Florida Panthers Need New Talent to Gain Respectability

January 15th, 2011 by Scott Weldon Leave a reply »
Stephen Weiss has been on a bit of a streak.

His three assists Tuesday night helped the Panthers to their OT victory over the Washington Capitals, Southeast Division rivals. He's scoring at just over a point a game clip for the last 17 games. The streak has him leading the Panthers in points (29) and tied with David Booth for the team lead with 13 goals.

The Panthers have shown tangible improvement this year. Playing in what is a tougher and tougher Southeast Division, they still are hanging in at .500. The Panthers finished last year with a 32-37-13 record and 77 points, the third-worst record in the league.

Despite better opposition in their own division, the Panthers sit with 42 points in 42 games on track to earn 82 points this year. They currently have the sixth-worst record in the league. It's a tiny bump, true, but I believe a lot of their improvement is masked by the fact that Atlanta and Tampa Bay have both taken huge steps forward.

The NHL's unbalanced schedule insures that a team's success in the regular season is dependent on those 32 games they play in their own division. Thirty-nine percent of your schedule is against yo ...

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