More tough times for the Florida Panthers
A quick rundown of the current state of affairs in Florida:
-- Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to Winnipeg was the Panthers’ fifth in their last six games, dropping them to 16-15-8 and sixth place in the Atlantic Division.
-- In that loss, forward Seth Griffith suffered a concussion on a hit from Nikolaj Ehlers, one head coach Tom Rowe called “dirty.” That put Griffith on the shelf alongside a slew of fellow injured teammates: Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and Alex Petrovic.
-- At this morning’s skate ahead of tonight’s game against Nashville, Rowe was in a salty mood:
Tom Rowe just brought Florida Panthers to center ice at morning skate, barked 'quit f-ing around' a couple of times...— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) January 6, 2017
(The target of Rowe’s ire has yet to be identified.)
It’s fair to speculate frustration levels are high throughout the organization. Florida heads into tonight’s game with a patchwork lineup -- per Daily Faceoff, Vincent Trocheck will center the top line between Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Marchessault, while Nick Bjugstad will man the middle on the second line between Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith.
Jared McCann, recently recalled from the minors, will skate with Michael Sgarbossa and Colton Sceviour. Captain Derek MacKenzie is on a line with Paul Thompson and Greg McKegg.
Florida will be a team to watch in the coming weeks. After this upcoming back-to-back at home against Nashville and Boston, the club will play six of its next eight on the road, which includes a four-game Western swing through Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Arizona.
Given the Panthers are just 7-8-5 on the road this year, it could be tough sledding.