Very Drake indeed, Eks.
P.s- Love that Willie Mitchell comments on Ekblads photos like he’ll always be a dad to him. Love his brief stint here as Captain/ my fake best friend hockey player’s room mate.
We’re back baby! Not gonna lie, I was getting nervous for a second. The 12 game win streak needed to end. We were getting out played and out shot towards the tail end of the streak and just won by taking advantage of some lucky opportunities. Once Ekblad got boarded hard in Edmonton my heart sank. That was the moment the streak was gonna end. Win one more and grab a point in OT in Vancouver. Next thing you know we got shut out hard with a 0-6 loss to Calgary. Fall 1-3 to cross town rivals the Lightning while they were on the hottest streak they’ve been on all season climbing their way towards the top of the standings. Edmonton got revenge with a 4-2 win on our own home turf. Luckily with a 3 day resting period in between and a healthy Ekblad back in the line up, we were back. Just peppered Darling with shots in a 4-0 win over defending Stanley Cup champs the Chicago Blackhawks and getting Lu another shut out. Less than 24 hours later Lu strapped on the pads for a night normally meant for Monty but stepped up for a big statement game letting the Atlantic know we’re fighting off any one threatening to take our top spot in the division. We followed the game plan that made us successful, just become offensive monsters getting goals early and never letting up.
Silent 1st period against the Bolts, but the second period was just Panthers feasting time with 4 goals from Huberdeau, Bjugstad, Reilly Smith on a PP, and Vinny Trocheck. All within an 8 minute span we ripped the life out of Tampa. Ballsy move from Quenneville pulling Darling with around 8 minutes left in the 3rd just to try to get some offensive scoring going, but only to be topped by Jon Cooper pulling Bishop with more than 10 minutes left in the 3rd. Cats got a little sloppy in the 3rd giving up a goal on the penalty kill, but good for Campbell who got goals on back to back nights taking the Empty Netter against Tampa. Not gonna lie, it’s nice when Ekblad isn’t the only guy on D to score. Night ended with another win for Lu and the Panthers winning 5-2, winning back to back nights against Stanley Cup finalist with both having sold out crowds, Snap the red hot Lightning’s 7 game win streak, and pushing the gap to 5 points between 1st and 2nd place in the Atlantic. Great weekend overall for Panther Fans.
Coming up next is a game against Toronto tomorrow, which i fully expect coming up with a win, and then we have the All star game break. Now I know Jagr has been pretty against the All star game but all accounts are that he is at least traveling to Nashville to appear. Who knows how much he’ll actually play but people are all whining calling him a cry baby about it. Listen, if you’re 43 years old, playing on a top line, scoring the most goals on a team and have the 2nd most points on a team that’s eagerly pushing to win a Stanley Cup final appearance, You can do whatever the fuck you want. He can tell me he’s gonna spit on me and have sex with my mom for all I care, what ever he needs to keep winning. If you’re 43 and doing as much as him then maybe you have the right to complain but you also don’t have a cup, so really you can’t. Hopefully he plays like 1 minute of 3-on-3 and thats it. Because coming up after the break is what I’ve been waiting for, The Washington Capitals.
I don’t know why or if i’ve ever said this on here but I kinda hate the Capitals. I see A LOT of Caps fans hate on the panthers because of the attendance blah blah blah but in the end, They’ve had a superstar for 10 years now with 0 cups to show for it. Ovechkin’s a monster but still no rings on his finger. Well this year they so far have been consistently the best team in the NHL going 35-8-3 with the league most 73 points. Holtby is 30-5 so far this season. Unbelievable. Last time we played Washington we won 4-1 but it was Gubauer in net for Washington. Well come February 2nd we’re on the road facing the number 1 team, Capitals on the national stage on NBCSN. Haven’t been back to NBC since 2014 where we lost to NJ. Well this is gonna be set to what should be the two top teams in the east battling it out. I need to see Holtby in net. I need the test to see how good we’ll fare and if we do well, hopefully that’s gonna be a look into the Eastern Conference Final because I don’t see Washington missing a step and I don’t think my heart can handle the Panthers not being there this year.
Small side note- A lot of talk about the future of Pirri on this team. I don’t think he’s going anywhere. Gallant scratched him for 3 straight games when the Panthers were on down slump going 0-23 on power plays. I don’t look into it much at all. We obviously have scoring going everywhere but Pirri just has to get hot and itll happen soon. Gallant did the same thing last year and then Pirri was back with 6 goals in 7 games. Towards the end he went on like a 22 point streak in like 25 games. It’ll come back. Don’t see Tallon giving up a guy like him.
