In theory, and only in theory, this should be the year of the Florida Panthers.
Posted yesterday at 4:10pm.
Panthers haven’t had much to smile about in recent years, and even in their lifetimes, we’ll tell each other.
Aside from playing under palm trees and enjoying the luxury of going to the ring in a slipper, Panther players often didn’t have the right to be happy. It’s a good time to remember that Sunrise Club has reached the first round of playoffs only once since they were born, in 1996, in the good old days of plastic rats and Scott Mellanby. It’s called scarcity.
That all changed this season, the season of All Hopes in Florida.
The club finished the season in first place overall in the National Hockey League with 122 points, plus many of its players had magical seasons, starting with Jonathan Huberdeau who gave himself a 115-point season.
And what do we actually say about players of this quality? They say they have to be the best. Of course Huberdeau opened the scoring on Saturday afternoon in Washington, with his first goal of the current streak, but we will likely remember something else, a penalty for a foul midway through the third half.
The Capitals, who were already 3-1 ahead at the time, had taken advantage of that power game to increase their lead by one goal. The end of the broadcast of this goal was achieved by Alex Ovechkin.
The Capitals is now 2-1 up, and of course it’s not over. There are teams that have already fallen off the more comfortable strands, and everyone knows that the hardest win to come is the fourth. Also, one can remember the wise words of Yogi Berra, who once said that it is not over until it is over.
But in the meantime, the Capitals were able to do what they had to do at the start of the confrontation: sow doubt.
Remember, the Panthers finished the season with 22 more points than their Washington rivals. But now, on this beautiful spring Saturday afternoon, it all means nothing, even after the Capitals won 6-1. The result is important, yes, but there is always a way, and what we saw in this game number three was a correction no less. After Jonathan Huberdeau’s goal, the Capitals scored six consecutive goals…
Do the cheetahs still have some gas in the tank? will be necessary. These capitals are solid though as time has passed, and before the playoffs began, it was very tempting to bury them quickly. After all, it was the leopard’s arrow that seemed to point upward, not the “capitals”.
Now, at this very moment, it doesn’t seem so obvious, and the Panthers, once again, are in a vulnerable position. It wasn’t too late for them, but at the same time, it was starting to rush a little.
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