|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
First, I’d like to welcome VanMurph to the blog world within the Panthers website. I’ve enjoyed his perspective so far, and find many similarities… most importantly the passion for our Panthers. I wrote about 35 of these throughout last season as well as a few this off-season. Hopefully, between us we can provide a slightly different slant on the same things we are seeing on the ice… and off.
To the “off-ice” stuff. I am constantly amazed by the excellent service of the Panthers personnel that work with us season ticket holders. They have an uncanny way of making me (and I’ve heard this from so many others) feel like part of the family. So, if you read a blog a few months from now where I threaten to not renew my season tickets because the Panthers are struggling… don’t believe it. I can’t quit… I’ve been a Panther since day one… always will be… and by the way we are so positively treated, I’ll be locked in for a long time. Congratulations to a fine staff.
Now… to the “on-ice” stuff. If you’ve read my blogs from last year to this year, you know that I have said the Panthers season will be defined in their first two months of action. Games should be played with playoff intensity NOW so that we can provide ourselves a nice cushion in the second half. For the most part, except the Minnesota game, the intensity appears to be there. But the bottom line is that we are 3-3 and a .500 season is not going to cut it. Once again, the game Friday night against the Sharks is another must-win.
My recommendation is that we start Craig Anderson in the net Friday. He deserves the start after his third period performance last night. Let’s ride the “hot goalie” and he’s it. If it wasn’t for Anderson play in early March last season, there would not have been any late-season push towards the playoffs. I would like to see him rewarded with more playing time. Besides, Vokoun’s play has lacked consistency so far this season. To me, this is the most important two months… go with the hot goalie period.
I never get over bad Panther trades (and we’ve had our share) or Panthers we let go. I always follow the seasons of ex-Panthers… can’t help it. This season, my three targets are Montador (who is getting surprising amounts of ice time with Anaheim… I would have never figured that), VanRyn (playing healthy with Toronto and logging large chunks of ice-time), and of course Jokinen. Remember…I was OK with that trade.
Through six games, Ballard and Boynton (two defenseman we got in the trade) have combined for 9 points. Meanwhile, Jokinen through five games has 6 points of which one was a goal. And no surprise… the goal was on a power play. Tonight, however, I’ll be hoping Jokinen puts a few in… the Coyotes play Washington. It’s a long season, but I like our return so far. The acquisition I liked the moment it was announced… Stillman… has already proved to be a good choice by GM Martin. Stillman’s got 6 points already and he’s capable of keeping a good pace with the points.
Now… let’s get over that Five-Hundred mark and build that cushion. Another huge game tomorrow night and it’s only October. I love it !!!! Go Panthers !!!!
CliffYourBlog: Cliff Peek Archive