BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 08: The Florida Panthers bench celebrates the empty net goal in the third period against the Boston Bruins on December 8, 2011 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Florida Panthers defeated the Boston Bruins 2-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The Boston Bruins have been on quite a roll this season. After starting 3-7-0, Boston did not lose a game in regulation during the month of November,
Yet, they lost their second 60-minute game Thursday because of No. 60 - Jose Theodore. Theodore's 40-save shutout lifted the Florida Panthers to a 2-0 win over the Bruins and past them in the Eastern Conference standings.
Florida was the busiest team this offseason, bringing in about a dozen new players ranging from proven scorers (Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg) to battle-tested veterans (Ed Jovanovski, Brian Campbell). Unlike the collection of players that the NBA's Miami Heat assembled last year, the Panthers seemed nothing like a "dream team." Instead, they simply looked like a mess of players with large contracts being thrown together.
Fortunately for the Panthers, they have found chemistry. Five players have already eclipsed the 20-point mark this season and Theodore is having a career resurrection one year after being relegated as a back-up with the Minnesota Wild.
Florida holds a seven-point lead over the Washington Capitals in the Southeast Division and are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers. The Panthers have not made the playoffs in a league-high 10 years. That looks to be changing if things continue to improve in Sunrise.