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Peeke's Points

Peeke's Points: Never Again

Sunday, 12.14.2008 / 8:43 AM / Blogs
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Peeke\'s Points: Never Again
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.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 46 16 13 -1 29
A. Ekblad 46 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 43 9 17 1 26
J. Jokinen 45 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 44 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 0 20
S. Bergenheim 35 8 9 1 17
A. Barkov 35 5 10 -5 15
B. Campbell 46 3 11 -1 14
D. Kulikov 41 1 13 -4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 18 11 8 .920 2.42
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96
 
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