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At the end of Shawshank Redemption,  Andy Dufresne crawls through a sewage pipe and finds his freedom outside of jail.  That’s the best analogy for the Florida Panthers in 2013. Crawling through 48 games worth of shit-smelling foulness and the light at the end of the tunnel was the off-season.

Team Name: Florida Panthers

Record: 15-27-6, 5th in Southeast, No Playoffs

Player of the Season: Johnathan Huberdeau tied for second in goals with 14 and finished second in points with 31. His nine points on the power play were among the best of the team as well. Huberdeau showed he can be the player to build a team around hopefully the Panthers’ brass recognizes that.

Breakout of the Season: Huberdeau was a rookie last season. A rookie who walked right in and took the team by the horns and led them to last place. From a fantasy perspective, he becomes an guy you want on your roster and his value should go up for next season.

Disappointment of the Season: The whole damn team. When your team is 29th in goals for (2.3), dead, shit-smelling last in goals against 3.5 per game and the worst penalty kill in the league (74.2%) it’s no wonder that this team wound up getting your fantasy squad’s ass kicked like it was their first night in prison.

And yet they somehow finish with the sixth-best power play, connecting 20.4% of the time. Go figure that one out. This team had so many minuses, you would think they are really just a bunch of kick-ass golfers masquerading as a hockey team. But they’re not.

The goaltending was awful from Jose (might have been better with Alvin or Simon or) Theodore, through Scott Clemmensen and to Jacob Markstrom who might be the team’s future. Markstrom was the best of the three with an 8-14-1 mark, 3.22 GAA and .901 save percentage. Yes, that was the best. The stats are below to prove it.

Team Analysis: I wish I could tell you that the Panthers fought the good fight. I wish I could tell you that – but hockey is no fairy-tale world.  Things went on like that for awhile -hockey consists of routine, and then more routine. Every so often, the Panthers would show up with fresh bruises. The other teams kept at them – sometimes they was able to fight ‘em off, sometimes not. And that’s how it went for Florida – that was their routine. I do believe those first two months were the worst for them, and since things had gone on that way, this season got the best of them.

(It’s a modified quote from the movie, with a Panthers’ twist on it. )

2013-2014 Story Lines: Will this team pull an Andy Dufresne and crawl through a river of shit to come out cleaner next season?

2013-2014 Fantasy Guys to Have: Huberdeau, Brian Campbell (8-19–27, 17 PP points, -22 rating)

 Guys on the Fringe:  Tomas Fleischmann, Tomas Kopecky, Peter Mueller

PLAYER GP G A PTS +/- PIM ATOI PPG PPA SHG SHA SOG SPCT
Tomas Fleischmann, C 48 12 23 35 -10 16 18:44 2 11 1 0 121 9.9
Jonathan Huberdeau, C 48 14 17 31 -15 18 16:56 2 7 0 0 112 12.5
Tomas Kopecky, C 47 15 12 27 -8 28 17:41 4 5 1 0 92 16.3
Brian Campbell, D 48 8 19 27 -22 12 26:25 6 11 0 0 70 11.4
Shawn Matthias, C 48 14 7 21 -8 16 15:11 2 1 1 0 106 13.2
Marcel Goc, C 42 9 10 19 -6 8 18:16 4 2 0 0 92 9.8
Peter Mueller, RW 43 8 9 17 -11 18 16:16 2 2 0 0 131 6.1
Drew Shore, C 43 3 10 13 -10 14 15:48 1 2 1 0 96 3.1
Jack Skille, RW 40 3 9 12 -9 11 13:19 0 0 0 0 69 4.3
Filip Kuba, D 44 1 9 10 -18 24 21:13 0 4 0 0 50 2.0
Dmitry Kulikov, D 34 3 7 10 -5 22 20:59 2 4 0 0 52 5.8
T.J. Brennan, D  19 2 7 9 -8 2 17:41 0 3 0 0 24 8.3
Mike Weaver, D 27 1 8 9 -3 8 20:08 0 0 0 0 21 4.8
Jerred Smithson, C  35 2 3 5 -4 10 10:22 0 0 0 0 22 9.1
Alex Kovalev, RW 14 2 3 5 -1 6 15:37 1 1 0 0 21 9.5
Scottie Upshall, RW 27 4 1 5 -8 25 13:30 1 0 0 0 54 7.4
Stephen Weiss, C 17 1 3 4 -13 25 18:28 1 1 0 0 19 5.3
Tyson Strachan, D 38 0 4 4 -13 40 18:58 0 0 0 0 42 0.0
Erik Gudbranson, D 32 0 4 4 -22 47 18:45 0 1 0 0 49 0.0
Kris Versteeg, RW 10 2 2 4 -8 8 16:53 0 1 0 0 20 10.0
Mike Santorelli, C  24 2 1 3 -7 2 11:06 0 0 0 0 21 9.5
George Parros, RW 39 1 1 2 -15 57 6:37 0 0 0 0 16 6.3
Ed Jovanovski, D 6 0 1 1 -4 0 15:40 0 0 0 0 6 0.0
Colby Robak, D 16 0 1 1 -1 17 15:11 0 0 0 0 15 0.0
Greg Rallo, RW 10 1 0 1 -5 2 9:33 1 0 0 0 10 10.0
Eric Selleck, LW 2 0 1 1 2 17 7:55 0 0 0 0 2 0.0
Nick Bjugstad, C 11 1 0 1 -8 2 15:13 0 0 0 0 17 5.9
Jon Rheault, RW 5 0 0 0 0 0 10:34 0 0 0 0 5 0.0
Alex Petrovic, D 6 0 0 0 -8 25 18:47 0 0 0 0 5 0.0
Scott Timmins, C 5 0 0 0 -2 4 10:35 0 0 0 0 6 0.0
Quinton Howden, C 18 0 0 0 -11 2 10:27 0 0 0 0 22 0.0
Nolan Yonkman, D 7 0 0 0 -1 11 9:46 0 0 0 0 4 0.0
Keaton Ellerby, D  9 0 0 0 -2 36 15:11 0 0 0 0 8 0.0
Michael Caruso, D 2 0 0 0 -1 0 7:55 0 0 0 0 0 0.0

 

PLAYER GP W L OTL GAA TOI SV SV% SHO TGA TSA PIM
Jacob Markstrom 23 8 14 1 3.22 1265:45 617 .901 0 68 685 0
Jose Theodore 15 4 6 3 3.29 766:28 349 .893 0 42 391 2
Scott Clemmensen 19 3 7 2 3.67 866:25 368 .874 0 53 421 0

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