There is just something about the day after a win. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a road game or home game, a weekend day or weekend night, the day following a win always seems like it has more energy, the pace is turned up a notch, the chatter around the office is louder and more passionate, and yes the phones do probably ring a bit more.
So boy was it a lot easier to enjoy last night’s Super Bowl, as it came right on the back of an exciting Panthers comeback win over the Buffalo Sabres. Down 3-1, our Cats came back to win 4-3 on a Brian Campbell goal in the third period.
It was a much-deserved victory, with our team showing the passion, energy and resilience that we got so used to seeing last season. Those were the characteristics that many of our fans fell in love with last season, on our way to a Southeast Division Championship and Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance – so it was nice to see them on full display in Buffalo.
Now our Cats have three more road games ahead of them – two against Divisional opponents – before returning to the BB&T Center for a critical home stand in mid-February. I call it critical, but during a 48-game season against all Conference opponents, it seems like every game has that extra weight to it.
Clearly our fans have responded to this sense of urgency, with an 18000-plus average crowd during our first four home games including sellouts against Carolina and Philadelphia. You have to marvel about the passion and loyalty of our fans. We always felt like we had the best supporters in the entire NHL, but the last couple weeks have just underscored that feeling.
And I have no doubt we will have some phenomenal red-clad crowds beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 12 when the Panthers return home to play the Washington Capitals at the beginning of a four-game home set.
For now though, we will continue to watch the team closely over the remainder of this road trip, while our staff prepares for an exciting appearance by famed tenor Andrea Bocelli on Friday.
Coming off an incredible performance by Jimmy Buffett on Saturday, and with Florida Panthers hockey drawing record crowds, the BB&T Center will certainly be buzzing all February long.
Thanks for reading and go Panthers.
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