Chris Peters is currently ESPN’s NHL draft and prospects analyst. The Chicago native previously covered the NHL for CBSSports.com and based the most popular independent site UnitedStatesofHockey.com where he also covered the game at all levels since 2010.
As each NHL team is eliminated from playoff contention — either mathematically or by dropping the postseason — we’ll take a look at why its quest to the Stanley Cup fell short in 2018-19, combined with three keys to its offseason, impact prospects for 2019 20 and a way-too-early prediction for what second season will soon endure.
Some folks [author coughs loudly and emphatically] saw the Florida Panthers rather than a playoff team that could earn north of 95 things but also a potential contender to win the Eastern Conference… and boywere we wrong. The Panthers had a 96-point 201718 season which saw them scarcely miss the playoffs. They followed closely with a rancid campaign that lacked consequences and, often, any semblance of competent defense or goaltending. Having the worst rescue percentage in the NHL (.890) is generally not suggested.
If it went wrong? As the others of us were making New Year’s resolutions, the Panthers were predicated on a seven-game winless series that torpedoed their own season.
Despite Aleksander Barkov‘s 8-8 points along with strong goal-scoring from Mike Hoffman, Jonathan Huberdeau along with Evgenii Dadonovthis became just another lost season for a team that has left the playoffs only twice as 2001. But success could be described as a couple key offseason conclusions off…