The Florida Panthers find themselves just above the bottom of the NHL's Eastern Conference. And now they've lost their starting goaltender for weeks due to injury.

The Florida Panthers were supposed to be having a better go this season, according to NHL After the power struggle with management, GM Dale Tallon won. And the Panthers were supposed to get back to the playoffs after missing out in the 2016-17 NHL season.

The Florida Panthers had all the elements. They have a great top line of Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck, and Aleksander Barkov.

They have that elite workhorse defenseman in Aaron Ekblad. And they have a good starting goalie in Roberto Luongo. That should have been enough to get them through a relatively easy division in the Atlantic.

But through 27 games the Panthers are a disappointing 10-13-4 for 24 points. But they're only five points out of a playoff position. A push for the playoffs is still very real. And then one of their best elements got Injured in a routine play.

Lunogo Injury

On Monday against the New York Islanders, Roberto Luongo went to make a routine save against Islanders defenceman Ryan Pulock. But immediately after extending his right leg to stop a slap shot from the point, Luongo didn't get up. After a few minutes, Luongo had to be helped off the ice and did not return.

Now it seems like the veteran will be out for "an extended period of time".

Now the Florida Panthers have to rely on James Reimer to pick up the goaltending burden.

And that won't bode well for the Panthers. In 14 games played, Reimer is 4-6-3 with a 3.67 GAA and a 0.892 SV percent. Luongo? He was a 6-6-1 with a 2.61 GAA and 0.928SV percent. The difference between the two couldn't be clearer as those two stats show.

With Luongo, the Florida Panthers have a chance to win. And they still cannot do that.

Maybe it's because outside of the top line and Ekblad the Panthers have nothing to speak of. Maybe trading Reily Smith and letting Jonathan Marchessault go to Vegas in the Vegas expansion was a bad gamble to take.

Now, with Montréal Canadiens Carey Price fully fit, and the Habs putting up points it seems that the playoffs are well out of reach for the Panthers. The last Metropolitan team in a playoff spot is nine points clear of the Panthers. The Panthers only hope for postseason hockey is that the Canadiens revert back to their early season form. And even that might not be enough without Luongo to backstop the Cats.