Share This Episode
Amy Lawrence Show Amy Lawrence Logo

George Richards | Florida Panthers Insider, FloridaHockeyNow

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2023 5:57 am

George Richards | Florida Panthers Insider, FloridaHockeyNow

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1171 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

May 1, 2023 5:57 am

Florida Panthers Insider for FloridaHockeyNow George Richards joins the show to recap a historic night for the Panthers franchise as they eliminate the #1 seed Boston Bruins in Game 7.

Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence
Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence
Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence
Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence
Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence

Ah, hammock. Check. Arnold Palmer.

Check. Motorized solar shades? Yes, please. Get your home and patio spring ready with brand new custom window coverings from is the easiest way to upgrade your home with custom window treatments. You can even stay in the hammock while handles the install. Just click Installation at checkout and relax while we do the work for you. No matter how many window treatments you order, installation is always one low cost.

Need help choosing? Talk to a design expert for free to help you make the best selection from classic shutters to outdoor roller shades and more. With over 25 million windows covered, you can rest easy with's 100% satisfaction guarantee. See why is the number one online retailer of custom window coverings with over 40,000 5-star reviews. Shop and save 45% off selected products.

45% off selected products at Rules and restrictions may apply. I'm JR of the JR sport show on CBS Sports Radio. I'm also the host of the new podcast Agents of Inclusion. We talk to a different Special Olympics athlete every week to learn how sports can bring us together. We're bringing both the disability and non-disability community to one community.

All one people, one family. It took me a little while, but I decided to claim autism as my superpower. When you hear the word autism, don't let that hinder you from doing whatever it is that you want to do. That's what Special Olympics tells you. You get involved in sports, but then you take it from the playing field out into real life. Family means to me community, acceptance, love, embracing a person just as they are. That's what Special Olympics did for me. It's all about family.

Subscribe to Agents of Inclusion on the free Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. We're pleased to welcome George Richards to the show for the first time. Covers the Florida Panthers for Florida hockey now, as well as seven sports extra.

George, I've got to ask you. Initially, what's your reaction to seeing the way this final game seven and sudden death played out? Pretty unbelievable, especially when you factor in how this series started. The Panthers go 0-2 at home and they're down 3-1 in this series against the best regular season team the NHL has seen. It looked like all was lost for Florida, but this team just won't quit. If you would have told anybody in hockey that Florida would win three straight games against Boston to win that series and knock them out, I don't think anybody would have believed it because that's fairy tales. That's the most die-hard fan.

No, you're not. You're not going to win three straight games against Boston. And yet, here they are. The Florida Panthers moving on to play Toronto. And not just the three consecutive games, which is enormous, obviously, with a game seven in Boston, but they're still trailing with a minute to go in regulation. So what about that roller coaster ride from the end of regulation through that tie into overtime? Not a real quick goal in overtime, but still, we know sudden death is just a roller coaster ride anyway. And Boston took that 3-2 lead on the Pasternak goal.

It didn't look like Florida. Not only didn't they pack, but they didn't really seem to even care. I mean, they were not really pushing the puck up the aisle.

It was like, you know, hey guys, you might want to pick up the pace here, have a Cuban coffee or something. And then in the final two minutes, they pulled Sergei Bobrowski. They go on the attack. They get the tying goal from Brandon Montore. Yeah, I mean, it's hard to explain how this team just continues to do that because you look at game five.

Boston outplayed them for 40 minutes between the second and third. And the Panthers just somehow got a couple goals here and there and end up winning in overtime. And then they are trailing twice at home in game six and end up winning. They've just been finding ways to win. And that's something they did not do during the regular season until the final month of the regular season. This was a team that didn't have a winning streak until February. I mean, this team has really come a long way and they certainly grew and matured as this series went along. I have to ask you about that quality of this team. Having to fight and scratch and claw all the way through the end of the regular season just to make the Stanley Cup playoffs. How much does that build the type of intensity and sense of urgency that you need in a series like this?

Yeah, it may have. I mean, you know, we always talk about that. You see some teams in all sports, right? The teams that kind of just cruise into the playoffs and don't have a care in the world. Oh, we lost in Ottawa. Who cares?

