Welcome to Florida Panthers: State of the Union, where we talk all things Panthers hockey as well as what is going on in the NHL.
Mike Lewis is the voice behind the State of the Union and each week will look to bring in some insight from analysts and Panthers media personalities.
This week’s guest, Florida Panthers television analyst, Bill Lindsay.
ML: Nick Bjugstad and Jonathan Huberdeau have been two of Florida’s hottest players. They’ve had very strong chemistry this season. Every time you see Bjugstad’s name on the score sheet, Huberdeau isn’t far behind with the assist. How good is it to see these two young players clicking and proving themselves as top players for the club?
BL: I think it’s really good, and it’s important that the young talent we have continues to take the next step and continue to get better. That’s what’s happened with Nick Bjugstad. Jonathan Huberdeau, who struggled with his confidence, I think early in the season now is starting to get back into a groove and starting to free himself up mentally, which I think is a big thing for Huberdeau. Any time you can have chemistry between two players, I think that puts a lot of confidence not only in the players but in the coaching staff, that you can use them in a lot of situations. That they can get out there and get some goals and get you what you need out of them.
ML: The goal that Aaron Ekblad scored in Detroit had to be really big for him. I know you were there, what was he feeling like after scoring that goal, basically in his hometown?
BL: He grew up just across the river in Windsor, Ontario so he had a lot of family and friends there. Actually, after the game he gave the stick (he scored the goal with) to his parents for safe keeping. So it’s something he’s always going to have.
Vincent Trocheck who played minor hockey there for Little Caeser’s , Joe Louis Arena was his home rink and he had a great game. Having a couple of players that were from that area with Trocheck and Ekblad to have huge games, I think was one of the more special nights the Panthers have had this season.