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Peeke's Points

Peeke's Points: Two Out Of Three

Monday, 02.01.2010 / 2:12 PM / Blogs
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Peeke\'s Points: Two Out Of Three
Cliff Peeke, a Panther season ticket holder since Day One, is back blogging on FloridaPanthers.com 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 Panthers ’98 Panthers Alliance Tier 1 Pee Wee team..

Peeke's Points Archive


I read VanMurph’s View a few days ago and had to chuckle as he wrote about his reasons for not entering a blog for a while. I was able to relate. I’ve been contributing my entries on the Panthers website for over three years now, and it seemed like the exact same scenario each year. The poor start, stretches of hope, the climb in the standings at season ticket renewal time, a late fade, and the “close but no cigar” finish. The step forward – two steps back play in the first half made it near impossible to praise this team. Then, as Murphy experienced, I write something positive and am ready to send only to witness a defeat and have to tear it up. And I’m tired of being negative on this team.

My pre-season blog predicted this team would finish 7th in the East. My mid-season prediction altered that to 9th. After our January performance (8-4-2, 18 points), I’m more inclined to think we’ll make the playoffs. Looking at the separation that 5th place Ottawa is creating (9 points ahead of 6th place), it’s realistic to think the highest spot we can claim will be 6th. That would be great…it’s achievable. But to do that, we’ll have to win TWO OUT OF EVERY THREE GAMES the remainder of the way. I think that’s the way to measure the success over the next 27 games.  And that’s why tonight’s game against Anaheim is a must. We lost to Washington, defeated the Islanders, and now it’s best of three tonight. 

I wrote last year that I thought we should have traded Bouwmeester prior to the trade deadline and receive some good value in return. We didn’t, but Sexton did make a sweet pre-UFA deadline trade acquiring Jordan Leopold in exchange for Jay-Bo. Leopold is contributing nicely, with solid defensive play, and some nice offensive output as well. He’s scored 7 goals, and that compares well over Jay-Bo’s 2 goals in Calgary. Speaking of Calgary, what’s up with that trade yesterday??? Are they nuts??? Trading Dion Phaneuf and a couple prospects to Toronto for four players of which two will be UFA’s and one RFA after this season makes little sense to me. Granted, they are happy with Jay-Bo’s play, and had a lot of money tied up in both of them (over $12mm/year)…but still…their return on that deal is not significant. Now Toronto has loads of money tied up on the blue-line, and they will be offensively challenged.

After that trade was announced, it got me thinking, should Sexton make a move. I don’t think so. I feel like this team is really coming together, and I’ve been impressed in how they’ve handled injuries to key players…and continue to do so. We’ve battled hard on a more consistent basis, and I sense that the Panthers will continue to play that way through the end of the season…which hopefully lasts a few weeks longer than previous years. It’s going to require taking two out of three the rest of the way…we win tonight and we win the last set. Then it starts over again. Three game increments.

By the way, I’ve been saying this since last season…no one on this team passes the puck quite like Cory Stillman. If you pay close attention to his play, as I do, you’ll be treated to a passing clinic when he’s on the ice.

On the sports section of my company website www.olympiasusfunding.com, I post my NHL power rankings. I finally have the Panthers in the middle-third at #18.

As always, I welcome feedback and can be reached at cliff@olympiausfunding.com

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 46 16 13 -1 29
A. Ekblad 46 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 43 9 17 1 26
J. Jokinen 45 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 44 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 1 20
S. Bergenheim 35 8 9 2 17
A. Barkov 35 5 10 -5 15
B. Campbell 46 3 11 -1 14
D. Kulikov 41 1 13 -3 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 18 11 8 .920 2.42
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96
 
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