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Panthers not afraid to touch the Prince of Wales trophy

For the fourth year in a row, it was a Florida club that got its hands on the Prince of Wales trophy. If I had told you a few weeks ago that this was going to be the case, you would have told me that the Lightning hadn’t finished dominating.

But no. Matthew Tkachuk, the NHL’s player of the hour, decided otherwise.

While the Lightning put an end to Toronto’s curse, the Panthers were more impressive. After all, they beat the big bad Bruins before taking on, at the request of Toronto fans, the Maple Leafs. #Oups

And now they’ve just swept the Hurricanes, who are no small team. Led by Sergei Bobrovsky and Matthew Tkachuk, the Florida club won the bet they made last summer in the Flames deal.

The guys deserve everything they get.

And because the club does things its own way, the Panthers have decided to touch the Prince of Wales trophy. The club’s leaders – the guys with the letter on their jerseys – decided to touch it.

I think the aspect of this that impresses me the most is how fragile their playoff spot was just a few weeks ago. There was no guarantee that the club would make the playoffs.

In fact, if the Penguins had beaten the Blackhawks at the end of the season, they would have changed the course of history. The Panthers would have missed the playoffs by a whisker. Perhaps, like the Flames, they would have cleaned house?

Because yes, the Panthers weren’t making the playoffs a few weeks/months ago. In fact, at one point, their draft pick could have increased the Canadiens’ chances of winning the lottery.

Things change fast in the world of sports.

Today, of course, that’s a utopian scenario. The Panthers, who traded (among others) their first pick of 2023 last year to the Habs for Ben Chiarot, will draft 31st or 32nd at the next auction.

It’s not exactly with such a pick that Connor Bedard will be coming to Montreal, of course, but it does take away from the value of a pick that could be important or used as a bargaining chip.

The way the Panthers are playing, I find it hard to believe they’ll lose to Vegas. I know the Western series isn’t over, but we suspect Dallas doesn’t have what it takes to climb back up.

And anyway, even if they wanted to play badly, the Panthers are probably too afraid of Keith Tkachuk to take the chance of playing badly.


– That’s a good one.

– Pretty crazy.

– The Cup is ready.

– Hurricanes player is correct.

– Seen the same.

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