Nottingham Panthers Top Performers of February 

February proved to be a stellar month for the Nottingham Panthers, showcasing their prowess with six wins, three losses, and one overtime loss. Collecting 13 points from ten games, over this period the Panthers have the third spot in the EIHL, trailing only Cardiff and Sheffield. Among their achievements is a remarkable five-game home win streak. In this breakdown, we delve into the standout performers who contributed significantly to the team’s success throughout February.

The Neilson, Michaud, and Lunsjo Line 

The offensive prowess of the Logan Neilson, Westin Michaud, and Alexander Lunsjo line emerged as a key factor in the Panthers’ success. This trio accounted for over 35% of the team’s goals in February, showcasing an impressive scoring touch. Westin Michaud, despite missing the last game, demonstrated exceptional unselfish play, amassing 3 goals and 14 assists. I broke down Westin Michaud’s game here if you want an in-depth analysis of him as a player (here). Alexander Lunsjo overcame consistency struggles, registering 6 goals and 7 assists and has really shown his offensive flair recently. Meanwhile, Logan Neilson, a 21-year-old rookie, enjoyed a breakthrough, scoring 7 goals and providing 4 assists with a goal in his last 6 games. Analytically speaking, they have been topping the charts for the Panthers. Westin Michaud emerged as a statistical force, leading the team in expected goals (XGF) for February. With an impressive 9.8 XGF, Michaud showcased his ability to generate high-quality scoring chances. His analytical dominance reflects not only his goal-scoring proficiency but also his impact on creating opportunities that hold significant offensive value for the team. Alexander Lunsjo, ranking second in XGF for the Panthers with 9.4, displayed a dual threat in offensive capabilities. His ability to contribute both as a goal-scorer and a playmaker is evident in these analytical metrics. While Logan Neilson may slightly lag in XGF with 8.4, his defensive commitment sets him apart. The analysis reveals Neilson’s remarkable defensive contribution With only 104 chances against, Neilson secures the second-lowest shots-against total over the 10-game stretch. In comparison, Westin Michaud and Alexander Lunsjo faced 138 and 122 chances against, respectively. This defensive excellence adds an extra layer to Neilson’s overall contributions during February. This line’s synergy and complementing playing styles have significantly contributed to the Panthers’ offensive firepower.

Hugo Roy

Hugo Roy emerged as another standout forward, consistently delivering pivotal goals. With 7 goals and 5 assists in February, Roy showcased elite shot accuracy and two-way prowess. His speed, combined with a lethal shot, makes him a scoring threat. Leading the Panthers in even-strength shot attempts (39) and shots on goal (30), Roy’s shooting proficiency stood out, contributing to his significant impact on the team’s success.

Ryczek and Hazeldine

The defensive duo of Ryczek and Hazeldine, often overlooked, played a pivotal role in the Panthers’ success. Examining Corsi and expected goal share, both players demonstrated remarkable two-way play. Ryczek boasted a Corsi percentage of 58%, with 141 chances for and 102 chances against. Hazeldine’s performance was even more impressive, boasting a Corsi of 63%, with 105 chances for and 63 chances against. Extremely impressive when you factor in the next best defender, Simon Despres, has a Corsi of 53%. 

In terms of expected goal share, Hazeldine recorded 57%, while Ryczek showcased offensive prowess with an expected goal share of 58%. Now there are a lot of numbers there but how does that translate onto the ice? Essentially, this shows how great the pairing of Hazeldine and Ryczek has been in both offense and defence. They limit shots against and can create some offensive chances of their own. Whilst simultaneously, stopping high-value chances for the opposition and helping the offense with their own high-danger shots. The chemistry they have built had been fantastic and a huge reason for the Panthers success.

Conclusion 

As the Nottingham Panthers look to maintain their impressive form into March, the standout performances of February’s top contributors bode well for the team’s playoff aspirations. With offensive firepower and more cohesive units, the Panthers aim to navigate a challenging and competitive conclusion to the season. 

*Article provided by Joe Maciag (Ice Hockey Correspondent).

*Main image @karl_denham a good month for the Panthers has seen the side win 6 in 10 games.

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