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, the man behind Florida Panthers television play-by-play, Steve “Goldie” Goldstein.
ML: Two wins, two shootouts, 26 rounds and a whole lot of entertainment over the last two games. But the big story has obviously been the 20-rounder against the Capitals. A lot of history was made a couple of records broken and all in all it was truly special to be a part of. What was it like to call that shootout?
SG: For me, it was amazing because I couldn’t believe what I was watching. To be behind in a shootout five times and come back is unprecedented. Usually when you get a lead in a shootout, the team with the lead wins. Certainly if you have two leads or three leads you end up winning. The other side of it is throughout that shootout I’m just imagining what Roberto Luongo is thinking. A lot of people are talking about the five times (the Panthers) came back. But how about the 14 times Luongo made saves and really had a chance to win it. And (Braden) Holtby made the saves. So 14 times Luongo makes the save and he’s thinking ‘okay we get a goal here and this thing is over’ we don’t score and he had to make another save.
I was just making sure that on the broadcast, to be honest with you that I convey what’s going through my mind, that we’ve never seen anything like this before and there’s a good chance you’re never going to see anything like this again and I kept trying to make sure I said that on the air. I’m sure there were people that were maybe on social media or hearing about the game that joined in on the sixth round and the eighth round or the 12th round and then the 15th round and I wanted to make sure that I felt that new viewers were coming to the party, if you will and tuning in throughout the shootout.
ML: 30 games into the season the Panthers are in the mix for the playoffs. Fighting off teams like Boston and the Rangers for a Wild Card spot, this team has been fun to watch and is starting to develop that reputation. Coach Gerard Gallant has really got this team clicking. Talk a bit about Gerard and how he’s gotten this team on the same page.
SG: It’s interesting because the comments made by owner Vinnie Viola the first time he met Gallant up in New York when they were all going through the interview process and he says ‘We’ll talk to everyone else but that’s our guy’. Gerard is like that. Guys want to play for him, they want to have success for him. There’s no politics with him and I’ve gotten to know him over the first few months of this season. He’s as good a guy off the ice as he is on the ice. He understands the rigors of an NHL schedule, he understands what guys go through. It’s a simple game, he’s not reinventing the wheel. He’s not coming in with some system that, ‘hey everyone has got to learn it’. It’s look at the guy to your left, look at the guy to your right and then look in the mirror. Those are the three people you need to bring it to the table every single shift for and these guys are buying into it.