As the days go by we continue to get deeper into our countdown of the top 10 moments from the Panthers 2011-2012 season. Today we will take a look at another memorable moment from the 2012 Stanley Cup playoff series against the New Jersey Devils. Of course that should come as no surprise after we revealed #4 from our list on Monday. #3 on our countdown earned its rank over game 7 because it is an event that has not occurred for the Panthers in over a decade. Every member of the Cats roster would agree when we say that making it to the post-season is great, but winning is even better.
#3 – Florida wins their first playoff game in nearly 15 years (April 15th, 2012)
April 17th, 1997 is an historic date for the Florida Panthers. Why? Because that is the last time the organization won a playoff game. That is until Stephen Weiss scored two power-play goals and Jose Theodore made 23 saves to lead the Panthers to victory in game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on April 15th, 2012, nearly 15 years to the day of Florida’s last playoff win. What made the W even better was what took place after the final buzzer; it rained rats.
Marc’s take: It goes without saying that game 2 against the New Jersey Devils was a memorable experience for any Panthers fan that was able to attend. The crowd was absolutely electric and the team controlled play for the majority of the game, especially in the first period. To those who did not make it out to the BankAtlantic Center on April 15th, 2012 for whatever reason all you need to know is that you missed one hell of a game.
Everyone knows the drill by know, hopefully. Click all of the links below for the full moment #3 experience and come back tomorrow for the reveal of moment #2. Also do not forget that when we reveal #1 on our top 10 list we will have a special surprise (or two), so stay tuned.
Sorry for the delay with posting these photos from game seven between the New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers, we just had to take a couple days to recharge our batteries. The following gallery contains pictures taken by Sunshine State Hockey while the link will lead those who click it to the Panthers official game seven photo page.
This is just going to be a quick post containing our predictions for the semifinals of this year’s playoffs because the puck drops on the first game of round two in less than 15 minutes. We will post an article discussing our predictions from the quarterfinals sometime tomorrow as well as who to watch in the second round. For now here are Sunshine State Hockey’s picks for the next round:
#1 New York Rangers VS #7 Washington Capitals
Ana: Capitals in 6 games
Marc: Capitals in 5 games
Rob: Capitals in 6 games
#5 Philadelphia Flyers VS #6 New Jersey Devils
Ana: Flyers in 5 games
Marc: Flyers in 6 games
Rob: Flyers in 6 games
#2 St. Louis Blues VS #8 Los Angeles Kings
Ana: Blues in 6 games
Marc: Kings in 7 games
Rob: Kings in 6 games
#3 Phoenix Coyotes VS #4 Nashville Predators
Ana: Coyotes in 7 games
Marc: Predators in 5 games
Rob: Predators in 5 games
I am not going to bother writing a game recap or summary because we all know what happened. The Florida Panthers, a team that was suppose to finish dead last in the Eastern Conference based off opinions of the NHL media, forced game seven into double overtime before losing to New Jersey. That same National Hockey League media also called the Panthers a bunch of outcasts. Well those outcasts, the 2012 SouthEast Division Champions, certainly did well for themselves, right Mike Milbury?
This article is not intended to be all about how the talking heads were completely wrong abut this team, even though they were. This post is being made to personally thank each and every member of the Florida Panthers organization, except for Michael Yormark, for making this the best season of hockey I have ever witnessed. I have been around this team for a very long time, since 2001 to be exact, and have seen just how poorly they used to play. Dale Tallon, Kevin Dineen, and the rest of the management and coaching staff built a team that, win or lose, worked hard every single night. Tallon and Co. put together a team built around character and we witnessed that during every game, practice, and event that the players were involved in.
The most important thing to remember after tonight Panthers fans is that this is just the beginning. Florida has one of the best prospect groups in all of the National Hockey League with youngsters like Jonathan Huberdeau, Jacob Markstrom, and Nick Bjugstad fine tuning their skills in the minors while waiting for their shot to crack the lineup. The Cats will also welcome back the majority of this year’s SouthEast Division winning team for the 2012-2013 NHL season. Barring any major trades that means players like Tomas Fleischmann, Erik Gudbranson, and “Mr. Panther” Stephen Weiss will be on the roster when the puck drops for game one of next season.
Finally I would like to thank everyone, even the bandwagoners, for coming out to the BankAtlantic Center and making our house rock for games one, two, five, and seven. The atmosphere inside the BAC was absolutely electric, especially in game seven, and it is all because South Florida believed in their hockey team again. Now remember, those of us who have been there for years expect each and every one of you to come back for the 2012-2013 season, so do not let us down.
Be sure to keep coming back to Sunshine State Hockey throughout the rest of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs and during the off-season. We will continue to share our opinions and report the latest news about the National Hockey League and more importantly the Florida Panthers.
After the Phoenix Coyotes eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks last night, defeating them in game six by the score of 4-0. the Western Conference semifinals were locked up. The match-ups for round two in the West are as follows:
Western Conference Semifinals
#8 Los Angeles Kings VS #2 St. Louis Blues
#4 Nashville Predators VS #3 Phoenix Coyotes
There are definitely some surprise teams moving on to round two in the West, just as there will be in the East once that conference finishes the quarterfinals. Seeing “powerhouse” organizations like the Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, and Chicago Blackhawks eliminated in round one is shocking but it also provides a nice change to the post-season moving forward.
Once the Eastern Conference teams are set for the next round Sunshine State Hockey’s staff will be sure to provide our predictions.