Well, the Panthers think differently. After Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay, which clinched the bottom position for Florida after a 2-6-2 finish, they threw a party befitting of a king, or at least a playoff team.
While some of it made sense -- defenseman Bryan Allen is pictured visiting with a fan who won his jersey in one of those "Shirt Off Their Back" promotions teams do -- it's clear someone in the Florida organization should have asked the players how to handle things.
After the game, confetti and streamers dropped down to the ice at BankAtlantic Center. It might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but doing it after the team just lost and clinched last place in their division was bound to irk someone.
That "someone" is Panthers forward Stephen Weiss, who was as candid as he felt he could be after the game.
"I don't know what to say. It got under my skin to see that. I've seen a lot here. I don't know where these things come from, who makes these decisions. It's certainly not the right way to do things. The jersey off your back is fine, that's good for the fans. But confetti and streamers?"Weiss didn't ask for a trade or anything like that, but he's clearly frustrated with what's been seemingly a directionless franchise. Since he's under contract for three more years, it seems reasonable to suggest that he will be a big part of whatever the plan is in South Florida.
... "For me, I've played in a lot of these kind of games (no playoffs on the line). And I've never seen confetti rain down on a team that finished in last place. Those are things that get under your skin a little bit. We need to change that next year, make sure we're inside the playoffs. It gets frustrating.''
Instead, the alarming point here is that someone who works in a hockey organization thought it was a good idea to drop confetti and streamers on a team that just finished in last place.
Who is this person, and why do they work in a hockey organization?
Can you imagine the 1992-93 Ottawa Senators partying like this after the last home game?
It doesn't matter your location, and it doesn't matter what the makeup of your team is. Missing the playoffs when over half the league qualifies is not a good thing. It is not a cause for celebration. It is not acceptable.
As evidenced by the quick turnarounds in Colorado and Phoenix this season, the situation with the Panthers can hardly be considered hopeless.