CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – Florida Panthers head coach Bob Boughner was hired due in part for his amazing preparation and attention to detail.
He gets to put those tools to work now that the Panthers are off and running in training camp, with the team playing its first two preseason games Tuesday night in Nashville.
Florida split the doubleheader with the Predators, taking three of a possible four points after losing the nightcap in overtime.
“It was good because we got to see a lot of different guys in different situations, seeing 40 guys playing,” Boughner said Wednesday on 560 WQAM.
Main NHL goalies Roberto Luongo and James Reimer each played about half of their respective games with neither surrendering a goal. Luongo made eight saves while Reimer stopped 15, including a sparkling glove save on Predators youngster Emil Pettersson.
It was Luongo’s first action since missing the final six weeks of last season with a lower-body injury.
Connor Brickley scored twice in the afternoon game and defenseman Mike Matheson, wearing an “A” on his sweater, picked up the game-winning goal when he slammed home an Owen Tippett rebound during the third period.
Tippett had a productive game and provided the kind of offense expected of the 2017 first round pick.
Vincent Trocheck opened the scoring in game number two but the Florida sniper’s night ended early after he suffered an injury.
“He had an upper-body injury, I don’t think it’s anything serious,” Boughner said. “I expect him back for practice in the next couple days.”
CUTS TO BEGIN
Almost a week into training camp and with two preseason games in the bank, expect the Panthers to begin trimming the roster that started with 53 players last Friday.
“We are going to get down to 40 [players] today,” Boughner said. “We have some players coming in and some kids will go to juniors and the American [Hockey] League.”
This will be where many of Florida’s draft picks will head back to their respective junior teams, but it will be interesting to see if Tippett sticks around.
At 6-foot-3, 203 pounds, Tippett has the size to play in the NHL but could use some fine tuning, the kind that playing big minutes in juniors will provide.
Still, the scoring prowess and amazing shot that Tippett brings to the table may not be something Boughner and the Panthers brass want to pass up on.
Either way, whichever players leave South Florida on Thursday will be going to their respective destinations with lots to think about and plenty to improve on.
“I love to give them information on how they played and what they can work on,” Boughner said. “We will make sure we give them good information to take back.”