We are almost to the halfway point of September already, and with that we are halfway through running our 30 in 30 Team Preview Special. Today’s guest host – The Florida Panthers.
Despite being the perennial bottom feeders of the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers split last years season series 2-2. Much like the Buffalo Sabres, the Florida Panthers have gone through a little bit of a culture change, hoping to snap their Buffalo Bills like playoff drought (now theres a good bet for you, who makes it to the playoffs first, the Buffalo Bills or Florida Panthers, unfortunately I think the Panthers are closer to solving their problems).
In probably bad news for the Panthers, we play them twice in the first month of the season. With emotions and energy high in Buffalo regarding the seizure of the team by this whole win mentality, it might be tough to beat the Sabres in the first few weeks of the season. I am not saying it won’t be done, I am just saying its going to be very hard. The Sabres make a trip to sunny Florida on October 20th, the Panthers return the favor on the 29th. The schedule evens out for a bit, as the teams meet again in December in Buffalo on Friday December 9th, and then close the season out in Florida on March 17th.
Probably the biggest off season acquisition for the Florida Panthers with a Buffalo connection is the addition of former Sabres defensemen Brian Campbell.
The Florida Panthers have undergone a culture change. I don’t think you are going to have to worry about them in the playoffs this year, but they are going to spoil someone’s picnic, and be a lot closer than they were last year.
Check out the interesting look at the upcoming season for the Florida Panthers by Frank Rekas here. Tune in tomorrow as we get back on the Alphabetical track and see what the Dallas Stars have in store on Saturday.