|Panthers Blogger Cliff Peeke |
Cliff Peeke, a Panther season ticket holder since Day One, is back blogging on FloridaPanthers.com for another season, giving the point of view on the Cats from a serious, die-hard fan’s perspective.
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 25) plays there as well. His youngest son (age 9) is a member of the Jr. Panthers ’98 Squirt Travel Team.Peeke's Points Archive
Since I last wrote a week ago, our Panthers failed miserably in Nashville, Atlanta and Los Angeles, collecting only one point. Now we are out west to play Olli’s Coyotes and the Ducks after losing to Los Angeles last night 3-2.
We are 14% into the season, posting a 4-7-0-1 record for a whopping 9 points. We are presently 29th out of 30 teams in the standings, ahead of only the Islanders. I would grade this start as POOR.
Sound familiar huh? You would think that after all the early season poor starts, year after painful year, that somehow the Panthers would figure out what it takes to get off to a good jump on the league. Instead, we hear the same excuses… and they are pathetic ones. Some of the player quotes I read in the paper are amazing… things like “It’s a game we should have won”, or “We’re just not bringing it”, or “It’s inexcusable the way we come out to play”, or “We weren’t skating”, or “We’re just not playing with the emotion we need”. WHAT???? Words like that coming from a team that knew it absolutely had to start the season strong. A team that knows late season surges does nothing but get season ticketholders in a renewal frenzy but fail to land the team a playoff spot.
All this does is prove the national and Canadian press was right all along… that indeed the Panthers are a year or more removed from being a playoff contender. All it does is relegate local press coverage to the back pages. All it does is reduce any mention of the Panthers on talk radio to virtually nothing. All it does is take away any pre-season enthusiasm and douses it with cold water. How sad. And to think I anticipated and expected better.
So… what can be done to re-ignite the fan base and get this team back on track and away from the #30 slot? How about coming home with four points the rest of this road trip. Accept nothing less.
Again… no excuses. Especially the injury excuse. Heck, it’s as though opponents even try to give us a break there… as in, “Hey, we see you have some injuries… we’ll help even things out and start our back-up goalie”. And we still lose.
Ex Panther watch… Montador’s ice time has been reduced. He skated only 6:56 with the Ducks in their win over the Blues. Also, after 11 games Olli has 4 goals, 7 assists (only 1 goal even strength) and is a +2.
Come home with four points… just do it.