SUNRISE–While most of the USA was enjoying a day of feasting on Thanksgiving, the Florida Panthers (8-9-3) were working on ending their current 1-2-1 homestand on a winning note with a morning practice session. Coach Gerard Gallant has reshuffled the lines in advance of tonight’s game’s with the Metropolitan Division’s New York Islanders (11-8-3) in advance of tonight’s game at BB&T Center.
Biggest changes are on the top two lines, as Brandon Pirri (3 goals-6 assist-9 points) will be working with the Panthers leading scorer Jaromir Jagr (8-9-17) and Alexsander Barkov (6-4-10). Jonathon Huberdeau (1-11-12) has been moved to the second line with Nick Bjugstad (7-5-12) and Jussi Jokinen (5-9-14). All of these Panthers top forwards other than Jussi Jokinen have below 0 +/- ratings. The Panthers hope these line adjustments turn negatives into positives as Florida reaches for the third playoff spot in the Atlantic division, which eludes them by five points. Moves by general manager Dale Tallon were designed to shake up the third and fourth lines. Defensive pairings were also adjusted to bolster the backline.
A popular doom and gloom stat released yesterday was that 80% of the team’s holding a playoff spot on Thanksgiving end up making the playoffs. With eight teams making the playoffs, that means about 3 of the the 8 Eastern Conference or 1.5 Atlantic Divisions spots will change hands IF historical trends are honored. There’s no reason the Florida Panthers can’t be one of those teams. Injuries to critical players derail a fast moving train. For the Panthers, they lost 10 games of Barkov’s services when he was recovering from a broken hand. Jagr missed two games but was hindered in a few others due to an upper leg injury he was skating through. Both are healthy and playing well now. Here at jagrometer.com we don’t make predictions, we enjoy hockey and for us we’re thankful for the chance to watch Jaromir Jagr in the NHL playing at a strong level for at least this season, his 25th as a professional hockey player.
Harry Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel talked to some of the players after their practice Thanksgiving Day. Kudos to Harry for going to work on a holiday! Jagr made a brief comment that will make most people smile in the article linked here:
Tickets for tonight’s game and all Panthers games can be purchased at http://www.floridapanthers.com. In honor of the holiday shopping season, the Panthers are offering some outstanding Black Friday specials, some as reasonable as $99. buy one for yourself and share the great game of hockey with some of your friends. Rarely in our lives does a legend walk among us, but Panthers fans get to see Jagr, an all-time great.
Following tonight’s game with the Islanders the Panthers visit Detroit Sunday afternoon the Panthers play at St. Louis Tuesday, Dec. 1, Nashville Thursday, Dec. 3, Columbus Friday, Dec. 4 and New Jersey Sunday, Dec. 6. When you’re in sixth place every game is critical.
It isn’t Thanksgiving week without some tasty leftovers, so here’s the best of yesterday’s jagrometer.com meal, in the form of the four highlights packages we posted yesterday.
First we have all eight Jagr goals from the current season with Florida Panthers.
That was an appetizer. The next video has about 29 minutes of great Jagr goals (then again, they are all great and to be savored.
Finally, the exciting 2015 IIHF world championships, which were held in Jagr’s home country, the Czech Republic. Despite the host nation finishing out of the running for a medal, the home crowd were treated to an electrifying performance, giving the Czech fans a chance to cheer their home-grown legend. Jagr was named MVP of the tournament, and some of that may have been for helping sell out the games. Jagr was a late addition to the Czech roster but was convinced by old friends to play in the tournament. It was a grand celebration for all in attendance.
Okay, it’s a holiday, here’s an extra desert.
As the team looks to December, Jagr can do some more damage to the NHL record book, as shown on the Jagr-O-Meter.
The Atlantic Division Standings will see six of it’s members in action Friday night, meaning another game of leapfrog may occur.
Assorted Jagr-related links for fans who can’t get enough:
Florida Panthers 2015-16 Media Guide
Florida Panthers Team website: http://www.floridapanthers.com
Some Jagr-related social media accounts:
@68Jagr This is the real site, the one and only official Jaromir Jagr twitter account. Postings are rare.
The two best Jagr facebook pages are: https://www.facebook.com/68Jagr/ This is the page Jagr posts on, if he is going to post at all.
Another good facebook page is one produced by someone in the Czech Republic. It has more than 100,000 likes. This is not the official page, but it is very good.
@FlaPanthers and @FLAPanthersPR The official twitter accounts for news about the team.
@dougielarge Doug Cifu, few owners in sports relate to the fans as much as this man who interacts with fans and media on twitter.
@goldieonice — Steve Goldstein, TV play-by-play of the Panthers. Brings all those exciting highlights to life.
@DenisPotvinFox — NHL Hall of Famer Denis Potvin works along side Goldstein in the booth.
@HeyRedDeer color man Randy Moller who left the radio booth to help Goldstein and Potvin on TV.
@GeorgeRichards Panthers beat writer for the Miami Herald.
@HFialkov Panthers beat writer for the Sun Sentinel
@AntwanStaley Includes Panthers coverage in his all sports all the time reports
@ twitter for Cats On the Prowl, offering detailed reviews of Panthers games and more.
@SunshineSkate twitter for The Sunshine Skate, another blog with special emphasis on advanced stats and charts that will make you dizzy.
@Zdenek_Janda US-based Czech reporter who covers the NHL and reports on other news for the people of the Czech Republic.
@Jsmidcro Jan Smid was a US-based Czech reporter who collaborated on “Jagr”, an autobiography in the late 90’s detailing Jagr’s early life and career in the NHL.
@NHLHistoryGirl This hockey loving woman shares interesting informational tidbits about hockey and the NHL in general. How does she do it?
@MyRegularFace She’s another gem. Watches lots of games and gets up GIFs faster than nhl.com or anyone else out there.
Quant Hockey: Career stats updated game by game by a hockey lover in Europe. Site enables you to find career leaders in any offensive category by clicking on the category you are researching.
@rytiriKladno The Kladno Hockey Club: Before coming to the NHL Jagr played for this team in the Czech league as a teenager. Now he owns the team. It’s in Czech but some devices can translate to English. Follow them at:
@HockeyCzech National organization for hockey in the Czech Republic.
@68isgr8 is the twitter for The Traveling Jagrs. Clad in different Jagr jerseys and hair styles from 68’s career, they gained league-wide recognition when they caught Jagr’s attention during a pre-game skate of a Dallas Stars game in Canada during the 2012-2013 season. Since then, they convene at games in Western Canada and make a road trip or two every year, playing street hockey with locals, posing for hundreds of pictures, and having a good time with fans while honoring an all-time NHL legend.
Ray Haluska aka Kladno Jagr, curator of the Jagr-O-Meter