If any NHL franchise should cringe at the end-of-season “golf swing” taunt, you’d think it would be the Florida Panthers. After all, the Southeast Division leaders haven’t made the playoffs since 2000.
Then again, Sean Bergenheim was one game (and two goals) away from the Stanley Cup finals in 2011 with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Rather than just count his many blessings,* Adam Gold reports that Bergenheim used the classic taunt on the Carolina Hurricanes after they convincingly beat his Panthers 3-1.
Let’s weigh the pros and cons to the gesture:
- Sure, it’s juvenile … but it’s kind of funny.
- Brad Marchand did it last season and the Boston Bruins were angry. Then he had a monster postseason and they eagerly re-signed him.
- The Hurricanes are out of the playoff picture, but it gives us all fodder for next season, when both teams might be taken seriously enough to develop a decent rivalry.
- Do the Panthers really want to mess with fate when their spot isn’t clinched? A team with this kind of drought shouldn’t be so brazen.
- Bergenheim has 22 points, a -3 rating and two game-winners this season. If he was in Carolina, would anything be different? Kris Versteeg or Brian Campbell had the right to make that taunt, though.
So where do you stand? Are you a fan of the swagger or do you think it’s a lame move? (If you don’t like it, please keep your comments clean.)
* – To be specific: riding a conveniently timed playoff run into a hefty contract with the Panthers, who conveniently look primed to snatch the third seed.