On Friday, the Florida Panthers will participate in their first playoff game since 2000. The length of their former drought is staggering to say the least, but if you assume that their first round opponents, the New Jersey Devils, have a big edge in postseason experience, you would be mistaken.
Although the Devils have been almost the polar opposite of the Panthers when it comes to their ability to get to the playoffs, the thing you have to keep in mind is that Panthers GM Dale Tallon has made sweeping changes to his team in recent years. As a consequence, 15 of the 20 players projected to play for the Panthers on Friday already have some playoff experience under their belts. Some Panthers like Brian Campbell and John Madden have even won the Stanley Cup before.
Their coach, Kevin Dineen, also has 59 games worth of postseason experience on his resume, although that was as a player, not a coach. Still, it helps that Dineen and so many of his players understand what it means to compete in the first round and beyond.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”
The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.
Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.
It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.
Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.
He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.
Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.
If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.
The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.
The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.