The Florida Panthers are set to face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Panthers are coming off a seven-game upset against the heavily favored Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. To beat the Maple Leafs, the Panthers will need to continue their strong play and capitalize on their momentum. They will also need to focus on shutting down the Maple Leafs’ productive forward group, which is coming off a productive opening best-of-7 series.
One key to the Panthers’ success will be their goaltending. Sergei Bobrovsky has been solid in net for the Panthers, posting a .932 save percentage in the first round of the playoffs. If he can continue to play at a high level, the Panthers will have a good chance of winning the series. The Panthers will also need their top players to step up. Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, and Carter Verhaeghe were all key contributors in the first round and will need to continue to produce in the second round. Another factor that could help the Panthers is their home-ice advantage. The Panthers are restricting ticket sales for home games to residents of the United States in an effort to prevent the arena from being overrun by Maple Leafs fans3. If the Panthers can use their home-ice advantage to win the first two games of the series, they will be in a good position to win the series.
Overall, the Panthers will need to play a strong, disciplined game to beat the Maple Leafs. They will need to focus on shutting down the Maple Leafs’ productive forward group, continue to get solid goaltending from Bobrovsky, and capitalize on their home-ice advantage. If they can do these things, they have a good chance of advancing to the next round of the playoffs.