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The Florida Panthers: Coming to a Town Near You

Shania CHARLOTTE -- Am in the great state of North Carolina and finally have enough cell signal that the air card works again.

So, sorry for the delay.

As you have probably seen many other places, the 2009-10 schedule came out today and the Panthers are going to find themselves playing a lot of back-to-back games this year.

Blame it on the Olympic break. The NHL has to jam in the same amount of games in the same time frame while taking a couple weeks off at the same time.

The stats:

This season, Florida will play on consecutive nights 18 times – with the team splitting a home and an away game in nine of them.

Florida will only play host to a back-to-back set once this year, on March 20-21 when Buffalo and Tampa Bay visit Sunrise on consecutive nights.

This year's schedule is more balanced than in past years, with the Panthers only going to the west coast once for a game at San Jose. Florida's longest road trip is four games (Dec. 9-14, at Columbus, New Jersey, Pittsburgh and New York Islanders); Florida's longest homestand is also four games (March 16-21 vs. Washington, Phoenix, Buffalo and Tampa Bay).

The Panthers will visit each of the other 14 Eastern Conference teams at least twice, with three road games against divisional opponents.

Florida will also travel to Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, Nashville, Columbus, Minnesota, Colorado and San Jose. Florida will play Western Conference opponents Chicago, Colorado and Nashville twice this season.

Florida opens at home on Oct. 10 against the Devils and gets its first visit from the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins on Nov. 23. Florida is home for Thanksgiving with three games that week with big draws Pittsburgh, the New York Rangers and Toronto coming to town.

Florida will play in New York on Dec. 23, but be at home against Boston two days after Christmas. The Montreal Canadiens will visit on New Year's Eve with a special 5 p.m. starting time. Florida will also play host to Western Conference teams Los Angeles, Colorado, Edmonton, Anaheim, Calgary (Bouwmeester and Jokinen), Vancouver (Roberto Luongo), Phoenix and Nashville.

The Panthers have two home games that are on the same day the Dolphins play at home, although on Dec. 27 and Jan. 3, the Dolphins kick off at 1 and the Panthers don't play until 5.

And on Jan. 3, fans from western Pennsylvania can double-dip as the Steelers visit Miami the same day the Penguins play in Sunrise. The Panthers home opener on Oct. 10 is the same day Florida A&M visit the Hurricanes in Miami Gardens.


And should the Panthers be in the hunt for a playoff spot, the end of the season doesn't look all that daunting. Florida, which has missed the postseason for eight straight seasons, plays four of its final five games at home. The team ends the regular season with games against Tampa Bay on consecutive nights. The Lightning visit Florida in both team's regular season finale on April 11.

Oh, and Halloween in St. Louis. That should be fun.

2009-10 Florida Panthers Schedule

ALL TIMES EASTERN

ALL DATES & TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE

October

Fri.             2     @ Chicago           11:00 a.m. *Helsinki

Sat.            3     vs. Chicago           Noon*Helsinki

Fri.             9     @ Carolina           7:00 p.m.

Sat.            10    vs. NJ Devils         7:00 p.m.

Mon.          12    @ Tampa Bay      7:30 p.m.

Fri.             16    vs. Philadelphia     7:30 p.m.

Wed.          21    vs. Buffalo             7:30 p.m.

Fri.             23    @ Pittsbugh          7:30 p.m.

Sat.             24   @ Philadelphia        7:00 p.m.

Wed.          28    vs. Ottawa           7:30 p.m.

Fri.             30    @ Dallas              8:30 p.m.

Sat.             31    @ St. Louis         8:00 p.m.

November

Wed.          4      vs. Carolina           7:30 p.m.

Fri.             6      vs. Washington      7:30 p.m.

Sat.            7      @ Washington      7:00 p.m.

Thu.           12    @ Boston             7:00 p.m

Sat.            14    vs. NY Islanders   7:00 p.m.

Mon.          16    vs. Los Angeles     7:30 p.m.

Wed.          18    @ Buffalo             7:00 p.m.

Fri.             20    @ Detroit             7:30 p.m.

Sat.            21    @ NY Rangers     7:00 p.m.

Mon.          23    vs. Pittsburgh        7:30 p.m.

