The Florida Panthers look to forget about their last effort quickly, as they stay on the road and fly to Denver for a meeting with the Avalanche on Wednesday. It was a pathetic showing for the Panthers in a 7-2 defeat. We can’t blame Sergei Bobrovsky for that one because he wasn’t between the pipes. The younger Sam Montembeault was in net for 5 of the 7 Canucks’ goals.
Montembeault allowed 5 goals on 30 shots to finish with a 0.833 save percentage. He was benched for Bobrovsky, who wasn’t good either with 2 goals allowed on 6 shots for a 0.667 save percentage. Though, the game was well over at that point and the only thing Bobrovsky lost was hurting his own statistics some more.
Florida made changes in the offseason, the most notable Bob Boughner getting fired and hiring Joel Quenneville. Another noticeable change is the absence of Roberto Luongo in the crease. Luongo retired and the Panthers decided to give Bobrovsky an expensive contract. It’s only October 30th so this isn’t a time to overreact, but I must admit, Bobrovsky has looked horrible.
There isn’t any way around it for the former Blue Jacket, who played a big role in their playoff run a season ago. He knows he has to be better. At this point it looks like he just took the contract to get a nice payday and move to Sunrise for the nice weather. There is plenty of time for him to prove us all wrong, though. We’ll see if he can get on the right page against the Avs in Colorado.
The Panthers were playing like all they wanted to do is get home on Monday night. They’re going to have to wait for that, though. Florida will wrap up their road trip in Denver tonight and then turn their attention to the Red Wings on Saturday. Head below for our free Panthers vs. Avalanche pick.
Florida Panthers vs. Colorado Avalanche Pick
The Avalanche are coming off a bad loss of their own. It wasn’t quite as bad as a 7-2 shellacking, but it was a loss all the same against the Ducks. Colorado fell by a score of 5-2 at home on Saturday. They were playing on a back-to-back following a stop in Las Vegas the day before. That probably had something to do with the poor effort by the Avs.
The Avalanche looked like a different team the day before, as they notched a 6-1 win over the Golden Knights. Back-to-back games after playing in Las Vegas can always prove to be a dire situation. However, the Avs have had a few days off and should be back flying around tonight. Colorado will have a lackluster defence to pick on this evening at the Pepsi Center.
Defence includes the goaltending which has been well off the mark for the Panthers in 2019-20. Bobrovsky is getting the money, but the ROI isn’t working out for the Panthers at the moment. The Panthers are 29th in the league with 3.75 goals against per game. With a 3.79 GAA and 0.87 save percentage, there is some concern regarding the 31-year-old Russian who has two Vezina’s to his credit. However, Bobrovsky is no longer the beneficiary of a defensive team in Columbus.
The offence has been performing for the Panthers, though. Without the team generating an offensive strike in the opposition’s zone, this would be one ugly start for Quenneville with the Panthers. The Panthers have scored 3.5 goals per game thus far. That has them going into tonight with the 7th best offence in the NHL.
The goals are going to have to come against the Avs in this one, because I don’t see Bobrovsky and the blue liners pushing back enough against Colorado at home. The Avs have been hot offensively, with an average of 4 pucks netted per game. That puts the Avalanche in a tie with the Preds for the top offensive team in the NHL. Acquiring Nazem Kadri has provided the Avs with an extra jump in 2019-20. The OVER looks like the best play in Denver.