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Peeke's Points: The "U" Word

Wednesday, 02.11.2009 / 10:20 AM ET / Blogs
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Peeke\'s Points: The \"U\" Word
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

On the way home from the game last night two conflicting “U” words were on my mind.

1. UNBELIEVABLE…the comeback last night certainly was just that. For as ho-hum of an effort through 2 ½ periods, the remainder of the game was UNBELIEVABLE. I’ve been programmed through the last eight years to never expect an outburst like that. Evidently, many fans felt the same way, as there was an exodus of sorts as many fans hit the exits down 4-1. I never leave…and was rewarded with a real treat. There’s something really good going on this season…you can sense it…feel it. Beyond the winning, and finding ourselves a legitimate playoff contender, you really have to like the TEAM. My pre-season blogs applauded GM Martin on a fine job assembling this group…but I had no idea they would mesh like this. From a fan’s standpoint, you get the feeling that the players are supportive, having fun, and really enjoy being a Panther. You start thinking something special is being built down here and can almost look forward to a string of many successful seasons ahead. Which brings me to the next point.

2. UNRESTRICTED…Zednik, Dvorak, Peltonen, Bouwmeester, Boynton, Skrastins, Cullimore, and Anderson are all unrestricted free agents after this season. And all play a big part in what this team is all about. It’s not as though we have a lot of cap space to play with this season, and with the cap expecting to lower for next season, it appears that we will have to be a bit creative. Add to the mix that the trade deadline is a mere 21 days away, and I’d have to say that GM Martin really has his work cut out for him. So, for a while anyway, I’m rooting for not only the team on the ice, but the front office as well. For not only will our season be shaped by the performance of the players on the ice during the next three weeks, but the future of the team beyond may also be determined as well. If you are an intense Panther fan, the next few weeks will be one heckuva ride. My hope is that players realize the team chemistry is a huge contributor to success, that agents are realistic, and that our front office can be creative. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I know this for sure…I like this team…and they are doing things (like last night) that we have not seen in some time.

Is every game huge or what. And then tomorrow we play the Dive Team on the road. I’ll be glued to my TV for sure.

GO PANTHERS…and thanks for that great ½ period last night.

Any comments? I welcome them at cliff@goalsuccess.net

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 51 17 21 14 38
J. Jokinen 54 11 27 12 38
J. Huberdeau 54 10 28 12 38
V. Trocheck 54 17 18 3 35
A. Barkov 43 16 19 13 35
R. Smith 54 18 16 12 34
B. Pirri 50 11 13 -4 24
A. Ekblad 50 10 13 20 23
B. Campbell 54 5 17 20 22
N. Bjugstad 39 9 10 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 24 13 5 .928 2.17
A. Montoya 8 3 1 .929 2.01

 
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