Whatever. We had an 18-point lead against the teams that they cannot lose. And that's where the Florida Panthers were. They went on a six-game winning streak, a seven-game point streak to basically sneak into the playoffs. And then Pittsburgh won a couple games here or there.

Florida's probably not even in the playoffs. The Panthers need to thank Pittsburgh for tanking it there at the end. But they did find a way and they did scrap and they did claw for the final seven games of the year to get into the playoffs. And yeah, they were in playoff mode now. It didn't look like it much in Game 1, but it did in Game 2. And even in Game 3 where Boston kind of took it to them a little bit, it was still a close game. Florida played tough throughout. George Richards is with us following what is an historic upset of the Panthers over the Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, culminating with an overtime goal in Boston in Game 7 on Sunday night.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. So George, what have you heard over the course of the series from the Panthers players themselves about how they've managed to stay alive and survive? I think they've just kept their eye on the prize. The one thing the Panthers didn't do was try to win three games in Game 5. I mean, they went to Boston to win the one game and, hey, we're going back to sunrise.

Let's see what happens in sunrise. Hey, we won Game 6. Now let's go to Boston. I think that they realized that while being down 3-1 in the series looks like a mountain, you can only take a step or two here or there and just move forward, and that's what they did. They stuck to their game plan. Again, they never panicked. I mean, there was never any panic in their game. Even tonight, like you brought up in the third period, down 3-2 with four minutes left, and they're just out there like, let's get the puck in deep.

Let's try and block some shots. It wasn't an all-out attack. It wasn't until two minutes left that they pulled Sergei Bobrovsky.

I've seen Paul Maurice pull him with seven minutes left in a game. So, yeah, they just didn't show any panic at all. When you think about their arc even going back to a year ago, they were the president's trophy winners, and they barely survived the opening round of the playoffs, only then to get swept, if I remember correctly, by the Tampa Bay Lightning. What stands out about this team? The whole series against Tampa kind of changed the trajectory of the franchise.

They decided that they couldn't. Their style of play needed to tighten up, and that led to a new coach coming in, Paul Maurice, a new set, new systems, a defensive-heavy system, and it took these guys a while to really figure it out. I think there was a lot of pressure on this team. They were nine points out of the playoffs on January 1st, and everybody's like, what happened?

These guys were the president's trophy champions. Well, they lost a couple players. They had to change everything, and then they finally had started clicking in February, and they finally got their game on track. They were able to make up those points and make the playoffs, but now they seem like a tried-and-true veteran team.

They believe in the systems. They seem to believe in what Coach Paul Maurice is selling, and they're better for it, because this team was a disaster in December and in much of parts of January. You know what it reminds me of a little bit, and the Bruins certainly had a piece in this, the St. Louis Blues, a couple of years ago being dead last in the NHL in, what was it, January?

Put it in high gear just to get to the playoffs and then for them to be able to win in Boston, obviously, as a Stanley Cup champion. Those types of stories only seem to happen in the NHL, but on a regular basis. And with a number-three goalie, too, right, because Alex Lyon, that seven-game point streak with six wins, Florida had Alex Lyon in that. He's their number-three goalie. He should have been playing in Charlotte, North Carolina, for their AHL team, and he leads them to the playoffs. It's just a lot of good storylines down here in South Florida with these Panthers, especially now. George Richards covering the Panthers for Florida hockey now, as well as 7 Sports Extra. A bunch of other outlets we're glad to have him with us in the wake of this. Game 7 stunner in Boston. It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. Well, the Toronto Maple Leafs, while theirs isn't a huge surprise, necessarily, for the first time since 2004, they've actually won a playoff series.

What do you think initially? How do these two teams match up, George? Yeah, I don't think the Panthers match up very well with Toronto at all. I thought they matched up better with Boston, believe it or not, because the Panthers just didn't seem scared of Boston. They've only won one game against Toronto this year, and that was the Alex Lyon game that really started up the whole thing. That started the six-game winning streak for them that got them into the playoffs. It was a game that they hung on, that they were able to rally and win.

