Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Your Predictions for the Florida Panthers Season

 I asked all of you Panthers fans to submit your predictions for the upcoming season and fill out my survey. We had nearly 50 respondents and they had some interesting projections for the season to come.

The sense of optimism in the Panthers' corner of the universe has rarely been this present, with all respondents rating themselves between 8-10 on the scale, and all giving the panthers an 80 percent chance or better of making the postseason. The median points projection for Florida was 106, with 103 and 104 being the most common responses. Still, a bit of humility saw most Panthers fans project their team to finish second in the Atlantic Division.

When it came to the rest of the league, most projected the Metro would be won by the NY Islanders, the Central won by the Colorado Avalanche, and the Pacific won by the Vegas Golden Knights. Colorado was the overwhelming favorite to come out of the West, while fans felt good enough about the Panthers to pick them as a plurality to come out of the Eastern Conference. 16 people picked the Cats to go all the way, with Colorado second amongst the Cup favorites with 13 votes.

In projecting Panthers statistical leaders, it's no surprise that Aleksander Barkov lead the charge. The new $10 million man received the majority of predictions for the Panthers' top points and goals scorer. Jonathan Huberdeau was picked to lead the Panthers in assists, while Radko Gudas was most commonly expected to be the team leader in PIMs. Most voters selected either Anton Lundell or Owen Tippett to be the breakout player of the season. The selections for the PIM category were definitely the most eclectic, with five different players receiving at least 3 votes.

In awards voting, Connor McDavid was a healthy favorite to win the Hart and Art Ross trophies, with Panthers fans giving hometown favorite Aleksander Barkov some recognition as well. Aaron Ekblad comes out of this poll the early Norris Trophy front runner, with Barkov also expected to defend his Selke Trophy and win it for the second consecutive year. Spencer Knight was picked as the Calder favorite against Anton Lundell (and every other rookie in the league), and Joel Quenneville was named the Jack Adams trophy front runner.

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