VanMurph's View

VanMurph's View: Epic Comeback

Thursday, 02.12.2009 / 9:01 AM ET / Blogs
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VanMurph\'s View: Epic Comeback
Murphy and Vanessa Burch
In just another attempt to bring the fans closer to the team and vice versa, would like to introduce our newest fan blogger, Murphy Burch. Joining YourBlog's Cliff Peeke, Murphy will be writing about his views on the Panthers for this season.

Murphy, an airline pilot originally from North Carolina, is better known as vanmurph on the Panthers message boards and he, along with his wife Vanessa are two of the most vociferous fans at the BankAtlantic Center.

VanMurph's View Blog Archive

“Hey, where you goin’? There are still 12 minutes and 13 seconds left! You’re gonna miss a heckuva comeback!” That’s what I shouted as many of our fans started leaving the BankAtlantic Center after the Leafs went up 4-1 in the third period Tuesday night.

I don’t know if I truly believed we were going to rally back from a 3-goal deficit with a little over half a period to go, or if I was just frustrated from seeing an already sparse crowd of Panthers fans heading for the exits and giving up on their team. Or maybe it was just a little false bravado in order to mentally toughen myself up for the seemingly inevitable long walk out to my car amid a sea of soon-to-be rejoicing Leafs fans. One thing was for sure; it was evident that the thousands of screaming and high-fiving Ontarians attending the game were staying in the building in anticipation of a victory celebration. But the crescendo of their cheering began to wane just 26 seconds later as Nathan Horton swept home the rebound of Nick Boynton’s slapshot from the point. Then over the course of the next six minutes the Panthers mounted an epic comeback that most of us will never forget. Capping off the overtime victory was a beautiful Richard Zednik one-timer from between the circles off of a perfect pass from Cory Stillman! That 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs ensures that the Florida Panthers will win the season series between the two teams for the first time in 13 seasons. The Panthers have won all three meetings so far, with the last two coming in dramatic overtime fashion.

As was the case in the Montreal game a couple of weeks ago, Panthers fans were able to stand up and stick it to a group of fans who’d been hopping around all night waving their signs for Canadian TV and being just giddy with excitement. I know it may seem puerile to some of you, but there is something very satisfying about being able to kick a little proverbial dirt onto people who have come into our house for nearly a decade and acted like they owned the place. As I said a few entries ago, “if the Florida Panthers are able to excise the gloom of the past decade from the subconscious of the fans by consistently winning, I believe the fans will, in turn, reward them with a real home ice advantage. They’ll do it by having the confidence to stand and cheer for their team, no matter the circumstances. Nothing rejuvenates a franchise like a fan base that, through winning, develops pride in their team.” Last night’s win will hopefully add to the confidence our fans are gaining in their team. That confidence is what’s necessary to keep cheering even when the score is lopsided in the opponents favor. Just stay on your feet and let our guys know you support them. You never know, they may just surprise you and score four unanswered goals to earn two important points in the standings! Sure, there are going to be nights when we just don’t put as many pucks in the net as our opponents, but I’m not going to let that dampen my enthusiasm or my confidence, and hopefully, you won’t either.

Listen, for those of you who left the arena early, you missed the most exciting 15 minutes of hockey so far this year. I can’t say I blame anyone who decided to try to beat the traffic, but I hope you’ll try to stay until the very end of the games from now on. With this group of scrappers we have on the ice, we just don’t really know the limits of possibility. If anyone had told me 12 months ago that the Florida Panthers would be having a season in which they were not only holding leads, but fighting back to win games, I would’ve had to see it to believe it. Well guess what, I’m seeing it. The excitement felt in those last 15 minutes is why I renewed our seats for next season. The opportunity to go from the edge of despair to peak of exhilaration in a matter of minutes is why I love this sport, and why I won’t leave my seat until the game is over… Oh, and even if we’re getting creamed in the closing minutes, it’s never too late for a fight!

The Panthers are in 8th place in the conference heading into tonight's game in Raleigh. We’re beginning a critical stretch in the schedule, and I bet the players would really like our support in the upcoming 5-game home stand. If you’re a season ticket holder with bonus tickets left, call your friends and see if they want to come out to the arena with you and cheer on the Panthers. Or tell people about the “First Timers” program, or any of the other promotions going on at the arena. Buying a hockey ticket in this town is as reasonable as just about any other form of entertainment, and who knows, you just might get treated to a come-from-behind overtime thriller…

Thank you for stopping by the blog.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this entry.  
Take Care,


If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, or if you just want to say Hi, I can be reached at: 

Thank you to everyone who emailed me after the last blog entry.  It was a pleasure to correspond with each of you.

Oh, in case you missed it, this is what sweet victory looks like:




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


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
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18 is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.