When you miss the playoffs as often as the Florida Panthers do, it may be tough to raise expectations.
Roberto Luongo and Jaromir Jagr are far more accustomed to success after game 82 of a season, however, and the Panthers’ goalie is adamant that the team must set its sights on the postseason.
NHL.com transcribed some of Luongo’s more confident comments:
“Last year we weren’t quite sure what we were going to get; we had a lot of new faces and a new coaching staff,” Luongo said. “This year it’s time to take that next step. It’s really all about the playoffs for our team; nothing beneath that will be acceptable. I think as a group we realize that and demand that of ourselves.”
Florida did make some strides, but falling seven points short of the playoffs is more of a sign of work to do than some might expect (especially after it was sold as “just an extra win every six weeks”). In the age of “loser points,” seven standings points is actually a pretty significant margin.
That said, the Panthers were growing together, as Luongo mentioned. Setting the bar higher is important for young players who are developing as well as veterans who want to earn a few more shots at glory.
Want more on Luongo and the Panthers? PHT covered a lot of bases on that subject a few days ago: