With a 3-2 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings Friday night, the Florida Panthers advanced to an 8-0-0 record on the season. The Carolina Hurricanes (7-0-0) are the only other undefeated team remaining, while the Washington Capitals (5-0-3) are the only other team without a regulation loss.

The longest win streak to begin a season belongs to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1993-94 and the Buffalo Sabres in 2006-07; both clubs won 10 games to begin those seasons. The Montreal Canadiens hold the next longest streak at nine games in 2015-16, though it should be noted that none of those teams went on to win the Stanley Cup that season.

However, this was far from an easy week for the first place club. Head coach Joel Quenneville resigned after revelations of his involvement in the Chicago Blackhawks’ sexual abuse cover-up scandal. Assistant coach Andrew Brunette will manage the club in the interim.

Though the coaching question will be answered in time, the main question in the short term is: how much longer can the Florida Panthers stay undefeated?

What’s Working Well?

Florida Panthers

 

Other than the two overtime games (wins over Detroit and the Pittsburgh Penguins), Florida has won all of its games by at least two goals. They’ve also run into some challenging opponents, beating the Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, and Boston Bruins, all of whom have Top 10 Stanley Cup odds.

Odds for a futures bet on the Florida Panthers to win the Stanley Cup are now as good as +800, second only to the Colorado Avalanche at +600.

The offense is clicking, with 20 of 22 skaters recording a point so far. Jonathan Huberdeau leads the way with 10 points (three goals, seven assists), while Anthony Duclair is setting the pace with five goals (Sam Bennett and Aleksander Barkov are hot on his heels with four each).

Sam Reinhart is shining with his new team, scoring seven points in eight games after arriving in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres. Anton Lundell looks like a legitimate Calder Trophy candidate, scoring two goals and three assists so far.

Perhaps even more impressive has been the goaltending tandem of Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight. Bobrovsky is still locked in as the starter and is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner as the league’s top netminder. Knight is among the frontrunners for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.

The Florida Panthers are allowing 1.88 goals per game, second-best in the league.

But it goes deeper than just the goals for and against. Florida is taking high-quality chances and preventing high-danger opportunities at the other. The Panthers lead the league with a 56.21 CF%, meaning Florida is controlling the play and tallying more scoring attempts.

Furthermore, the Panthers have outscored their expected total (21 goals for, 15.27 xGF) and outperformed their expected goals against (10 against, 13.57 xGA).

This is truly a team playing well in all aspects of the game.

How Long Could the Florida Panthers’ Streak Last?

Looking ahead at the Florida Panthers’ schedule, it doesn’t get any easier. On Saturday, they’ll be on the road against the Boston Bruins (Florida beat Boston 4-1 last Tuesday), then at home against the Washington Capitals on November 4.

If the Panthers are still undefeated at that point, they would host the Hurricanes on November 6. Carolina could also be undefeated entering that game at 9-0-0 (the Hurricanes’ next two games are against the Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks, both of whom are winless as of publication).

Last season, the Florida Panthers finished the season with a 37-14-5 record, fourth-best in the league. At that same pace over 82 games, the Panthers would be 54-21-7. That certainly seems within the realm of possibility at this point.

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Dan Bradley is a hockey broadcaster and sportswriter originally from New Brighton, MN and currently living in Cincinnati. Dan graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, IL, with a B.S. in Sports Communication in 2014. He previously worked in television in Duluth, MN, as well as in youth and adult sports administration in St. Paul. When not watching or writing about sports, Dan enjoys making music, fishing, and watching Jeopardy, where he hopes to someday be a contestant.

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