As it turns out, in a few days I will be leaving to the Florida area, to take in the Edmonton Oilers versus the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 22. I will be interested to find out how intense people are following the Florida Panthers playoff push in a nontraditional hockey market. The Cats deserve a lot of credit for what the team has been able to do.
As Dan Rosen of NHL.com writes, the Florida Panthers' push for a playoff spot could be one of the more interesting storylines to follow in the final weeks of the regular season. The club hasn't made the postseason since the 1999-2000 campaign, but that drought could end this year.
So, what is the key to the Florida Panthers seeing their first playoff action in more than a decade?
"They can't afford too many efforts like the one they delivered last night. Florida's best shot at playing past April 7 may be to simply win the Southeast Division, yet they were blown out by the second-place Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. Regardless, Kevin Dineen's squad is still clinging to first place in the division -- a spot that would not only put them in the playoffs, but would also guarantee them home-ice in the first round." ESPN.com
As successful as the Florida Panthers have been this season. I still chose to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning because of the history their big-name players have have in the National Hockey League, (The Edmonton Oilers play back-to-back games in Florida). Watching Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier work their magic for 60 minutes is what it's all about for me.
Of course, in the end, the Edmonton Oilers will still win the game :)
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