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By The Numbers: The 2008-09 Season

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Panthers By The Numbers takes a closer look at some of the

interesting stats that you may or may have not known about.

0 – It’s not often a team doesn’t take a penalty in a game. That happened twice this season and both times the opponent was the Carolina Hurricanes. Both at the BankAtlantic Center. Both resulting in Cats victories. Carolina was not whistled for a penalty November 28th in a 3-2 victory for Florida. The Cats returned the favor when they weren’t sent to the box once in a 4-2 win on January 8th. It was the third time in franchise history that Florida was not whistled for a penalty (first since April 6, 2007 against Tampa).

1 – It’s a rarity for a team to dominate another in a season series. While it wasn’t exactly total domination (two wins in overtime), the Florida Panthers did sweep the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. It was the third straight season they have swept a season series (Boston & Philadelphia in 06-07 and the NY Islanders in 07-08) and first time they have swept the Leafs in more than two games (1995-96 season won both games). The Cats have swept an opponent (4 or more games in a series) nine times in franchise history (Boston and NY Islanders twice, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Toronto).

2 – A record to have almost by themselves, the ’08-09 Cats became just the second team in the history of the NHL to convert on three penalty shots in a calendar month (New Jersey in March 1988) when they scored three times in January. It was a first in the aspect that all three penalty shots (Michael Frolik against Atlanta on January 10th, David Booth against Buffalo on January 19th and Radek Dvorak against Montreal on January 29th) came at home. The Cats were one of two teams (Philadelphia) to convert on three penalty shots this season.

3 – The Maple Leafs are also a part of this next stat as they were on the wrong end of the Cats largest comeback victory in franchise history. Down three goals (4-1) in the third period, Florida scored three times to tie the score and then won in overtime, thanks to Richard Zednik, on February 10th at the BankAtlantic Center. Florida won three games this season when down at least two goals (at Toronto February 3rd, won 4-3 in overtime after down 3-1, and at Tampa Bay on January 16th as they won 4-3 in regulation after being down 3-1 in the second).

4 – Scoring 231 goals while giving up 223 this season, this year’s Cats became just the fourth team in franchise history to finish with more goals for than goals against (1995-96 they were plus 20. 1996-97 they also finished with plus 20. In 1999-00, Florida ended the season +35, and 2008-09 they were +8).

5 – Some more records fell or were tied as the Cats won five straight games at home (Jan 27- Feb 13) as well as five straight on the road (Nov 30 – Dec 12). The home win streak tied a franchise record while their road streak is a new high. Weirdly enough, the longest winning streak was only three games, but it was accomplished five different times this season.

6 – Florida was exceptional at five-on-five play this year as they ranked sixth in the league in five-on-five scoring with 156 goals. Only Detroit (176), Boston (171), Calgary (167), Pittsburgh (167) and Toronto (165) finished with more.

7 – Every team has to play the back-to-back games. It’s a part of the 82 game season. Usually, at least one would think, the first game would be better than the second game in terms of the records. But that wasn’t the case for the Panthers this season as seven of their 11 wins in back-to-back situations came in the second game. They went 4-5-3 in the first game and finished 7-4-1 in the second.

8 – The Cats have been known to put pretty good streaks together the past couple years. After ringing up seven game unbeaten streaks in two of the last three seasons, they topped that with an eight game unbeaten streak as they took points from January 3rd (Pittsburgh) through January 19th (Buffalo), going 5-0-3 during the streak.

9 – Tomas Vokoun and Craig Anderson were exceptional for most of the season, especially at shutting down the opponents. The duo combined for nine shutouts on the season with Vokoun picking up six and Anderson finishing with three. That tied them with San Jose for fifth most in the league. It also established a new high for shutouts in a season (two more than the previous high). Going along with that, they also set a franchise record for six shutouts at home.

10 – The Cats had pretty good years against their opponents. That would happen when you finish with 93 points on the season. Florida won 10 games each against the Atlantic and Northeast Divisions. The Panthers, in fact, had winning records against four of the six divisions while finishing even in another. (SE – 13-7-4, ATL – 10-6-4, NE 10-8-2, NW – 3-2-0, PAC – 3-3-0, CEN – 2-4-1).

11 – When head coach Peter DeBoer came to the Panthers, one of his goals was to reduce the penalties taken by the club. Mission accomplished. Florida averaged just 11 penalty minutes a game (884 in the season), which was the fourth lowest average in the league. It was also the Cat’s lowest penalty minute total in franchise history for an 82-game season.

12 – The Cats found themselves in one-goal games 37.8 percent of the time this season (31 games). And after it was all said in done, they would earn a point in 27 of those games. They were 16-4 (+12) in regulation and lost another 11 in overtime or the shootout (16-4-11).

13 – While not an overly dominating number, the Cats combined to block 1,105 shots as a team which put them 13th in the league. The Islanders, who finished first in that category, combined to block 1,391 shots.

16 – While not their best month points wise, the Cats did have their best February in franchise history as they went 8-5-0 (16 points) in the second month of the new year. It was the first time they won more than six games in February and one more point than their previous high (15 - 6-4-3 in 03-04, 6-3-3 in 06-07 and 6-6-3 in 07-08).

17 – Florida’s high in points for a month was actually reached twice when they finished with 17 points in January (7-2-3) and March (7-5-3). It was the Cats second highest January for points (9-4-1 – 19 points in 1999-00) and tied for third most points in March (10-4-1 – 21 points in 2005-06, 9-4-1 – 19 points in 06-07 and 8-3-1 – 17 points in 07-08).

21 – The Cats reached some new highs in terms of playing on days of the week. Florida won 10 games each on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. They set new highs with 21 points on Tuesday (10-3-1) and Thursday (10-7-1). The previous high for both those days was 18 when they went 9-4-0 on Tuesdays during the 1995-96 season and posted a 7-2-4 mark on Thursdays during the 1996-97 season.

49 – Another record for Florida. This going to the blueline. The Cats scored 231 regulation/overtime goals this season. 49 of those came from the defenders (Bouwmeester, McCabe, Ballard, Boynton, Cullimore, Skrastins, Eminger and Welch). The 49 goals was the most in franchise history, six more than the 43 they recorded during the 1995-96 season. This year’s total was good enough for second in the league, just one behind the Boston blueliners.

87 – Florida saw most of their scoring come in the middle period as they recorded 87 second period goals. That was 19 more than first period scoring and 15 more than scoring in the third. The 87 goals was the seventh most in the league in that category.

93 – The 2008-09 Cats finished the season with 93 points thanks to going 41-30-11. The 93 points is the second most in franchise history (98 points during the 1999-00 season) and the 41 wins tied for the second most in franchise history (1995-96).

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