Aaron Ekblad confident in Panthers chances after busy offseason
The Florida Panthers made major offseason moves to completely revamp their roster and coaching staff.
For the first time in a long time, the team is now considered to be among those expected to be in the mix for a Stanley Cup in 2019/2020. But as the saying goes: with hype comes lofty expectations.
Can the Florida Panthers get the most out of the talent on their roster and live up to what is expected of them? All-Star defenceman Aaron Ekblad is as confident as anybody that the team will be able to deliver.
“Maybe in the past people overlooked us, but right now, I would say we go into this year as the team to beat,” said Ekblad.
“With the players we’ve brought in and the core we have established, I mean, if we don’t win, you know things are going to go sideways pretty quick. We have to realize and know if we want to stay together, we have to win.”
Among the major transactions this offseason includes the hiring of three-time Stanley Cup champion head coach Joel Quenneville, the signing of Vezina Trophy winning defenceman Sergei Bobrovsky, and the additions of veteran defenseman Anton Stralman and forwards Brett Connolly to add to an already promising young core that includes the likes of Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov, and others.
The Panthers will need to exercise their demons and not let the pressure of living up to expectations get the best of them like it tends to do. Despite having promise for the past several years, they have made the post-season just twice since 2005/06, and have not advanced past the first round since their Stanley Cup final run way back in 1996.
Should Cale Makar’s goal have counted? A closer look at the controversial rule that allowed it to happen
In case you missed it, the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers exploded for 14 goals in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final last night.
Colorado ended up winning the game 8-6 and taking a 1-0 series lead, but it didn’t happen without controversy.
One of the goals still being talked about was Cale Makar’s late first period goal that appeared to be an easy offside goal but was surprisingly not overturned after being reviewed by the head office in New York.
A lot of fans were left wondering why it was a good goal when another attacking player CLEARLY crossed the blue line before the puck. In most scenarios this would be the case, but according to rule 83.3, this was one of the exceptions. The video below explains it:
Do you agree with the call? If you do, do you think the league should make changes to this controversial rule? Will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Canadiens officially name Martin St. Louis the 32nd head coach in franchise history, sign him to three-year extension
The Montreal Canadiens believe in Martin St. Louis’ ability behind the bench, and are keeping him there for the foreseeable future.
The team has officially removed the interim tag from his role, and named him the 32nd head coach in franchise history. The two sides have agreed to a three-year contract extension that will run through the 2024/25 campaign
“We are happy to officially appoint Martin as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens,” said Montreal general manager Kent Hughes.
“Martin is a proven leader, a great communicator with a deep understanding of and passion for the game of hockey. His arrival brought a renewed energy to our group, and we look forward to him returning behind the bench to continue guiding our team for the foreseeable future.”
The 45-year old, who played in 1134 NHL games as a player from 1998-2015, took over as Habs’ bench boss after replacing Dominique Ducharme on February 9.
During his tenure last season, he led the last place Canadiens to a combined 14-19-4 record to finish off the 2021/22 campaign. Prior to that, the Canadiens were an abysmal 8-30-7.
WATCH: Lightning score in final seconds of regulation to take 2-0 series lead
The Tampa Bay Lightning are unstoppable.
Fresh off a come-from-behind series win in round 1, the Lightning have picked up right where they left off in the second round against the Florida Panthers.
They cruised to a 4-1 win in Game 1, and appeared to be headed to overtime as the clock was running down in Game 2, but Lightning forward Ross Colton had other plans!
After corralling a beautiful no-look pass from behind-the-net by Nikita Kucherov, Colton fired it past Sergei Bobrovsky with 3.8 seconds remaining in the third period to secure the win.
The Lightning will head back home to Amalie Arena with a 2-0 series lead.