Former Panthers forward and current radio analyst Bill Lindsay will be blogging on floridapanthers.com on anything that crosses his mind.
Lindsay who spent seven seasons (1993-2002) with the Cats and played in 506 games and collected 165 points is now a radio analyst on 790 The Ticket.
Lindsay will always be remembered in Cats history for his series-clinching goal in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Boston Bruins in the '96 playoffs. The '08-'09 season is underway for the Florida Panthers, and as always at this time of year there is hopes and dreams of Playoffs for almost every NHL team.
Parity rules the NHL right now, and especially so in the Eastern Conference. Montreal is the pick for many to win the East, and yes they are good, but by no means great. Pittsburgh has a couple of superstars that should carry their team, but they lost a lot of their depth players and they will find it tough sledding when other teams focus on stopping their star players. The rest of the Eastern Conference teams have many more question marks, which means a wide open race for the playoffs. It truly is a year when you could see as many as 12 teams in contention for the eight playoff spots, up until the last week of the season.
This is all great news if you're a Panther fan because they are definately going to be in the mix. As always, a lot will come down to injuries and winning more than your share of tight games. The Panthers lost 25 games last year by one goal, which caused another year of heartbreak.
I have been asked where are the goals going to come from? Well my friends that is the least of my worries. I have to applaud the move to upgrade the blue line by GM Jaques Martin, even if it cost our Captain Olli Jokinen. The 25 games the Panthers lost by 1 goal were mostly attributed to blowing leads. If you are leading, it means you have scored enough goals to win the game. Jacques did the right thing when he evaluated his team, found the area that needed to be fixed and did something about it. I love what Olli did for this franchise, but I believe both parties knew it was time for a change. Olli is going to flourish in Phoenix, and the Panthers will be a better team.
The Cats upgraded defense, Thomas Vokoun in net, and the emergence of David Booth as a star have the Panthers on the verge of breaking their playoff drought. I am truly excited about the year to come. It will be close down to the end, but I believe the wait for playoff hockey will end. This year they will win more than their share of tight games and yes they will score enough goals.
On that note I will leave you with this. Olli Jokinen played seven years in Florida and scored 419 points. Bud did you know thar over that same span of seven years, Cory Stillman had 412 points? That works out to 1 point a season less.