So today I guess Ekblad took a trip to NHL studios and they set him up with a little periscope Q+A. Now normally I would skip these over, but not when it comes to my guy Aaron Ekblad. Now I had been under the assumption all along he was still with Claude Lemieux’s daughter, Claudia. Well I tuned in and boy did my ears perk up when he said he didn’t have a girlfriend. My mans on the open market! Mind went racing. Maybe I’ll hit up downtown Ft. Laudy more? Guy with that good looks has to be hitting up the town right? I can see him and Smith cruising Las Olas looking for tail. But that sounds so superficial. Yea obviously he’s a good looking dude. Guy has swedish blood in him, he was genetically predetermined to look like a model. But guess what? Ekblad is a genius too. I mean did you hear him slip it in a half way through that he was taking courses at Harvard(Yea he didn’t finish any but the fact that he’s trying is like probably the equivalent of getting a Masters at FSU)? Get out of here, Dominic Moore. You aint the only Harvard Alum in the NHL. My boy Aaron Ekblad is a learned man of higher education. So lets break it down: Professional Ice Hockey Defense Man in the NHL, who lives in a condo in Fort Lauderdale (i think) who makes millions, dabbles as a male model for John Varvatos, makes millions, is single, studies at the prestigious Ivy League Harvard University, is of swedish heritage and only NINETEEN years old. My god if i was a woman. I would just whore it out at BB&T with a giant billboard sign off I-75 asking Aaron to please come take me. Might even do it as a guy.
P.s- He could also play baseball at a professional level im pretty sure. Pretty sure that ground ball would’ve slipped Jeter’s glove and I’m pretty sure he hit that second one busted through the studio. Without cleats too.
Double P.S- According to George Richards, we got some details into the new jersey. Link to it here but let me give you the gist. Lot less blue, more red, and deeper gold with maybe a head logo of the Panthers. Gonna have a look similar to the Habs. I’m curious. Gonna be the biggest change since the franchise started and some players apparently think its cool so I’m on board. Kinda thinking with the red and gold it’ll look like the Iron man suit but if it pops on the ice then it pops.
OMG. Florida Winter Casual has never looked better on a kid from Canada. Ekblad started off his Pro career with the hair coiffed upwards. Made a strong stance. Now that he’s had a full season under his belt he’s gonna go with the relaxed look. Got all the nervous jitters out last season, time to man handle this season with his hair coming in second to Jagrs.
Thanks Lu. Looks like we got great hair on Forwards and on D. Playoff bubble? More like 3rd seed going the distance.
I don’t know why i have a full blown infatuation with the guy but as I view his life vicariously through the glimpses of interviews, games, and social media i think i know now why that is. At first i thought it was a sexual thing. Like Holy shit, ed, you’ve been masturbating to women all these years and out of no where this kid from Ontario is making you go gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you’re 25 soon so you better figure out whats the deal. But that wasn’t it at all. Guy might be one of the youngest guys on the roster but he was born to lead and im almost sure that’s what draws me to him. Just a stern leader who leaves it all on the ice. the number 5 jersey from Lidstrom, also that being his favorite player, the Camo Panthers gear with Leonidas quotes. Picking out targets 100 ft away whether its with cold sniper bullet or a puck as he rips through an offense in the neutral zone. Guys just born to lead and inspire. Thats why im drawn to him. It has nothing to do with his Grizzled manly beard and jaw line or his cool head of hair. Or his probably large dick size that i think about from time to time…….
God i hope this is true. Its absolutely frustrating watching the Panthers play at the pace they play sometimes. Don’t get me wrong they skate their balls off every night. But after the playoffs you see teams like Tampa, Chicago, Anaheim just bring so much speed and brutality and skill. Just things that make it a real physical challenge for the other team. One thing I hate the most is that the fans and maybe play style is too soft. We obviously get no respect as it is being an ice hockey team located next to the god damn everglades but its also in the fans too i think. They’re just to complacent. When I see the crowd its all like older women and maybe its just who i follow on social media but its all women who are like “oh they’re good/ I like so and so player/ omg i can’t believe they didn’t call that!/ we lost but good job!” I want it to be hard nosed. I want Panther fans to be like “fuck you, we’re gonna win.” I need everything to be hard nose and apply pressure every damn game. No more being soft.
In other news Huberdeau has resigned for 2 years. Gonna be fun to see them resign him and Ekblad in 2017 but Im almost sure they’ll find a way to keep these young guys especially these two Calder winners. Hopefully Huberdeau has a great year which I’m expecting playing on the same line as Jagr and Barkov.
So far it seems the only spots left open for people to compete for are RW on the 3rd with Jokinen and Bolland and wings for the fourth centered by MacKenzie. Trocheck I’m kind of expecting to make the roster just because he’s proven to through 50 games with the cats notching 22 points last season. The others that are in the fight are Rocco Grimaldi, who’s a close 2nd for me because i see him as a tiny mousey scrappy player and i just like that kind of guy. Quinton Howden I haven’t heard much or seen much form him at al along with Connor Brickley because they haven’t had any NHL time. As For Lawson Crouse I don’t think he’ll make the roster just yet this year maybe we’ll have him called up a few games but I’m not expecting him to really make the team just yet. As for David Booth, he definitely dropped in production over the years from his glory days as a Panther so im leaning towards not expecting him to make the cut but he is a hard worker so maybe put him with a young team can revitalize and maybe put that work ethic to good use.
Expectation this year- Playoff bubble.