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Peeke's Points

Peeke's Points: Odds And Ends

Tuesday, 01.20.2009 / 10:12 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 wondered how fans would react to the Jokinen trade as this season moved along, and it’s really been a non-issue. Which proves that the trade was a success and both sides won.  Getting Ballard and Boynton in return was a great move, as we really do have one of the best defenses in the league. Did you see that check that Ballard dished out last night…just one of many throughout the season. As General Manager Jacques Martin had planned, other players have had to step up to replace Ollie’s points, and that’s been happening.

-  One such player that’s really emerged is David Booth. He is one of the most exciting players to watch in this league. His play last night was a perfect example…you had to be there.

-  Which brings up the question…where was the crowd? I expected something in the neighborhood of 16,000+, but it was a bit short of that. We played a good team (with a similar brand of hockey) that we’re battling for a playoff spot with and the local support could have been better. It’s not like there isn’t some good ticket deals out there. Then, we have to put up with the folks from Buffalo who extended their weekend vacation to include last night’s game as, once again, visiting fans feel quite comfortable being loud and boisterous in our arena.

-  And hopefully the Philly and Buffalo fans of recent nights did make the trip…because the thought of fans living down here and loudly cheering against the home team is sick. But what’s worse is the fan that wears their Panther jersey for every game EXCEPT the one where their “old team” arrives and they show up in a visitor jersey cheering against the Panthers. I never understand that.

-  Thankfully, we do have a very loyal and passionate season ticket base. Recent evidence of that is the attendance at the CATS CONNECTION meetings prior to the last five games. It’s another great reminder just how well the Panthers organization does in making us all feel a part of the “family”. Of course, these meetings are taking place very close to the renewal process kicking-off, but why not. If anything, they just reinforce what we already know…this organization’s client services and support just keeps getting better and better…and I always thought it was good to begin with.

-  As opposed to recent seasons when, at this point we are looking way up in the standings, this team is in the upper half of the league and playing good hockey. The Hockey News website even has us #14 in their recent Power Rankings. This season, all doubts have been removed…I’ve already committed to renewing. Finally, hockey operations have caught up to client services in the product being offered.


-  I keep hearing that “fans” want the shoot-out…but not fans that I know. And I’m not bringing this up because of our lack of success in that area. I hate to see a point awarded just to “have a winner”. I never liked the idea…heck…I’m fine with a tie at the end of regulation. This shootout is one of the NEW NHL ideas I can do without and I believe many others can as well.  Now…since we are struggling in the shootout, I like Lindsay/Moller’s suggestion (in their radio post-game) and that is to play over-aggressive in the overtime…maybe three forwards???

-  The other NEW NHL idea is to increase power play opportunities by calling ticky-tack penalties. The first penalty called against Bouwmeester last night is a perfect example. Let the boys play…there are too many stoppages for phantom calls. But it’s not just that…it’s the inconsistency that drives fans nuts. Refs can send Bouwmeester out for two minutes on a “slight touch” which is the same time Tampa’s Artyukhin gets for attempting to disassemble Peltonen’s leg a couple days ago.

-  And speaking of Tampa…what were your thoughts when you heard they claimed Cory Murphy? The first thing that came to my mind was Dan Boyle. Remember how Keenan thought so little of Boyle that he prompted the trade to Tampa for a late round pick…and there he blossomed? I’m not suggesting Murphy is of Boyle’s caliber…but it is eerily similar. So…first thing this morning I checked the box score from the Lightning/Star game last night and guess what? Murphy, who just arrived in Tampa a couple hours before the game, logs over 23 minutes of ice time and gets the number one assist on the winning goal. On the Lightning website, they even mentioned he “quarterbacked” the power play. Please…not again!!!!

-  Isn’t it great that every game now is huge? It is way too much fun going to the arena KNOWING we have a good and exciting hockey team. We’ve got to get two against Dallas.  There can’t possibly be Stars fans trying to escape the cold and vacationing here to take in a game after a day at the beach…we’ll see.

Any comments? Let me know at cliff@goalsuccess.net
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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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