Luongo one win from eighth all-time — does he have Hall of Fame credentials?

Jared Clinton
Roberto Luongo (Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

With one more victory, Roberto Luongo will take sole possession of eighth all-time in wins. It will be Luongo’s 408th victory, putting him one ahead of Glenn Hall and leaving Luongo only 14 wins shy of passing Tony Esposito for seventh all-time. But even as his passes some of the games all-time greats, one has to wonder if Luongo has the credentials to get into the Hall of Fame.

As THN’s Brian Costello excellently pointed out in August 2014, Luongo’s chances at getting himself into the Hall are based solely on one thing: his ability to pile up wins. Moving past Hall and Esposito won’t be enough for Luongo, though. No, in order to get into the Hall, Luongo is going to have to climb much further. Precedent has been set for someone of his ilk by the exclusion of Curtis Joseph from the Hall of Fame since he became eligible in 2012. Read more

Panthers’ Dmitry Kulikov to miss at least one week with lower-body injury

Jared Clinton
Dmitry Kulikov (Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

For the Florida Panthers to make the post-season, everything has to go right in 2015-16. They’re a talented group, but not one that can afford to lose key members to injury for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, the Cats will have to deal with just that.

In Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Panthers blueliner Dmitry Kulikov suffered a lower-body injury that will put him on the shelf for at least a week, according to the Miami Herald’s George Richards. Richards added that Kulikov is scheduled to undergo an MRI, but the extent of the injury, or just how long Kulikov could be out, is uncertain at this point. It could be just one week, but there’s the possibility he could be on the sideline longer.

The injury appeared to come on a hit from Lightning winger J.T. Brown, who crunched Kulikov into the boards early in the second period of Saturday’s game. Kulikov looked to be skating gingerly following the hit from Brown and didn’t take a single shift after leaving the ice post-hit: Read more

Watch the hilarious no-goal that Vincent Trochek will never live down

Jared Clinton
Vincent Trochek (via SomeHockeyVideos/YouTube)

Florida Panthers right winger Vincent Trochek has six goals in 2015-16. That’s pretty good for the 22-year-old. Why is that important, though? Well, because Trochek thought he had seven and his teammates will likely never let him live it down.

In the third period of Florida’s Tuesday night tilt against Calgary, Trocheck used a deft deflection to put the puck between the legs of Flames netminder Karri Ramo. The puck skittered between Ramo’s legs and caught nothing but the post, but not from Trochek’s viewpoint — no, for him, it caught nothing but net.

Watch as Trochek celebrates the goal while staring directly at the fans, before turning around and panicking as he sees play continuing (via SomeHockeyVideos): Read more

Watch Roberto Luongo rob Chris Stewart with desperation blocker save

Jared Clinton
Roberto Luongo (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Now that he’s 36, no one is going to be fooled into thinking Florida Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo is the same goaltender who was a Vezina Trophy candidate three times in seven seasons. But Luongo remains one of the most successful goaltenders in NHL history, and he still has more than a few moments of brilliance left in his pads.

Take Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks, for instance. The Panthers were leading 2-1 and the Ducks were pressing late in the third period while on the power play when a puck was worked back to defenseman Cam Fowler. Fowler teed up a blast from the blueline which Luongo turned aside, but a juicy rebound found its way to the Ducks’ Chris Stewart.

Stewart had time to wind up and put his own blast on goal, but Luongo dove to his left, threw his hands up and was able to knock Stewart’s attempt down and cover the puck: Read more

Marchand off the hook for Kulikov hit

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
Brad Marchand (Getty Images)

Boston Bruins left winger Brad Marchand has avoided supplementary discipline for a hit on Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.

Comcast SportNet New England’s Joe Haggerty reports that Marchand will not be suspended after being assessed a five-minute boarding major and game misconduct with 2:06 remaining in Boston’s 3-1 win on Friday.

Kulikov left the game and reportedly sustained a broken nose on the play. However, he is expected to play Saturday when the Panthers host the Washington Capitals. He has three assists in 10 games this season.

Marchand scored twice in the victory against Florida, giving him four goals and seven points in as many games this season.

The 5-foot-9, 181-pound winger has been suspended twice over his seven-year NHL career. He was banned five games for clipping Vancouver Canucks defenceman Sami Salo in 2011-12. He also sat our two games for slew-footing New York Rangers center Derick Brassard last season.

Report: Florida Panthers have lost $154 million since 1997-98

Jared Clinton
Jaromir Jagr (Eliot J. Schechter/NHL)

It was no secret the Florida Panthers were facing significant financial trouble, but a report from Le Journal de Montreal says the team’s losses are more than $150 million in less than two decades.

According to Le Journal’s Renaud Lavoie, the Panthers have lost an eye-popping $154 million since 1997-98. Lavoie reported that, as part of a 305-page document submitted to Broward County, the Panthers gave a look into the team’s finances. Their worst financial season came in 2014-15, Lavoie said, when the Panthers lost $36 million, and the team is projecting losses to reach $24 million this season.

It’s not hard to understand why the Panthers have had such financial issues, though. Read more

Panthers finding offense early in chase for second playoff berth in five years

Jared Clinton
The Florida Panthers celebrate a win (Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

No one considered the Florida Panthers a playoff threat in 2014-15, yet the Cats managed to make it a race to the finish and ended just eight points out of a playoff spot.

Last season, the Panthers relied heavily on overtime and the shootout to pick up points and made due with what was the sixth-worst offense in the entire NHL. Florida played in 18 shootouts last season and earned an extra eight points via shootout wins. Of all teams even within a sniff of the post-season in 2014-15, none had fewer regulation and overtime wins than the Panthers’ 30.

There was reason to believe the NHL’s change in overtime rules for the 2015-16 would have an impact on Florida this season. With the move to 3-on-3, the Panthers wouldn’t be able to rely on the shootout to pick up the extra point. And there was concern that with their meager offensive production — Florida scored just 206 goals in 2014-15 — the Panthers wouldn’t be able to win enough games in regulation to keep pace in the Eastern Conference.

Well, that certainly hasn’t been the case. Read more