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Get To Know Every Florida Panther Expected To Play In The Stanley Cup Final

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Florida Panthers struggled out of the gates this postseason falling into a 3-1 hole to the Boston Bruins. Since then, they’ve gone on to win 11 of their last 12 games including six in overtime. The Panthers are headlined by Matthew Tkachuk, Aleksander Barkov, and Sergei Bobrovsky, but they boast a deep roster that will be a handful for the Golden Knights. To get a rundown of every player we turned to Kirby Lupul, co-host of the FLA Cats Podcast.


Aleksander Barkov

Mr. Everything for the Florida Panthers. A Selke-level defensive center who makes loads of plays that go unnoticed over the course of a game. Incredibly intelligent player who plays in every situation. Had a bit of a down regular season and started the playoffs slowly but has really turned it on since the middle of the Boston series and has risen back to the level of being either the best or one of the best Panthers every night.

Carter Verhaeghe

Posted his first 40-goal season in the NHL this year and has been a clutch scorer in the postseason. A dynamic offensive player that generates a majority of his offense at even strength.

Anthony Duclair

A speedy winger with an excellent shot who is at his most dangerous when he’s able to carry the puck into the offensive zone. Battled through an Achilles injury that kept him out of the lineup until February. Took some time to fit into the new forecheck-heavy style system the Panthers are running, but has really begun to gel with Barkov and Verhaeghe in the playoffs.

Matthew Tkachuk

The heart of the Florida Panthers, a tenacious and skilled forward that is dangerous in just about every way a player can be on a hockey rink. One of the best in the NHL at tipping pucks and causing chaos around the front of the goal. Dominant at both 5-on-5 and on the power play.

Sam Bennett

One of the toughest players not only on the Panthers but in the league. An excellent backchecker that allows his wingers freedom to aggressively forecheck. Does most of his damage at 5-on-5 and really helps balance Florida’s lineup as the 2nd line center.

Nick Cousins

A relentless forechecker that perfectly fits the style of play Paul Maurice is looking for. Limited offensively but has the ability to play anywhere in the lineup. Well-known as a pest that looks to get under the skin of his opponents. Lives in the dirty areas of the ice.

Eetu Luostarinen

The hardcore hockey fan’s type of player. Does everything well but doesn’t always stand out when he’s doing it. Currently playing wing after spending most of last year as a center. A cerebral player that is strong defensively and has the ability to add a touch of offense when called upon.

Anton Lundell

Struggled through a sophomore slump after an excellent rookie year last season. A good transition-style player who has added strength to his game as this year has gone along. Has improved along the walls and on the forecheck.

Sam Reinhart

Right there with Barkov as one of the highest-IQ players on the Panthers. Finds the right spots on the ice that makes him sneakily dangerous offensively. Key part of the Florida power play filling the bumper role. Had a tough luck shooting season, especially from in tight, but has never been short on generating chances. Paul Maurice called him a future GM in the NHL.

Ryan Lomberg

A high-motor player that you love to have on your team and absolutely hate to play against. Willing to scrap with anyone despite being undersized in just about every fight he finds himself in. A bottom-six style player that never stops working and is willing to get to the front of the net.

Eric Staal

A grizzled veteran who has done just about everything possible in the game of hockey. A Paul Maurice favorite having played for him in Carolina. Started the season slowly but took off about 20 games into the season. A key piece to the Florida PK who is a responsible two-way player at 5-on-5.

Colin White

Limited offensive player that is the least used player on Florida’s roster. Has had some success on the 4th line but not a player that is expected to be much of a factor in the series.

Zac Dalpe

Likely the first forward into the Panthers’ lineup in the event of an injury. A versatile winger with enough speed to be dangerous in the offensive zone.

Mackie Samoskevich

A first-round draft pick that was recently signed out of college from the University of Michigan. Blue-chip prospect who is an excellent skater and strong puck-carrier that could add a shot of youthful offense in the event of an emergency.


Gustav Forsling

A beautiful skater that is excellent at exiting the zone when he has time with the puck. Struggled with physicality in the regular season and last postseason but has handled it much better so far in the playoffs especially deep in the defensive zone. Limited offensively often relying on just throwing pucks towards the net.

Aaron Ekblad

Formerly a consistent offensive weapon that was in the Norris conversation, has evolved into more of a stay-at-home defenseman. Has added some grit and bite into his game but still struggles at times with his skating and decision-making. Possesses the ability to join the rush and add to the offense for the Panthers.

Brandon Montour

A wonderful skater that has an unparalleled motor that allows him to take on massive minute loads. Also has a bit of grit and tenacity in his defensive game. Having a career offensive season but has slowed down recently in the playoffs. A dangerous weapon on the power play and at 5-on-5 as he’s able to join the rush, activate in the O-zone, and fire shots from the point. Arguably one of the most important players on the entire Panthers roster.

Marc Staal

A durable defenseman who played every game this season for Florida. Limited skating ability can make him a bit of a liability in the defensive zone but has adapted well to the simple dump-out strategy Maurice has installed in the Panthers’ D-Zone. Shows a willingness to jump into the play offensively when the time is right. A fairly key component to the PK but really requires an elite skater as his D-partner.

Radko Gudas

An old-school player that is a fan favorite for being a physical menace. When at his best he’s eliminating plays with his size and strength and quickly springing his forwards into transition chances. Well-known for his highlight hits and gigantic flowing beard.

Josh Mahura

A cerebral defenseman who has a strong defensive stick and makes good decisions when on the puck. Doesn’t play either on the PP or PK so often sees limited minutes.

Lucas Carlsson

One of the AHL’s best defensemen. An offensive-minded player that hasn’t really been a Paul Maurice favorite but could be used in a situation in which the Panthers need a left-handed offensive-defenseman. Maurice almost exclusively uses defenseman on the proper side based on handedness.

Matt Kiersted

A well-rounded left-handed defenseman who may be the option in the event Florida loses a defense-first type on the left side.

Mike Benning

A 2020 draft pick that was recently signed out of Denver. Right-handed, so could see his first taste of NHL action if the Panthers lose Ekblad, Montour, or Gudas.


Sergei Bobrovsky

A two-time Vezina-winning goalie that struggled after signing with the Panthers in 2019. Playing arguably the best hockey of his life, has almost singlehandedly willed Florida to the Stanley Cup Final. Limiting rebounds, fighting through screens, stopping odd-man rushes, and just flat-out stonewalling everything the opposition has thrown at him. An incredibly conditioned athlete and meticulous worker with otherworldly flexibility.

Alex Lyon

A career AHL goalie who really stepped up down the stretch for the Panthers when they needed it most. A suitable backup who can step in and get the job done if called upon. Won six straight games down the stetch of the season that helped Florida qualify for the playoffs.

Panthers Projected Lineup




**Huge stick tap to Kirby Lupul for contributing to this piece. Please give him a follow @KJ_Lups on Twitter.**


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  1. THE hockey GOD

    isn’t gudas a goony smelly cheese from France ?

    • Emmanuel

      Gouda, pronounced “who-dah” is from the Netherlands……

  2. Emmanuel

    The FL blue line looks unimpressive, if Bobs not world class it will be over in 5. Their strength is at F but even that is thin, Rheinhardt is on the 3rd line in an attempt to spread the offense around and Cousins has no business in the top 6. The 4 th line is a joke. You have to figure their hot players like Bob and Montour will cool down….

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