Which Panthers team will show up Tuesday night when the team makes their only appearance of the year at Staples Center? That’s likely a tougher question to answer than predicting what Darryl Sutter will say when you ask about who his starting goaltender might be for a particular game. After scoring only 15 goals over their first 11 games, Florida has scored 18 goals in their past four games. On the defensive side of things, new team captain Willie Mitchell leads the way with a plus-3 rating and is likely to have a little extra pep in his step facing his old mates. We want you to be equally fired up for this one, so here is a fresh batch of notes that just might make you sound smart while watching all the action with a friend or loved one tonight… or even at a sports bar talking to strangers…
Five Things You May Not Have Known about the Florida Panthers:
1. Florida has five current roster players who have their named inscribed on the Stanley Cup a combined nine times: Willie Mitchell (2012, 2014 LA Kings), Shawn Thornton (2007 Anaheim, 2011 Boston), Dave Bolland (2010, 2013 Chicago), Tomas Kopecky (2008 Detroit, 2010 Chicago), and Brian Campbell (2010 Chicago)
2. Roberto Luongo is said to be a dead-ringer for this current LA Kings forward.
3. The Panthers have surrendered just nine third period goals this season. Only Los Angeles (8), Winnipeg (7), and Chicago (7) have given up fewer third period goals.
4. Panthers assistant coach Mark Morris was the head coach for the Kings AHL affiliate in Manchester from 2006-14. However, of greater note is that he is the only bench boss to achieve 300 wins in NCAA college hockey and the American League. During his days at Clarkson University one of his start defenseman was Willie Mitchell – something he talked about here.
5. Of the Panthers six wins this season in 15 games, two have come at the expense of California teams. Florida defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-1 (Nov. 11 in Florida) and most recently handed the Ducks a 6-2 setback this past Sunday in Anaheim.
What might happen Tuesday night? These odds, supplied by MayorsManor and Panthers beat writer George Richards, are a great place to start.
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