Funny story there. But they don't match up very well with Toronto. Florida's defense is one of their weaknesses. They were terrible on the penalty kill against Boston. I believe Boston ends with 11 power play goals in the series. Toronto's going to absolutely murder them on the power play if Florida keeps going to the box. Yeah, Florida's absolutely got a chance in this.

They've obviously shown something here in this series to beat Boston, but Toronto's a whole different animal for them. I was just looking over your Twitter a little while ago, and I saw you were following Florida players out to their cars or kind of with them as they were getting ready for this trip to Boston, and you noticed they weren't just packing for an overnight? Yeah, no, usually these guys just go for a one-game trip. They're bringing a couple shirts, and that's about it, one suit.

No, these guys were bringing out the big guns. They had the big roller bags out there, and I was like, all right, I guess they're packing, and they should, because they're going straight to Toronto. They're going to be in Toronto until Friday.

So their one-day trip turned into a week. There might have been one rookie who didn't pack right, but the veterans knew to bring the stuff. Certainly when you think about some of the classic fan bases in the NHL and the original six, I mean, Toronto fits that bill. Boston, too. That was what was so stunning to me was the change in volume at the end of regulation, to be sure, but in overtime. It went from being crazy atmosphere at the Garden to just dead silence.

It was so marked. So as the Panthers head to Toronto, how equipped are they, because of what they've done so far, to be able to withstand again some of the hostility everywhere they go? Yeah, no, I mean, that's a great point because, yeah, Boston is one of the toughest places to play, and here come the Florida Panthers who won three of the four games in Boston. Right.

They only won one of three at home, but they won three of four in Boston. They seem to enjoy the energy. As Paul Maurice said, sometimes it's easier to start on the road. You don't have to worry about, you know, you just roll out of bed, you go to the rink, then you come home, have dinner, and that's that.

You don't have to get your friends. So now it's in Toronto, so a lot of them are going to have to get family member's tickets, so they have to worry about that. You know, yeah, they should be able to handle the Toronto Arena just fine. What's the fan base been like for the Panthers at home, considering that, again, there was disappointment last year, they barely made it in, and this was expected to be a relatively, well, I say expected, many predicted it to be a relatively short series against the Bruins. Yeah, no, the crowds were great, I think, for games three and four. They had overcapacity, and, you know, game six, obviously, that was a short notice, and there were maybe 500 empty seats or something like that. I know it's been a great crowd for them. They haven't really had to compete with the Miami Heat yet. They will in this series, and that'll hurt, because, you know, the Miami Heat are obviously playing the New York Knicks in the second round, and they play in two different arenas, so they're going to have overlaps, and, you know, the first two Florida games are going to compete head-to-head with the Heat, so, you know, we'll see what happens there. I was going to ask you where the Panthers rank among the teams in South Florida or in that region.

How much people pay attention to them? Yeah, no, they're moving up. I mean, it's, you know, the Dolphins, the Heat, the Hurricanes, and then everybody else kind of fighting for fourth. Yeah, so, yeah, the Panthers are right there, especially right now. South Florida loves a winner.

I mean, there's no doubt about it. Everybody loves a winner, everybody loves an event, and the Florida Panther games are becoming an event. You know, they've got some real star power in Matthew Tkachuk, Sergei Bobrovsky's huge name, Sasha Barkov. So, you know, they've got some players that fans down here really relate to and really like, and, yeah, I mean, listen, when I first started covering this team, they went 12 years without making the playoffs, and they've had, you know, numerous number one overall picks and that kind of thing, and now they've really truly built something. This is their fourth straight trip to the postseason, longest in franchise history. This is only the third time in 30 years they've been to the second round. So there's been a lot of losing here with the Florida Panthers, and this team seems to be setting that right. This is their second straight trip to the conference semifinals.

So they're doing something right now. Not only do fans love winners, but fans generally like to witness history, and that is what we just saw on Sunday night with the Panthers' overtime victory over the Bruins in Boston in game seven. You can find George on Twitter at George Richards. He is covering the Florida Panthers in this wild ride for Florida Hockey Now, as well as 7 Sports Extra. We're glad to have you with us. Thanks so much for helping us look at this, my gosh, stunning result in Boston. All right, thank you. Good morning. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-01 06:38:03 / 2023-05-01 06:44:46 / 7

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime