The Florida Panthers are achieving surprising success during the postseason. In studying their success, it seems they teach other teams – including the Toronto Maple Leafs – several key things about how a team can experience postseason success.
Here are some reasons I believe the Panthers have been successful this postseason.
Reason One: They Don’t Dependend on Star Players
The Panthers have shown that a team can be successful in the playoffs without relying heavily on star players. Sure they had Matthew Tkachuk, and he’s lit a fire under his teammates (and has come through game after game). However, unlike the Maple Leafs, who have a strong emphasis on their “Core Four” players, the Panthers have shown that a more balanced and collective effort can lead to success.
Reason Two: The Panthers Are Ruthless
The Panthers’ success comes because they have the ability to be ruthless during games. They’ve shown a level of determination and aggressiveness that has pusheed them through the postseason. This mindset, and their consistent ability to take advantage of their chances and capitalize on their opponent’s weaknesses, have made a difference.
Reason Three: The Panthers Are Consistant
The Panthers’ consistency is huge in their postseason success. While they barely got out of the regular season, the Panthers postseason consistency has ensured that they’ve remained competitive. The interesting fact is that, throughout the postseason, they’ve NOT played better than their opposition. Yet they’ve just hung around and have been able to pull off the wins when they needed to do so. They will victories.
Reason Four: Don’t Forget Panthers’ Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky
The Maple Leafs had good goaltending throughout the season, but the Panthers have had amazing goaltending during the postseason. The importance of having a strong goalie has helped carry the throughout the entire postseason. Sergei Bobrovsky has been so deep into “the zone” that he’s almost other worldly. Obviously, goaltending is a crucial aspect of playoff success, and a reliable netminder provides confidence and a sense of freedom a team needs to play well.
The Bottom Line
In short, the Panthers’ success in the postseason can be attributed to (1) a balanced attack, (2) the team’s ruthlessness, (3) their consistent hard play, and (4) their strong goaltending. The only thing that isn’t attitude and will is the goalie.
Other than that factor, there’s not a single one of the characteristics the Panthers have shown that isn’t available to the Maple Leafs. There’s a lot to learn from watching the Panthers excel during the playoffs. That’s why they are playing in the Stanley Cup Final.