This isn’t meant to pile on the Florida Panthers. They’ve had a ton of injuries this season, not to mention the loss of d-man Jason Garrison to free agency.
But there’s losing, and then there’s LOSING. Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Bruins was the Panthers’ sixth straight — a stretch that’s seen them outscored 30-8.
Florida (13-26-6) has the dubious distinction of owning the worst offense (2.24 goals per game) and the worst defense (3.58) in the NHL. Not surprisingly, the team also has the fewest points in the standings — just 32, five fewer than 29th-place Colorado.
After 45 games, the Panthers’ goal differential has dropped all the way to minus-58. The next worst in that category belongs to the Avs, at minus-33.
If this weren’t a shortened season, Florida would be on pace for a goal differential of minus-106. The last team to break the minus-century mark was the 2003-04 Pittsburgh Penguins (-113). Remember how bad Columbus was last year? The Jackets finished at minus-60.
If the Panthers can take anything from their sixth loss in a row, at least Jacob Markstrom played well. The tall 23-year-old goalie stopped 36 of 38 Boston shots (the Bruins got an empty-netter) at TD Garden.
Markstrom has been waiting in the wings of the organization for quite some time now. He was drafted 31st overall in 2008 and has spent the better parts of three seasons in the AHL, with the odd NHL appearance mixed in.
Markstrom’s also typically been the first answer to the question, “Why don’t the Panthers trade for Roberto Luongo?”
Will we see the Luongo rumors pop up again this summer? Or, has that ship sailed?
Mercifully, the Panthers only have three games left. They close out their home schedule Thursday versus Toronto. Tickets are affordable.