Jan 11, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Florida Panthers center Nick Bjugstad (27) skates with the puck while being defended by New Jersey Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador (24) during the third period at the Prudential Center. The Devils defeated the Panthers 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers Morning Nips: 1/13/13

What a weekend. We had the NFL Playoffs in full swing and of course we had that thriller in New Jersey. Maybe it is because it is still fresh in my memory but I think that could have been one of the most exciting Florida Panthers game this season. Yeah there were only three goals scored in 65 minutes of action but that does not mean it was a slow or boring game. Both goalies were on point and the action was pretty wide open with good chances on both ends of the ice. Giving up the goal with just seconds left hurts for sure but at least the Cats walked out of New Jersey with a point.

The Panthers are still eight points out of the playoff race and while they have been playing well recently, they are going to need to play more than well the rest of the way to make up lost ground. The playoffs are a definite longshot (according to Sports Club Stats, they have a 1.1% chance) but that does not mean a late season push is entirely out of the question. What do you think?

How Will The Cats Fare The Rest Of The Way

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We will also start paying attention to the approaching trade deadline (March 5th). Whether the Panthers will be buyers or sellers depends on these next couple of weeks? Even if Florida goes on a run and gets closer to playoff contention I cannot see them being too aggressive in the trade market. They might try to add a piece or two but I doubt they will try to flip any of their better young prospects.

On a distressing side note, the Panthers have only managed one goal in three straight games. Surprisingly enough they have a 1-1-1 record in those games but c’mon that is not the kind of production that will lead to a big time playoff push. Florida is off to a good start to January as they have picked up 5 of 8 possible points. Tim Thomas has been stellar recently (90 saves on 95 shots over his last three starts (.947 Sv%)) and the offense actually looked much better on the road trip than the numbers would indicate. If Florida gets some of those pucks to catch some twine, we could start to see some wins piling up.

Did anyone else see Sean McIndoe’s post where he answers all the pertinent second half NHL questions? It is definitely worth checking it out but the reason I bring it up is he mentions the Panthers as a team with a good chance to go on a second half run. He also points to some advanced stats that would back such a claim up.

Here is a look at the attendance numbers through 20 home games this season. Florida ranks 25th in the league averaging 14,586 per game. That is a slight uptick from their average ten games into the season which was 13,823.

Ummm…so the first peer that I know well enough to care about just announced their engagement on Facebook. I’m 23. Growing up is weird.  Growing up with social media is surreal.

Last week I spent a lot of time in airports trying to get home from Costa Rica (thanks JetBlue). I spent that time compiling the list of my ten favorite albums. I know nobody cares but I am posting it anyway:

10. California Honeydrops: Like You Mean It

9. Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires Of The City

8. DJ Koze: Amygdala

7. Darkside: Psychic

6. Kanye West: Yeezus

5. Daft Punk: Random Access Memories

4. Kurt Vile: Wakin On A Pretty Daze

3. Chance The Rapper: Acid Rap

2. Jon Hopkins: Immunity

1. Sonny & The Sunsets: Antenna To The Afterworld

Honorable Mentions: Doris (Earl Sweatshirt), Nothing Was The Same (Drake), Beyonce (Beyonce), Settle (Disclosure), INNANETAPE (Vic Mensa)

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