Playoffs In Perspective

Hello Panther Fans,
First off, I would like to thank you all for taking the time to come to the G&G Elite Sports blog. Now, with that out of the way 😉 lets talk about the playoffs. I have been reading, listening and hearing so many complaints from the Panthers faithful that we were screwed, it was the ref’s faults, those Islanders are dirty, etc. I really do understand the frustration from the fans, but we need to take a step back and realize what has happened this year. Keep in mind, we have to take some of the whining with a grain of salt because there are a lot of new fans to hockey that do not fully understand the game and like all teams, we have homers that no matter what, it is never the Panthers fault. The playoffs are broken down into three categories. The first is team play, the second is fortitude and the third is putting the other team away. Let’s take a look at each of these individually.

TEAM PLAY
Overall, the Panthers did a good job of playing as a team BUT at times they tried to get a little to pretty with their plays and got away from team play. Too many behind the back passes, no look passes and not consistently crashing the net from all 4 lines. Well Coach Dominic, what does crashing the net have to do with team play you may ask? Crashing the net is part of coach Gallant system and the system is part of Team Play. Consistency is the key and it is even more important during the playoffs. All of the pretty passing plays in the regular season mean nothing when teams are play down right hard nosed playoff hockey. Winning the battle in the corners, consistency, ugly hardworking goals and team play will win over trying to make the pretty/perfect play every time.

FORTITUDE
This one is simple, SHUT UP AND PLAY! Stop whining about the refs, stop crying that so and so is playing to physical. You know what? This is playoff hockey. Are ref’s going to miss calls? YES and to be honest, this year the officiating has been 100% brutal. Not just in this series but in the playoffs in general. It is easy to blame the ref’s on the Panthers loss but to be honest, there were many instances where the Panthers also got away with a number of calls. Overall, I think the ref’s were afraid to call the games the way they should have.

PUT THEM AWAY
How many chances do you think a team is going to get in the playoffs to put the opponent away? You have to cash in on those opportunities because if you don’t it will come back to haunt you. The Panthers proved this point all series. In all fairness, only a handful of Panthers have any playoff experience so it was a total shock to the intensity of the game to the majority of the boys. I think they came into the series a little lackadaisical for the simple fact, the Islanders were the weakest playoff team in the Eastern Conference. Overall team talent wise, hands down the advantage leans in the Panthers direction. BUT, the intensity and hunger levels were in favor of the Isles. I hate to keep harping on this but the Panthers had so many chances to put the Islanders away and failed to do so.

To conclude, I do personally think this was a VERY positive year for the Panthers. The boys received VALUABLE playoff experience and I believe we will see this team grow by leaps and bounds next year. I guarantee they will not be taking any playoff opponent lightly and will do a much better job putting the opponent away when the chances arise.

Next post “The Good, the Bad, the Embarrassing” will be recapping G&G Elite Sports’ experience working with the Florida Panthers corporate offices.

– Coach Dominic

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