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Peeke's Points

Peeke's Points: Off-Season, Part Four

Wednesday, 07.02.2008 / 1:39 PM / Blogs
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Peeke\'s Points: Off-Season, Part Four
Panthers Blogger Cliff Peeke
Cliff Peeke, a Panther season ticket holder since Day One, will blog at FloridaPanthers.com throughout the 2007-08 season from a serious, die-hard fan’s perspective.

A Michigan native who’s played hockey (admittedly average at best) most of his life, Cliff grew up watching Red Wings games at the old Olympia Stadium. His allegiance changed to the Panthers the moment it was announced South Florida would have a team.

Cliff has played in adult leagues at IncredibleIce and his oldest son (age 25) plays there as well. His youngest son (age 9) is a member of the Jr. Panthers ’98 Squirt Travel Team.

Peeke's Points Archive

07.02.08 :::: Off-Season, Part Four

At the top of our list… that’s where Andrew and I had Cory Stillman as we searched each team’s list of free agents immediately following the Entry Draft (and the Jokinen trade). In our mock GM moment, we targeted three players, and Cory was one of them.

So, as you can imagine, we are thrilled that GM Martin not only entered the free agent fray, but came away a winner…getting a “winner” in the likes of Stillman. Playing the “Dive Team” as often as we have, I always felt that Stillman stood out while he was on the ice. He was one of those players that I would comment on that I wish he were in a Panther uniform. Now he is. 

There were (and still are) some flashy free agent names out there, but the risk always seems to be higher with them. The average fan may want a recognizable name, a top twenty scorer, a crowd draw…but at what price, what risk, what contract length, and finally…what character. Hard core fans, on the other hand, see the huge upside to a player like Stillman. Those of us that have seen him play against us know what he brings to the ice…tenacity, talent, and creativity. Add a huge dose of “character’ and championship experience, and by my thinking, we’ve got our guy.

I really like how this team is coming together. My recent blog favored the acquisition of Ballard and Boynton, and our defense has never looked this solid going into a season. Vokoun and Anderson are a top tier one-two punch in the net. Until yesterday, I thought we may need some help up front…and that’s been addressed.  I’m very happy with the Olecz deal, and if he stays healthy that’s an easy twenty plus goals. The upcoming season has got to be where Nathan Horton makes us forget we could have had Eric Staal (2003 entry draft). And, I’m definitely looking forward to watching one or two prospects make the team and contribute (Frolik, Matthias, Repik).

Strong goaltending, strong defense, that’s what will put us (or any team) into the playoffs. And we just got a lot stronger up front with Stillman. I really like these moves.  Next up…Bouwmeester. We’re waiting.

One last thing…is there any one else out there scratching their heads trying to figure out what Tampa Bay is doing? They’re making headlines for sure…but some questionable signings for large sums of money all going to offense…a team that really needed to focus on their blue line. I’d much rather have our roster.

I can’t wait to see how the free agent frenzy plays out over the next month. Never really an off-season in hockey.

Talk to you soon.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 49 32 14 3 130 111 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 50 28 14 8 145 129 64
6 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
7 NYR 47 28 15 4 139 112 60
8 WSH 50 25 15 10 147 129 60
9 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
10 PHI 51 22 22 7 140 151 51
11 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
12 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
13 NJD 50 19 22 9 113 138 47
14 CBJ 48 21 24 3 120 151 45
15 CAR 49 17 26 6 105 129 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 47 16 13 -2 29
A. Ekblad 47 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 44 9 17 0 26
J. Jokinen 46 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 45 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 1 20
S. Bergenheim 36 8 9 2 17
A. Barkov 36 5 10 -6 15
B. Campbell 47 3 12 0 15
D. Kulikov 42 1 13 -4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 18 12 8 .920 2.41
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96
 
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