Cleat Geeks

Florida Panthers: 2015-16 Season Projection

2014-2015 Overall Record: 38-29-15 (91 Points) 10th in the Eastern Conference

***Did Not Make NHL Playoffs***

PANTHERS TEAM LEADERS

Florida Panthers: 2014-2015 Team Leaders

Notable Offseason Losses:

F Brad Boyes (Contract Bought Out)

G Dan Ellis (New Team: Washington Capitals)

F Jimmy Hayes (New Team: Boston Bruins)

D Shane O’Brien (New Team: Anaheim Ducks)

Notable Offseason Acquisitions:

F Reilly Smith (Former Team: Boston Bruins)

F Marc Savard (Former Team: Boston Bruins)

G Mike McKenna (Former Team: Arizona Coyotes)

D Brent Regner (Former Team: St. Louis Blues)

D Cameron Gaunce (Former Team: Dallas Stars)

F Rob Flick (Former Team: Boston Bruins)

Main Team Stats Breakdown:

GFA (Goals For Average): 2.37 (NHL Ranking: 25th)

GAA (Goals Against Average): 2.54 (NHL Ranking: 16th)

SV% (Save Percentage): .913 (NHL Ranking: 13th)

Florida was one of the surprises as far as their play went, in conjunction with Aaron Ekblad’s breakout rookie season. The Panthers fell just short of clinching a Playoff berth. While many had hoped to see this Panthers team finally break the recent mold of playing golf in April, disappointment resulted as the conclusion to the 2014-15 season. This is a young organization as a whole, having only played in Florida beginning back in the 1993-94 season. The Panthers have only been in Playoff contention 4 times since and will be looking to make it a 5th come next season as the push for better production will be key. Because of last season, the Panthers have a lot to build off of and there is a great amount of optimism that they can do just that.

The Panthers were a solid but average team throughout. The push needed to ensure a spot in last year’s Playoffs just wasn’t an option. Time and time again, the Panthers would play a consistent brand of hockey that would get them up in the standings, only to watch them fall apart as the team failed to play the Playoff style of hockey needed to secure key wins. Projecting toward next season is an interesting task at hand, though I would concede that they’ll have the makeup and experience needed to take them to the next level.

During the offseason, they didn’t do anything to hurt themselves. They added a point producer with some leadership ability in 5th year Reilly Smith (40 points). They also added 15th year forward, Marc Savard (10 points) who won’t win any scoring titles, will definitely help in experience. If these two forwards can help produce in areas of emphasis alongside sure Hall of Famer, Jaromir Jagr, this team should make a serious push for a Playoff spot. They are however still unproven, so I feel though they’ll move up one spot in the Atlantic, they’ll still be an odd team out.

2015-2016 Season Projection: 5th in the Atlantic

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