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Peeke's Points

Peeke's Points: Never Again

Sunday, 12.14.2008 / 8:43 AM / Blogs
Florida Panthers
Panthers Blogger Cliff Peeke
Cliff Peeke, a Panther season ticket holder since Day One, is back blogging on FloridaPanthers.com for another season, giving the point of view on the Cats 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

I took a couple good friends, and we each brought our 10 year old boys to the Devils game on the night before Thanksgiving. My buddies had limited knowledge of the game, and I felt bad that the game being played by the Panthers was certainly far from entertaining. We played sloppy and slow, rarely connecting on our passes, and allowed the Devils to take a two goal lead. And against the Devils, a lead like that is usually insurmountable.

Knowing that my family had to get up at 4:30 am on Thanksgiving to catch an early flight to Philadelphia for Andrew’s Jr. Panther travel hockey tournament, I did something I never do… left my seats to leave the building before the horn sounded. Just as we reached the concourse a goal was scored, which we saw on the TV, and we raced back in. We scored again with seconds remaining to force overtime, which we eventually lost… but we did earn a point… a point that seemed impossible to earn with time winding down in the third period. That point was huge. Without it, we would have been 8-12-0-1 and the season looking bleak. With it, and the mental victory gained, we went to 8-11-2. That was followed by another point earned against the Rangers on the Friday after Thanksgiving in a shootout loss. And then we reached another gear winning six of the next seven games.

Including the comeback point against the Devils, the Panthers have earned 14 of a possible 18 points. We are one of the hottest teams in the league, and as I wrote a week ago, we are doing this with too many good players not playing due to injuries. Somehow, we figured it out, and in the process the team seems to be finding its identity. And thankfully, we are not using injuries as an excuse for pathetic play. It’s different this season… and so refreshing. Injuries affect every team… the good teams work through them.

I love Anderson’s play in the net (see previous blog), and then Vokoun comes up with a huge win Friday night against Keenan’s Flames. I wish the game was televised, I would have enjoyed seeing the look of defeat on his face… I’m obviously still angered at how he set this franchise back a couple of years with his botched tenure as a GM here. And by the way… what’s up with the no televised games… we’re missing some great contests from what I hear and read. So I’ll be back on the internet for tonight’s game against the Canucks.

Because of the hole we dug earlier this season, we can’t let up for even one shift. Because even though we’re HOT, we are still sitting smack dab in the middle of the pack at #15 of 30 teams. We can’t let up. We have two more road games before we play again at home. Imagine if we can rack up a few more points before our home game.

If we do… then next Sunday’s home game against the Avalanche will be an absolute riot to attend. Let’s fill the place up. It’s a 5:00 start… a great time to bring the kids. More than anything… it’s a meaningful game in late December and that’s something we’ve not had much of in the past several seasons. And I promise not to leave early.
UPCOMING EVENTS

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
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