SUNRISE, Fla. Days before the Florida Panthers opened training camp, Shawn Matthias made a prediction.
"It's going to show pretty quickly who did the work while we were off," Matthias said. "If you took any weeks off or thought it was a good time to slack, it is going to show in these 48 games."
For the Panthers, in this lockout-shortened season, it showed.
One season after Florida found itself atop the Southeast Division with one of its best seasons in franchise history, the team plummeted to last place in the NHL.
"You're at the bottom of the pile," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "That's a lot of hockey teams. You're always looking to try to reinforce some positives for your team, but that is the brutal reality of our situation."
Statistically, the Panthers struggled in nearly every area. Florida's 109 goals for were tied with Nashville for the fewest in the NHL. The Cats surrendered a league-high 170 goals 11 more than 29th-place Carolina. Although Florida ranked sixth on th...