The Panthers finished 27th in the 30-team NHL in goals scored last season.
Was anyone expecting them to transform overnight?
Florida held a 40-minute scrimmage in Coral Springs on Wednesday night, and no one in the red home jerseys nor anyone in the white road jerseys scored a goal.
The Panthers goaltending, however, was good as usual.
“I was really happy with the goaltending,’’ coach Kevin Dineen said. “There were some quality scoring chances that the goalies had to make big saves on. They both look like they are ready to go. We accomplished everything we wanted.’’
Florida’s two goalies — Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen — didn’t give up a goal in either of the two 15-minute periods nor the two five-minute overtime sessions.
There were some goals scored during the shootout exhibitions that followed each regular period but, hey, those didn’t count.
The Panthers, like the rest of the NHL, will not play any preseason games before opening up the regular season this weekend. For the Panthers, Wednesday will be their final taste of game-like conditions before the lights go on for real Saturday against the Hurricanes.
“It was fun to have a game, kind of,’’ Theodore said. “Playing at 7 really changed it up, get ready for the regular season. It was fun. It’s a building process, and it’s going to happen quick.’’
Theodore and Clemmensen were one of the top goalie combos in the league last season and helped lead Florida to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Yet this offseason, most of the talk surrounding the Panthers involved a rumored return of All-Star goalie Roberto Luongo.
As of Wednesday, Luongo — who still lives a few miles away from the Iceplex — remained in Vancouver preparing for the Canucks’ season opener.
Are Theodore and Clemmensen playing with a touch of attitude, thanks to all the Luongo talk?
“I would,’’ Dineen said. “If someone keeps on talking about someone else who is a world-class player, I would say, ‘You know what? Bring it on.’ You are talking about professional athletes. They know what the situation is. They can’t wait to get the season started.’’
As expected, the Panthers suspended forward Sean Bergenheim as he hasn’t been medically cleared to play after being injured during the lockout.
NHL teams are allowed to suspend players —without pay — who were hurt and unable to play while doing so for another team or country during the lockout.
Defenseman Erik Gudbranson — who hurt his shoulder snowboarding — and center Marcel Goc (ankle) have also been suspended. Once they are cleared to play, they will be reinstated to the team. Gudbranson is working out with the Panthers and Goc is rehabbing with the team.
Its believed Bergenheim injured his groin in just his second game playing for a professional team in his hometown of Helsinki, Finland, in October. Assistant general manager Mike Santos said he didn’t know the severity of the injury, although he wasn’t told that Bergenheim requires surgery.
Robak played in three games with the Panthers last season and has 18 points in 40 games for the Rampage this season.
Fox Sports Florida announced Tuesday that it would broadcast all 48 games this season between FSN and Sun Sports. FSN will carry 42 games with Sun Sports getting six in April during conflicts with the Marlins.
“The new contract between Fox and the Panthers is great for the fans,’’ play-by-play voice Steve Goldstein said. “There’s going to be more hockey than we’ve ever seen in South Florida.’’