After accomplishing a feat they hadn’t managed in 12 years (making the playoffs), the Florida Panthers pulled off something they hadn’t done in 15: actually winning a postseason contest. Not since April 17, 1997 had the Panthers prevailed in a big way – the longest gap in playoff wins in NHL history, according to NBC Sports Network – as the cascade of plastic rats provided a symbolic moment of arrival. The New Jersey Devils cannot totally disregard the seemingly weak third seed any longer now that the series is tied 1-1 thanks to a 4-2 Florida win.
Let’s get the discussion started.
- Stephen Weiss became the first Panthers player to score two power-play goals in a single playoff game. Is there a player in the entire postseason group of 16 that deserves some relief more than him?
- Shots on goal don’t tell everything, but they’re a solid indicator of effort from time to time. I’d say it shows in the Devils work to some degree; they went from four in the first to nine in the second and then 12 in the final frame. Is New Jersey’s seemingly uneven play a sign that the Devils aren’t taking the Panthers seriously, that they’re not very good or perhaps a combination of the two? Or something else?
- So, tell us: what were you doing in April 1997? Were you watching the New York Rangers face the Panthers in Miami, by any chance?
- The Devils “have home ice advantage,” yet this was a confidence-builder for the Panthers. Do you think Florida has a real chance to win the series?