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Peeke's Points: Keep It Simple: Just Win

Wednesday, 12.17.2008 / 2:02 PM ET / Blogs
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Peeke\'s Points: Keep It Simple: Just Win
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’ll keep this one simple… go to Raleigh and come back with two points. Period. I can not imagine how any Panther fan will not be glued to the television Thursday night as we play the Dive Team. I don’t care that we are only 37% of the way into the season, this is a game we must win. Come out strong and play every shift as though it’s playoff hockey.

Here’s why… we are now 10 points behind first place Washington and we can not afford to let them out of our sights. We should focus on the Division lead rather than “just making the playoffs”. Control our own playoff destiny… finish first.

Last night two East teams defeated two West teams. All three teams in our division that played last night skated off with two points. The Dive Team has a two point lead on us and Toronto is but a point behind us. It’s going to get congested with Buffalo and New Jersey (both ahead of us) in the mix as well for the final spots.

And I don’t think we should be content as an organization and fans to just be good enough to TRY to gain entrance into the playoffs. Take the division and we grab at least a #3 seed.

But the reality is that right now, even with the team having played very well lately, we are tied with the Los Angeles Kings with but 31 points. Heck, even though Ollie’s Coyotes have played one more game… they are a point ahead of us. I’d rather us keep better company and we’ll find that if we’re at the top of our division.

So… to set the stage… 10 points is a hill to climb. And there’s nothing to suggest that the Capitals will be on a downslide anytime soon. We have to claw our way up… and that’s the goal I’m hoping the Panthers take… Division winners. Because if we make that our goal, it makes every game a huge game, and that makes Thursday’s televised game a must-see event. It’s got to be playoff intensity every shift. It’s either that or we keep checking the standings to see how far away the #8 spot is and compare ourselves to the likes of the Kings, Coyotes, and Maple Leafs…. c’mon.

Win in Raleigh and come home to a fired-up crowd on Sunday… just win.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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