Florida Panthers: Radko Judas sets a franchise record

Florida Panthers players Radko Judas (7) and Aleksandr Barkov (16) celebrate with a 7-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens during an NHL game at FLA Live Arena on Thursday, December 29, 2022 in Sunrise, Florida.

Florida Panthers gamers Radko Judas (7) and Aleksandr Barkov (16) rejoice with a 7-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens throughout an NHL recreation at FLA Reside Area on Thursday, December 29, 2022 in Dawn, Florida.


Radko Judas is tough to overlook.

From the fuzzy black beard to the bone-chilling hits and the hovering five-pointer he tops off the bench after wins, the Florida Panthers’ boisterous Czech fullbacks make their presence identified.

“It is all private,” stated Panthers coach Morris. “Everybody has their very own persona within the room, however Radko has this distinctive persona.”

There’s one other space through which it’s acknowledged these days as nicely: within the e-book of leopard data.

With 167 hits to date this season, Gudas has recorded 772 hits throughout his two seasons with the Panthers. This now stands because the franchise file because the NHL started monitoring scores within the 2007-2008 season, breaking the earlier franchise mark of 761 held by Vincent Trocheck. Gudas reached that mark in simply 173 video games with the Panthers, averaging almost 4 and a half hits per recreation. Trocheck wanted 420 video games with Florida to succeed in his recreation whole.

“It is nice,” Judas stated of the file. “I acquired two congratulatory letters. … I by no means thought in my profession that I might be a franchise chief in something. It is so particular.”

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Florida Panthers defenseman Radko Judas (7) pushes Boston Bruins heart Craig Smith (12) throughout the first interval of an NHL recreation at FLA Reside Area on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 in Dawn, Florida. David Santiago dsantiago@miamiherald.com

And his excessive strikeout whole is not simply an achievement for the Panthers. He is at all times close to the highest throughout the whole NHL.

His 772 hits (and counting) since becoming a member of the Panthers previous to the 2020-21 season are by far essentially the most within the NHL in that span. second most? 655 by Ottawa Senators’ Brady Tkachuk – 117 hits lower than Judas.

“It is a bodily recreation there,” Judas stated. “If I can excite guys with large hits and make opponents uncomfortable in our space once I’m on the ice, that is one thing I stay up for doing each recreation. Hopefully guys can beat that.”

For his profession, Gudas has 2,420 hits in 652 video games over 11 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, and Panthers.

“When he wires into the sport, it brings everybody into the sport,” Morris stated. “There should not a whole lot of bumps in his recreation. There’s not a whole lot of gentle contact.”

However Judas’ contributions go far past the large hits. It begins earlier than the group will get to the ice. He is among the most vocal gamers within the dressing room, at all times discovering a solution to have a dialog and discovering a solution to energize the squad.

“He chirps at males,” Morris stated. “It is a large a part of what is going on on there. It simply brings an actual constructive feeling to our group.”

He has been one in every of Florida’s most constant defenders in all elements of the sport this season.

Gudas has been paired virtually solely with Josh Mahura this season and the duo has been quietly one of many league’s finest pairings. In response to the superior hockey stats web site, Pure Stat Trick, the Panthers have a 56.5 p.c course proportion when Gudas and Mahura are on the ice collectively at full power, which suggests the Panthers generate 56.5 p.c of their shot makes an attempt when Gudas and Mahura are on the ice. That is it Sixth highest within the NHL Among the many defensive pairs who’ve performed at the least 400 minutes collectively this season.

“You already know what you get from it each night time,” Mahora stated. “For me to have the ability to determine that out and play my recreation — and he needs me to play my recreation — it helps me loads. He could make a whole lot of performs and he is been doing it on the market. It has been actually good to date.”

He is taking part in a a lot cleaner recreation now, too. After having a poor observe file as a sloppy participant earlier in his profession—he had 4 shutouts in his three years with Philadelphia—Goudas has softened his recreation whereas nonetheless placing up his signature large on the proper time.

Morris has on a number of events this season praised Judas for being one of many extra defensive gamers from his defensive group.

It is a praise Judas does not take critically.

“I like the arrogance of the coaches and the way in which they play with me,” stated Judas. “I really feel so assured. I strive to ensure everybody round me is aware of I am there.”

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Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and highschool sports activities for the Miami Herald. He attended the College of Florida and lined Gators sports activities for 5 years earlier than becoming a member of the Herald in December 2017.

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