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Blog 242: Counting The Days

Friday, 07.20.2012 / 11:30 AM / Blogs
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Blog 242: Counting The Days

If you’re a Florida Panthers fan like I am, this is the time of year when you start to count the days until opening night and the beginning of another exciting NHL season.

We’ve already experienced the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas, the Draft in Pittsburgh, and the meat of the free agency period, and now our attention is fixed on Saturday, Oct. 13 when the Cats open up against the Lightning at the BankAtlantic Center.

It’s going to be a special night in Sunrise. Not only will our Panthers be taking on cross-state rival Tampa Bay, but we will also be unveiling the Southeast Division Championship banner that will hang in the rafters of the arena.

To me, this banner is significant of how far this franchise has come in the last couple years. With General Manager Dale Tallon leading our hockey operations department, we won our first ever Division Championship last season, took the Eastern Conference Champion New Jersey Devils to seven games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and compiled the best crop of prospects in the entire NHL.

On Oct. 13, the growth of this franchise will commence again. Following another successful draft, the development of young players such as Erik Gudbranson and Jonathan Huberdeau, and the free agent signings or re-signings of Scott Clemmensen, Filip Kuba, Peter Mueller and George Parros, our fans should be extremely excited about the season ahead.

For me, it is very gratifying to hear about the high expectations from our supporters, and the incredible memories they have from last year’s return to the playoffs. When you have four sold out, electrifying postseason games at the BankAtlantic Center, it’s the type of feeling you want to experience over and over again.

I expect the feelings to be similar on opening night, when that banner is unveiled, and our Panthers take the ice in front of a sold out sea of red. It’ll be a nice reminder of how far we have come as an organization, but also a reminder of how much we still need to achieve.

We got a taste playoff hockey and now we want more. We all want more – our players, our coaches, our staff and our fans – we all want to get back to the postseason, to get back to that Game 7, and have it go our way, and see the victory rats rain down.

That’s why it's so easy to fall in love with our sports teams – because they give us those exciting feelings and unforgettable moments you just can’t get anywhere else. Our Panthers gave us some great ones last season, and now we’re just a few months from creating even more memories.

Thanks for reading, can’t wait to see everyone on Oct. 13, and go Panthers.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 64 41 18 5 172 142 87
2 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
3 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
11 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 64 22 16 -9 38
J. Huberdeau 61 9 28 3 37
A. Ekblad 64 11 23 7 34
J. Jokinen 63 6 28 -1 34
B. Boyes 62 11 21 8 32
J. Jagr 60 12 19 -10 31
J. Hayes 55 17 12 -4 29
B. Campbell 64 3 20 2 23
A. Barkov 53 10 12 -5 22
V. Trocheck 34 5 11 8 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .921 2.37
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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