Panthers’ Ryan Lomberg wants to be ‘relentless,’ ‘physical’ and ‘fast’ on fourth line

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Jordan McPherson
·3 min read
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Ryan Lomberg is quick to describe his style of play — and doubles down on his commitment to stay true to that style.

“I’m somebody who’s relentless on the puck,” he said. “I’m going to show up and be physical, be fast every night. I’m definitely not going to stray away from that.”

It’s exactly the type of style that will fit on the Florida Panthers’ fourth forward line, an aggressive, defensive-minded left winger to round out a trio that has a high scorer on the left wing and a bruising center coming off a breakout year.

“They didn’t sign me to be somebody that I’m not,” Lomberg said.

Florida Panthers goalie Scott Darling (31) blocks a shot by Florida Panthers left wing Ryan Lomberg (94) during the first practice of training camp in preparation for the 2020-21 NHL season at the BB&T Center on Monday, January 4, 2021 in Sunrise.
Florida Panthers goalie Scott Darling (31) blocks a shot by Florida Panthers left wing Ryan Lomberg (94) during the first practice of training camp in preparation for the 2020-21 NHL season at the BB&T Center on Monday, January 4, 2021 in Sunrise.

But while Lomberg is on a two-year, $1.475 million contract, it doesn’t mean his spot is secure. He’s been rotating with fellow Panthers newcomer Vinnie Hinostroza as the fourth line’s left wing.

Panthers coach Joel Quenneville, nevertheless, likes Lomberg’s tenacity and ability to help on penalty kills in addition to his five-on-five play.

“He brings some energy,” Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. “He’s got some good pace to his game. You notice him on the ice. He can kill penalties and gives us some versatility in that area.”

Florida Panthers center Noel Acciari (55) is congratulated by teammates after scoring during the second period of the first training camp scrimmage in preparation for the 2021 NHL season at the BB&T Center on Thursday, January 7, 2021 in Sunrise.
Florida Panthers center Noel Acciari (55) is congratulated by teammates after scoring during the second period of the first training camp scrimmage in preparation for the 2021 NHL season at the BB&T Center on Thursday, January 7, 2021 in Sunrise.

Which brings us back to his value on the fourth line, which already has two spots basically cemented with Noel Acciari at center and Brett Connolly on the right wing.

Acciari is coming off the most productive season of his five-year NHL career. The 29-year-old scored 20 goals and added another seven assists in 66 games. This included a pair of hat tricks in back-to-back games. He had 31 career points in his first four seasons.

“He’s so predictable and had such a good year last year,” Connolly said of Acciari. “I think even last year, whenever guys were struggling and trying to find their game, especially offensive guys, it seemed like whenever they were put with Noel, it made it more simple for the guys.”

As for Connolly, he scored 19 goals last year — fourth most among returning Panthers players behind Jonathan Huberdeau (23), Aleksander Barkov (20) and Acciari. Connolly primarily rotated between Florida’s second and third forward lines last season but the Panthers’ depth at forward following the acquisitions of Patric Hornqvist, Anthony Duclair and Carter Verhaeghe as well as the improvement of rookies Owen Tippett and Eetu Luostarinen has lengthened the talent on Florida’s forward lines.

Acciari and Connolly spent time together at points last season. However, it came as parts of the Panthers’ middle lines. Now, they’ll be anchoring the fourth and final line in what the team hopes will be a showcasing of their scoring ability regardless of the forward line on the ice.

“There’s a lot of options around our lineup,” Connolly said of Florida’s deep forward group. “Q is not afraid to switch it up, so all year guys are going to be pushing each other to be the best they can be to move up and down the lineup. We’re just trying to get as many wins as possible. It’s a short season, and we’re going to need everybody to chip in and help us get to the playoffs.”