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Peeke's Points: One Point Better

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Panthers Blogger Cliff Peeke
Cliff Peeke, a Panther season ticket holder since Day One, is back blogging on 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

After eight games, the Panthers are only one point better than Tampa Bay and are looking upwards in the standings. Getting a little itchy fellow fans?????

New Panther coach DeBoer was well aware when he took the job of the importance of getting off to the strong start. Had to be. Sure I like the system and the style of play this year’s Panthers are playing… more exciting. However, I’d exchange that for Minnesota’s plodding style (often without Gaborik) and points (13 after 8 games). Am I being a little over-anxious so early in the season?

See, I don’t think so. And that’s why I’m not happy we lost in St. Louis.  Forget the excuses (so many games in so few nights… injuries, etc), other teams struggle just the same. We went up against the number three goalie for the Blues and barely challenged him. We looked like we were skating half-speed… it was basically an ugly game to watch. And that occurred 24 hours after one of the more exciting games to watch as we defeated San Jose in a nail-biter. You may recall that’s the game DeBoer proved me wrong, starting Vokoun over Anderson (and Vokoun really steps up).

After tonight’s game at home against the Senators, we go on the road for five games. So… that puts tremendous pressure on this team to win tonight against the… guess who… Alex Auld in-the-net Senators. Between now and the end of November, the Panthers play 15 games.  Twenty-three games in at that point and their season will be defined… being chased or looking up. That’s why TONIGHT’S GAME and EVERY GAME IN NOVEMBER is so important. That’s why I’m angry at the effort in the St. Louis loss. That’s why I’m getting a little “itchy”.

After nine years of futility, no excuse will work this season. Figure it out… get a win tonight and kick some ass on the road. Predictions for tonight’s game… if we play with playoff-like intensity it’s a Panthers 4-1 victory. If not, we lose 5-2. Two points are huge tonight… we need some separation from the woeful Lightning… just do it.
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