Originally written on Shutdown Line  |  Last updated 4/10/12

The long playoff drought in Florida is over as the Panthers made the playoffs for the first time in over a decade this year by winning the Southeast Division. I'm very happy for them and their fans but one thing to keep in mind is that they won an awful division and are probably the weakest team in the playoffs. Their goal differential is among the worst in NHL history for a division winner and over half of their points were accumulated in one goal games, 18 of which coming in overtime and shootout losses.

Does this mean that they are destined for a first round exit? Teams that earn a lot of their points in close games genreally don't do well in the playoffs so it's easy to see why people think this is a good draw for the Devils but I don't think this is a complete mismatch. The Devils have also been involved in a lot of one-goal games and have the second highest winning percentage in the league in that category. New Jersey also has 12 shootout victories so I think it's unfair to discount Florida soley because of this as the Devils have clearly gotten a bit lucky this season too.

That being said, New Jersey plays in a tougher divison and plays more difficult opponents so I think they deserve some slack but I still think that Florida will not completely lie down for them in this series. Does this mean I think they can win the series? You'll find that out after the jump.



Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Butler can’t sign one-year contract unless it’s with Bulls

DeAndre Jordan wants 4-year deal, bigger offensive role

USA-Germany: Rivals meet in World Cup semis

Kings reportedly looking into viability of firing Karl

Jim Brown: I ‘encourage and support’ Johnny Manziel


Vincent criticizes NFLPA over spending millions on lawsuits

MLB urges Supreme Court to deny San Jose's A's appeal

Jeanie Buss: Phil Jackson loves the Twitter criticism

Vikings RB McKinnon: If I had a fantasy team, I'd take myself

Report: Kings have had discussions with John Calipari

De’Andre Johnson charged with misdemeanor battery

Feud between Scioscia and Dipoto makes Angels fascinating case study

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh throws out first pitch at Tigers game

MLB’s All-Star roster will now announced be over two days

Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad to the Blue Jackets

Blatter won’t attend World Cup final due to ‘personal reasons’

Sharks have found their starting goalie by acquiring Jones

Fan who caught A-Rod’s 3,000th says he’s received threats

Diamondbacks are contenders, but team's direction is unclear

Selecting the 2015 American League All-Stars

Jim Harbaugh is recruiting a prospect he once babysat

Conan makes Marshawn's wildest dreams come true

Brett Favre dons Packers jersey, says, 'I think I could still play'

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Reminiscing on 'Love & Basketball' 15 years later

Selecting the 2015 NL All-Stars

The Sixers' latest horde

Projected landing spots for NBA's top free agents

MLB changes format for Home Run Derby

Revis to work out with Patriots DBs

Peterson: I'm still NFL's best RB

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.