CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. The Florida Panthers are starting to recognize the kids are more than all right.
A little past the quarter mark of a shortened season, Florida has yet to exhibit the consistency that propelled them to a division championship last year. Sitting near the bottom of the Eastern Conference has made for a lot of frustration, but the Panthers influx of youth has kept the team positive amid struggles.
Rookies Jonathan Huberdeau and Drew Shore, along with linemate Peter Mueller, have combined for a third of Florida's goals. Their ice time has increased steadily, and they've emerged as the team's second power play unit.
"I just use that term youthful enthusiasm. I find that's a really contagious thing," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "It's enjoyable to watch someone start their career and kickstart a lot of people. I think sometimes that feeds some of our older players as well."
In each of Florida's wins, its players younger than 25 which also includes Shawn Matt...