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Countdown 8: Where Will Goals Come From?

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
The Panthers 2010-11 season is quickly approaching and with that, floridapanthers.com is taking a look at the top ten questions, players to watch and games of the season on a countdown to the home opener on October 16th against Tampa Bay. We'll unveil one of the top ten on a rotating basis each day to help fans get ready for what hopes to be an exciting season.



In today's topic, we take a closer look at Where The Goals Will Come From in our Top 10 Questions this season.

The question has been asked pretty much every season for the Panthers. How will the Panthers score goals to win games?

The Panthers defense, even in their yearly makeover, is usually solid. And throughout the franchise history, goaltending has been more than solid with the likes of John Vanbiesbrouck, Roberto Luongo, Ed Belfour and Tomas Vokoun between the pipes among others.

The offense, however, has struggled.

The last time the Panthers were in the top half of the league was the 2006-07 season when they had 245 goals (good enough for 11th). The seasons after? 211 (20th), 231 (17th) and 202 (28th)

"Obviously scoring was a big issue last year and we need secondary scoring primarily," said head coach Peter DeBoer.

The Panthers will rely heavily on their top line of Stephen Weiss, David Booth and Michael Frolik. Each of those players should be penciled in for at least 25 goals each if the Panthers are to be somewhat successful. The secondary scoring will be huge however as players such as Cory Stillman, Steven Reinprecht, Shawn Matthias, Rostislav Olesz and others need to have good seasons as well.

"Stephen Weiss is going to get his goals. David Booth if he's healthy like he looks now is going to get his goals and so is Michael Frolik," said DeBoer. "It's the secondary scoring that we really lacked last year. We've got to find it some where, whether it's Steven Reinprecht and some people of Shawn Matthias and some people. We've got to get some goals out of our fourth line as well."

With the off-season trade of winger Nathan Horton, the Panthers will have to rely even more on the scoring throughout the lineup.

"It's a chance for other guys like for me and the guys here in the room to step up," said Frolik. "We have to play as a team and not worry about who's going to score. If we do that, the results will be good and we'll win games.

"You need it to compete in this league," said Weiss of secondary scoring. "You can't rely on one or two guys. You need scoring from all around, especially from a team that struggles to score in the first place. If we can get all three or four lines on board and chip in then we will win some hockey games."

The Panthers will also need their defense to chip in. After leading the league in goals from their blueliners two seasons ago with 49, they combined for just 35 goals this past season.

Make sure you keep an eye on the goal scoring.
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