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Peeke's Points: Predictions

Thursday, 10.1.2009 / 10:30 AM ET / Blogs
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Peeke\'s Points: Predictions
Cliff Peeke, a Panther season ticket holder since Day One, is back blogging on for a third season, giving the point of view on the Cats from a serious, die-hard fan’s perspective in his own blog titled Peeke's Points (formerly YourBLOG).

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 27) plays there as well. His youngest son (age 11) is a member of the Jr. Panthers ’98 Squirt Travel Team.

Peeke's Points Archive

The new season is upon us…and this will be the year we make the playoffs.  Sound familiar?  I’ve said it for several years in a row, but always with the same caveat…we need to get off to a fast start.  Same thing this year. 

If we do that, I think we can grab at least the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference…that’s where I predict we’ll finish.  If that happens, I’m betting three teams from the Southeast make it into the top seven…Washington, The Dive Team, and the Panthers.

Washington is my pick for #1.  No surprise that being lucky with the top two positions in the 2004 entry draft would yield Ovechkin and Malkin for two hungry teams.  The Caps take Ovechkin and their future became much brighter.  Superstars of that caliber…players that will quickly turn a team around…were not available to us when we had the #1 overall picks in ’01 and ’02.  Heck, we even traded down and selected Bouwmeester and Horton with those picks.  Anyway, in that same 2004 draft, the Caps select Mike Green at #29.  Twenty-two spots earlier we grabbed Rostislav Olecz.  That was a super draft for the Capitals.  But it was the 2002 draft that they were able to select Alexander Semin with the #13 pick (we took Petr Taticek at #10…he’s somewhere in Europe now).  A lot of luck and some savvy drafting has certainly elevated this team.  They did have a clunker in 2005, picking Sasha Pokulok in the 1st round, but rebounded nicely with Nicklas Backstrom…the 4th pick in ’06.  Their marquee players will help overcome what many consider their weakness…goaltending.

Here’s my 2009-2010 Eastern Conference predictions…

1. Washington Capitals…highly entertaining team with loads of skill and talent

2. Pittsburgh Penguins…pure luck that Crosby and Malkin become available to  them.  Any chance of getting both on a fantasy team?

3. Philadelphia Flyers…this team will contend if they avoid injuries…strong defense and top six forwards make this a classy team.  How did they get so good so fast?  Answer…their GM.

4. New Jersey Devils…the model of consistency.  And Brodeur.

5. Boston Bruins…to think our division is stronger than theirs.  This team, even minus Kessel is playoff bound.

6. The Dive Team…I so badly wanted to put us ahead of them, but until Horton proves he’s a better NHL player than Staal, I’ll leave them at #6.

7. Florida Panthers…will only happen, and possibly higher, if we get off to a great start, avoid injuries, and all the other reasons I stated in my prior blog (except Jeff Taffe’s contribution, of course).

8. Buffalo Sabres…I just can’t see them missing the playoffs three years in a row.  If goalie Ryan Miller has a good year, this is where they’ll land.

9. NY Rangers…this is one team I love to beat in our building, and we’ll do it each time this season.

10. Montreal Canadiens…even with their re-vamped roster, there is no way I can stomach Jacques Martin leading them to the playoffs, although I’m glad he’s there and not here.

11. Atlanta Thrashers…a lot of offense, especially Kovulchuk, but can they keep the puck out of the net.  They are #11 only if their goalie situation strengthens.  Rick Dudley (favorite ex-GM) is here.

12. Toronto Maple Leafs…a team on the rise.  Not this year, but maybe next.

13. Ottawa Senators…the last part of the trifecta of Eastern Conference Canadien teams that do not make the playoffs.  Brian Murray is still their GM????

14. Tampa Bay Lightning…a year ago, they made a mockery of the off-season and will still pay the price.  Their ownership quarrels are a joke.

15. NY Islanders…they are one year away from being a pretty good team.  But will that be in Kansas City???

The puck drops soon in Finland as we take on Chicago. We need to arrive for our home opener on 10/10 with at least four points. GO PANTHERS !!!!

As always, I enjoy hearing comments…my email is 




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.