| 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
When I returned home from the game last night with my 11 yr old son (Andrew), we checked out the text message my 27 yr old son (Trevor) had sent, and it read “What a terrible loss”. As if we needed to be reminded. Further proof of the devastating loss was exhibited on the faces of the stunned crowd exiting the arena…I did not see one smiling face.
We all knew that earning two points, not one, was an absolute must. Especially up 3-1 in the third period against a team that featured starters Murphy and Welch…a team going nowhere…a team that should be beat. I was so furious afterwards that attempting to sleep without a couple of those aspirin PM’s would have been impossible. And this morning I’m still furious.
I knew there would be some juicy “positive spin” quotes in the paper this morning, and there they were. Putting any kind of positive spin on last night’s game is like saying ‘hey, I had a great day at the beach even though my sight-lines were destroyed by the group of men in Speedos in front of me’. If we miss the playoffs by a point, then reflect back to this game, and tell me there was something positive about giving up those two third period goals. And guess who was on the ice for both of them (hint…we decided not to get assets for him at the deadline).
I hope I’m wrong about this loss being devastating. I hope that I can get some satisfaction that the four teams above us did not pick up two points yesterday as well. But doubts are creeping in and for good reason…we lost to Tampa Bay. I mean check out their defense…Krajicek (Keenan threw him in the Luongo deal), Murphy (I think we are still paying him salary as he was picked up on re-entry waivers), Welch (we even parted with a 3rd round pick to sweeten the trade for Eminger), Melichar, Smaby, and Petiot. Come on…we score only three goals against that unit (and their back-up goalie)?
Since the trade deadline we have won just once out of five games (4 of a possible 10 points). I realize that “things happen”, just ask Buffalo as Atlanta’s Todd White scored with 4 seconds remaining to tie the game last night…then the Thrashers win in the shootout. And you have to wonder how Calgary loses to Toronto 8-6 last night (by the way, Jokinen got 3 goals and 2 assists for 5 points, yet was only a +1…do the math on that one).
I just had to get a few things off my chest this morning. I know, based on feedback I’ve received from so many fans, that a lot of us are very “concerned” (to put it mildly). The only cure will be a sound whipping of the Capitals on Tuesday, which hopefully puts us on course for a win streak.
Also…here’s a suggestion…the “kiss cam” is hard enough to take on a good night let alone when our stomachs are tied up in playoff-knots. If it’s a must that we have to endure that “cam”, then how about in the first minute of the game and not the third period. I’m obviously not in a good mood.
I just read this to my wife and she said that the whole tone of this blog is “cranky”. Am I alone????
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