It was a pretty decent hockey player by the name of Guy LaFleur who used to say -please read in French Canadian accent to get the full experience- “Statistic are for loser.” Well, in this case it might be true. A few others have also said this, but Guy LaFleur is the coolest one to. Sustaining a disappointing 3-5 record after high expectations were put on this team, let’s see what the stats tell us is wrong with the Panthers.
Home vs Away: Really, it’s a toss up. The Panthers home record as of February 5th at 6pm ET is 2-2-0. Their record on the road is 1-3-0. Trouble on the road, sure. Of those three road losses, they played some of the hottest teams in the NHL including The Senators, The Canadiens, and The Lightning. The Panthers have shown promise is some games, and a complete dismantling of discipline in others. This stat doesn’t bode well for explaining the Panthers struggles.
Goals for/Goals Against: Typically you want to score more goals than you allow to give yourself a fighting chance to win games. Although not imperative, it’s probably a good idea to at least break even. The Panthers have 20 goals for, and 30 against. (once again, as of 6ET on February 5th). Staying in the southeast, The Lightning boast a record of 39 goals for, and 21 against. The Panthers may want to be a little more stingy.
Point Production: The top 5 point producers on the Panthers right now have between 4-7 pts. From top to bottom, Tomas Fleischmann with 7, Tomas Kopecky with 6, Brian Campbell with 6, Jonathan Huberdeau with 5, and Peter Mueller with 5. Not a bad spread between players contributing. What is concerning is the big fat -8 beside veteran defenseman Filip Kuba’s name. A -7 beside Fleischmann erases all the points he has. Defensive breakdowns? Looks like it. The Panthers are also currently tied for 22nd in the league with 27 goals.
Goaltending: Jose Theodore is the man in Sunrise. His back up Scott Clemmensen has started one game, and appeared in two. With only 3 wins under Theodore’s belt, the Panthers goaltending is tied for third in losses, tied for 22nd in wins. Clemmensen’s GA is a cringeworthy 8, while Theodore’s sits at 21. GAA? Theodore, 3.33, Clemmensen, 4.80. Both have a save percentage under .900, which is unacceptable for a starting goaltender.
Statistics will tell you the Panthers are having trouble in the crease, and trouble defensively. They will also tell you the point production from numerous players is a positive. What they don’t tell you is the injury bug following around the Panthers that has wreaked havoc. Versteeg, Upshall, Jovanovski, Weiss, and Goc to name a few have missed or are missing games due to injury. Sean Bergenheim still hasn’t returned to his team after a suspension without pay due to an injury sustained in Finland during the lockout. It is still unclear whether he will be able to return.
As head coach of the New England Patriots Bill Belichick just said, stats are for losers, final scores are for winners. Even using that logic the Panthers still come out losers. Some dismal stats, and a 3-5 record. Statistics really are for losers.
Katie Flynn is a News Editor at theScore and theScore App as well as an NHL Analyst for H4TV Sports News.