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Blog 242: Counting The Days

Friday, 07.20.2012 / 11:30 AM ET / 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 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

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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