Loss to Wild emboldens Panthers’ (and fancy stats) critics

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The Florida Panthers are more or less a .500¬†team with Tom Rowe behind the bench (2-3-3) as they were when Gerard Gallant got fired (11-10-1), but the difference, now, is that they’re a lightning rod for analytics debates.

For those who want to pile on the Panthers – either for the way they fired Gallant, their seemingly nerdy approach or both – Tuesday was pretty sweet.

The Minnesota Wild won 5-1, collecting their fifth consecutive win as Devan Dubnyk made 29 out of 30 saves. By continuing this mediocre-at-best work, Rowe and the Panthers took some serious heat.

Here’s a small sample of the reactions:

Some of that is merely stating the facts (with a smile, maybe?) while others are a little closer to proclaiming that the sky is falling. But there’s no doubt that things were a little tense tonight.

Consider how Rowe was losing it on the bench:

While Roberto Luongo was in no mood for funny tweets:

Does any of this prove anything one way or another? Well, that might hinge on who you ask …