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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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 63 22 16 -8 38
J. Huberdeau 60 9 27 4 36
J. Jokinen 62 6 28 0 34
A. Ekblad 63 10 23 8 33
B. Boyes 61 11 21 9 32
J. Jagr 59 12 19 -9 31
J. Hayes 54 17 10 -5 27
B. Campbell 63 3 20 3 23
A. Barkov 52 10 12 -4 22
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .920 2.40
A. Montoya 5 6 2 .891 2.98
 
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