"What a great way to start. I couldn't have asked for more. I think if you look at how we wanted to play the game, we seemed to put that together tonight...It really was a team effort. Very enjoyable game for me."
- Panthers head coach on his first game as head coach of the Panthers (on Fox Sports Florida)
1. Holdovers Just Fine: While all of the pub was about the Panthers new players (and why not when about half of your roster is new) it was two holdovers who scored the Panthers two goals which is good to see. Stephen Weiss, the longest tenured Panther, opened the scoring while defenseman Jason Garrison used a rocket of a shot to score the second with just 15 seconds left in the first.
2. Theodore's Strong Start: After a rocky pre-season (12 goals allowed in two games), it was great to see Jose Theodore start the season off right in turning away all 27 shots in pitching the shutout. With Clemmensen down for the forseeable future, the Panthers will rely on Theodore heavily to begin the season and he couldn't have started it off any better. Granted he was helped out by a strong defensive effort that helped limit the Islanders shots to one and done the majority of the time, he looked very comfortable between the pipes.
3. Power Play Looks Improved: While they scored just once on five opportunities, the Panthers power play units looked vastly improved from last season as the Panthers moved the puck with tape-to-tape passes and kept the pressure on the Islanders in the offensive zone. The Panthers goal came off some nice passing along the blue line before Garrison deposited the puck into the back of the net with a blast.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.
@TheRatTrick: Winning makes everything better"@rinkside: Great night for the #FlaPanthers org. Cats win. @sarampage win. @CincyCyclones win."ad coach of the Panthers (on Fox Sports Florida)
@hockeyislife60: Shutout in the first game of the season. BOOM. I believe in 60 forever & always. #weseered #FLApanthers
@puckmaster35: #FlaPanthers looking good!!!! I highly suggest to all my twitter followers that u go to their games this season!!!!
@tonyfigcis: Great win @FlaPanthers nice to see the #flapanthers #winning on the road and starting season on the right foot (paw?).
Memorable fan posts from the game.
Matt Ragovin: our defense looks very good so far and i like how Dineen used everyone on the bench
Hockey Puck: This is the beginning!!!
Gregory Cordero: they really looked impressive tonight. Great goaltending by Theodore!
Paolo Torres: this is a new era for the panthers indeed.. winning will be a constant... they are a solid team all around
2.Jose Theodore pitched the shutout with his 27 save effort. It was the second time in franchise history that a Panthers goalie recorded a shutout in the season opener. The other time (ironically also a 2-0 victory) was recorded while opening the 2005-06 season as Roberto Luongo turned away 34 shots in the victory over Atlanta.
4. Three different Panthers finished tied for the team lead in shots with four each. Weiss (goal), David Booth and Sean Bergenheim all recorded four shots. Garrison (goal) and Jack Skille were each one shot back with three.
5. Five different skaters recorded point for the Panthers against the Islanders, including Campbell (two assists), Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg all picking up their first points as Panthers.
30:04. If it looked like Campbell was all over the ice Saturday night, it's because he was as he finished with a game-high 30:04 of ice time. The next closest player? New York's Mark Streit who at 24:58 was 5:06 less than Campbell. Garrison, the Panthers closest player finished with 24:39 of ice time (5:25 less).
80. Weiss finished with an impressive 80% winning percentage on face-offs in the offensive zone as he went 8-10. Overall, Weiss had a great start as he won 13 of 22 face-offs for a 59% winning percentage.
The Panthers get two days off in-between the game against the Islanders and their second game of the season in Pittsburgh. The Penguins on the other hand play in back-to-back games Saturday at Calgary and Sunday at Edmonton before flying all the way across country for Tuesday's game. Don't expect a let down from the Pens however as the game will be the home opener for the team from Pennsyvania. Led by Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins will be juiced up for the start of their home slate to the 2011-12 season.