As the end of 2019 draws near and the NEFHL season approaches the half-way mark, the Panthers will head into the year 2020 leading in the NEFHL standings. The team, fresh off a recent hot streak in which it won 8 consecutive games, have 59 points through their first 41 games and sit 3 points ahead of the second place Hawks and Stars with a game in hand.
“There’s a long way to go” said Trev “that being said what we are most happy about regarding our performance so far this season is how well rounded we have been in all phases.” The Panthers currently own the leagues #1 Power Play and Penalty kill units, the leagues 2nd best Goals per Game and Shots per Game averages, the #1 Shots against per Game and the 3rd best Goals against per Game average.
Leading the team in scoring so far are its two centers, Dylan Larkin and Brayden Point, and somewhat surprisingly Tomas Tatar is their leading goal scorer with 25 goals on the season. “Tomas’ performance played a big role in the decision to keep Kreider held out for the season – though he is a phenomenally rated player and we still believe he has a role to play for this franchise long term, we felt it best not to disrupt the chemistry and tie up so much cap space at this point in the season”.
Indeed, the team enters the second half the season with 4.2M in cap space, an amount that is currently increasing by almost 100k per game and the team figures to be sitting on north of 8M in available cap space entering the trade deadline, barring significant injuries. “We’re going to be very active leading into the deadline, specifically looking to bolster our top 2 pairings on defense and our forward depth. We are ready to make a splash”.