Cats Finish Final 50 with 27-16-7 Mark; Countdown Begins for Next Season
The Florida Panthers completed the 2005-06 season with a 2-1 overtime win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night. At 37-34-11 record, Florida finished with their best record in the last five seasons and won 35 games for the fourth time in team history.
The 2005-06 campaign was filled with numerous team and individual highlights:
- The Panthers posted a 15-7-3 mark since the Olympic break and a 28-16-7 record in their last 50 contests
- The Panthers 25 home wins ranks tied for second best in the club's history, ranking behind the 1999-00 campaign when the team recorded 26 home victories.
- The Panthers posted impressive wins against playoff teams this season including Detroit, Ottawa, Buffalo, Nashville, Tampa Bay and Carolina
- The Cats took six of eight games from the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning
- The Panthers roster consisted of six players who recorded 40 or more points, including Jay Bouwmeester, Olli Jokinen, Jozef Stumpel, Nathan Horton, Martin Gelinas and Joe Nieuwendyk.
- The Cats posted a 10-4-1 record in March, marking the club's most successful month since the 1995-96 campaign when Florida went 10-2-1 in November.
- The Panthers tied a franchise record with a seven-game winning streak (Mar. 17-29).
- The Panthers tied a franchise record with a home winning streak of five games (Mar. 17-Apr. 1).
- The Panthers set a franchise record on Mar. 20 versus the Washington Capitals when they recorded 28 shots on goal in the second period.
- Olli Jokinen's 87-point effort ranks second all-time among franchise leaders behind only Pavel Bure who recorded 92 points (2000-01) and 94 points (1999-00).
- Roberto Luongo set a franchise record with his 107th victory, surpassing the mark of 106 set by John Vanbiesbrouck. Luongo also passed Vanbiesbrouck (27) for most wins by a Panthers goaltender in a season with his 28th win of the season on Mar. 20 versus Tampa Bay.
- The Panthers set a franchise road record scoring eight goals in their win at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 28.
- The Cats also tied a franchise record with their fifth six-goal victory in team history with their 8-2 win over Tampa Bay on Feb. 28.
- Olli Jokinen tied Pavel Bure for most game-winning goals in franchise history with 23.
- Martin Gelinas posted the best single season plus/minus rating in team history with a plus-27 rating.
- Six Cats represented the Panthers at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympic games with Olli Jokinen (Finland) collecting a silver medal and Rostislav Olesz (Czech Republic) collecting a bronze medal.
What Panthers Fans are Saying:
"We had an amazing year and cannot wait until next year! From game one until now, we have enjoyed the year and anxiously anticipate the start of next season." Art Brockman
"Coach Martin has helped to turn this team around. The team's play has improved significantly this year and I am confident that the Panthers will compete in the playoffs next season." Jeff Spiero
"We thoroughly enjoyed each and every game that we attended. It was great to see all the energy and passion that this year's team played with." Alan & Ellen Kaplan