, which is worrying – I think they could struggle. The problem they’re going to run into, Frank, is that the teams have games running on them. The Panthers and Islanders are both at 53 games, the teams they are battling with have far less. Washington and Pittsburgh are in the game, Buffalo too.

The bottom line is that the Panthers are going to have to heat up to qualify for the playoffs. They’re going to have to win about 8 out of 10 games at some point and really run the table. With Matthew Tkachuk, maybe that could happen. Without Barkov, I still think it’s going to be tough for this Panthers team. They’re definitely in the mix and you can’t write them off yet, I’d just be surprised if they finally get over the hump to make the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Frank Seravalli: A blow for Barkov. You look at this game and it was so close to hitting it in the shin guard instead of catching it by hand. When you watch Barkov this season, what’s wrong with him? I know he’s still above a point per game with 47 points in 43 games, but he just doesn’t look like the same threat this year.

Mike McKenna: I just think overall the Panthers seemed a bit out of sync. I don’t know if it’s just having a new coach or a different voice. Obviously Barkov was pretty good for Brunette, he was pretty good for Gerard Gallant before that, he’s been good under a lot of coaches. I haven’t seen him really have the same speed and take over matches with his quickness like I’ve done in the past, that’s where I’m curious if he’s where he needs to be physically. He’s still an amazing player and I just wonder if we’ll see Barkov and Tkachuk team up more. There’s been a lot of Bennett and Tkachuk, are we seeing more Barkov and Tkachuk when Tkachuk performed so well alongside Bennett? It’s a tough call.

Frank Seravalli: If they can get everyone back to good health based on Barkov’s injury, Duclair’s Achilles rehabilitation and what’s going on with Patric Hornqvist’s concussion, they might also have a decision to make. regarding compliance with the salary cap. One-word answer: Are the Florida Panthers coming in?

Mike McKenna: No.

You can watch the full episode here…

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