NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the Florida Panthers.
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1. Bobrovsky's even-strength save percentage
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky agreed to a seven-year contract with the Panthers on July 1 after veteran goalie Roberto Luongo announced his retirement on June 26 and backup James Reimer was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes on June 30. Bobrovsky, who turns 31 on Sept. 20, could be the final piece needed for Florida to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2015-16. He has had three straight seasons with at least 37 wins and 62 games played (.922 save percentage in span). He led the NHL with nine shutouts last season, and his .890 save percentage against the power play ranked fifth among the 19 NHL goalies who played at least 50 games. One area Bobrovsky could improve from last season is his play at even strength, when he had a .915 save percentage, tied for fifth-worst among the 19 NHL goalies who played at least 50 games.
Video: 31 in 31: Florida Panthers 2019-20 season preview
2. Barkov zone starts
Center Aleksander Barkov was 10th in the NHL with 96 points (35 goals, 61 assists) last season, and forward Jonathan Huberdeau was tied for 12th with 92 points (30 goals, 62 assists). Huberdeau was tied for eighth with 34 power-play points, and Barkov was 15th with 31. The Panthers power play finished second in the NHL (26.8 percent) behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (28.2 percent). Despite the offensive production, Barkov had a minus-64 shot attempts differential, which can be explained by his zone starts percentage of 42.44 percent. At 5-on-5, Barkov was on the ice for 518 face-offs in the Florida zone compared to 382 in the offensive zone. This underlying statistic indicates Barkov has an even higher ceiling offensively if new coach Joel Quenneville diversifies his deployment.
Video: Aleksander Barkov cracks the top five on the list
3. Penalty-kill percentage
The Panthers were 10th in the NHL on the penalty kill last season (81.3 percent) despite getting below-average numbers from their goalies. Luongo's .873 save percentage against the power play was tied for 17th among 39 NHL goalies to play at least 36 games, and Reimer's .838 was 33rd. Bobrovsky should help to improve in this area, but Quenneville also will make adjustments on the penalty kill that should give Florida's goalies relief.
Video: Looking at the potential for the Panthers
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