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Carter Verhaeghe: The Panther’s Playoff Ace!

Carter Verhaeghe: The Panther’s Playoff Ace

Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice vividly remembers the first time he witnessed Carter Verhaeghe’s impact on the ice.

“I’m watching Tampa,” Maurice recalled of the 2021 playoffs, “but this guy from Florida is all over the puck. He’s on it. There’s skill and there’s numbers, but he is just a dog on a bone.”

Verhaeghe, who won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020, has been nothing short of sensational since joining the Panthers for the postseason.

His performance has been money in the bank.

From crucial goals against top opponents to setting franchise records, Verhaeghe has become synonymous with playoff success for the Panthers.

With his recent power-play goal against the Lightning, Verhaeghe notched his 16th postseason goal in just three seasons with the Panthers, setting a franchise record. Additionally, his seven game-winning goals stand as another postseason milestone for the team.

In discussing Verhaeghe’s impact, Maurice credited former Buffalo coach Ralph Krueger’s term, “hecticity.”

“When the game gets hectic, Verhaeghe thrives,” Maurice explained. “The playoff game is his frequency. He is a playoff guy because of the speed of the game … there is an intensity to it, he thrives in that. That is where he is at his best.”

Indeed, Verhaeghe’s knack for finding space in chaotic situations and his nose for the net have made him a standout player for the Panthers.

“He finds the soft areas like not many guys can,” said teammate Matthew Tkachuk. “He has his skating and it allows him to be one of the top players in the league but if you can’t do anything with that, you can’t be as successful. He’s got that full offensive package that you rarely see.”

Verhaeghe’s ability to capitalize on opportunities and deliver in high-pressure situations has solidified his status as the Panther’s go-to player when it matters most.

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