Wed.          25    vs. NY Rangers    7:30 p.m.

Fri.             27    vs. Toronto           7:30 p.m.

Sat.            28    @ Nashville          8:00 p.m.

Mon.          30    @ Atlanta             7:00 p.m.              

December

Wed.          2     vs. Colorado         7:30 p.m.

Thu.           3     @ Washington      7:00 p.m.

Sat.            5     vs. Atlanta             7:00 p.m.

Mon.          7     vs. Edmonton        7:30 p.m.

Wed.          9     @ Columbus         7:00 p.m.

Fri.             11    @ New Jersey      7:00 p.m.

Sat.            12    @ Pittsburgh         7:30 p.m.

Mon.          14    @ NY Islanders    7:00 p.m.

Wed.          16    vs. Atlanta             7:30 p.m.

Fri.             18    vs. Carolina           7:30 p.m.

Sat.            19    @ Carolina           7:00 p.m.

Mon.          21    @ Philadelphia      7:00 p.m.

Wed.          23    @ NY Rangers     7:00 p.m.

Sun.           27     vs. Boston          5:00 p.m.

Thu.            31   vs. Montreal          5:00 p.m.

 January

Sun.           3       vs. Pittsburgh      5:00 p.m.

Tue.           5     @ Toronto            7:00 p.m.

Thu.           7     @ Montreal          7:30 p.m.

Sat.            9     @ Ottawa             7:00 p.m.

Wed.          13    vs. Washington      7:30 p.m.

Thu.           14    @ Tampa Bay      7:30 p.m.

Sat.            16    vs. Tampa Bay      7:00 p.m.

Mon.          18    vs. Atlanta             7:30 p.m.

Wed.          20    @ New Jersey      7:00 p.m.

Thu.           21    @ NY Islanders    7:00 p.m.

Sat.            23    vs. Toronto         7:00 p.m.

Tue.          26     vs. Montreal       7:30 p.m.

Fri .            29     @ Washington          7:00 p.m.

Sun.            31   vs. NY Islanders   5:00 p.m.

 February

Mon.          1     vs. Anaheim          7:30 p.m.

Fri.             5     vs. Calgary            7:30 p.m.

Sat.            6     @ Atlanta             7:00 p.m.

Tue.           9     @ Carolina           7:00 p.m.

Thu.           11    vs. Vancouver       7:30 p.m.

Sat.            13    vs. Boston             7:00 p.m.

 March

Tue.           2     @ Atlanta             7:00 p.m.

Wed.          3     vs. Philadelphia     7:30 p.m.

Sat.            6     vs. Carolina           7:00 p.m.

Tue.           9     @ Minnesota        8:00 p.m.

Thu.           11    @ Colorado         9:00 p.m.

Sat.            13    @ San Jose          10:30 p.m.

Tue.           16    vs. Washington      7:30 p.m.

Thu.           18    vs. Phoenix           7:30 p.m.

Sat.            20    vs. Buffalo             7:00 p.m.

Sun.           21    vs. Tampa Bay      5:00 p.m.

Tue.           23    @ Toronto            7:00 p.m.

Thu.           25    @ Montreal          7:30 p.m.

Sat.            27    @ Ottawa             7:00 p.m.   

Mon.          29    vs. Nashville          7:30 p.m.

Wed.          31   @ Buffalo             7:00 p.m.

 April

Thu.             1    @ Boston             7:00 p.m.

Sat.              3    vs. NY Rangers    7:00 p.m.

Tue.             6    vs. Ottawa            7:30 p.m.   

Thu.              8   vs. New Jersey      7:30 p.m.           

Sat.             10   @ Tampa Bay       7:30 p.m.

Sun.            11   vs. Tampa Bay      5:00 p.m.





Comments

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I know Panther fans are wondering where the hard hitting questions are of team management. I mean, this organization isn't just the joke of the NHL, but becoming one in all of sports. There is a scathing blog about the Panthers on hockeybuzz.com right now you should check out. Ouch...

12 games in October, and I think we'll be lucky to have about 6 points in those 12 games.... It really doesn't look promising here, and on top of that, we never seem to get the first pick in the years that the best prospects(Ovechkin, Crosby, Stamkos, Tavares) are in play, so sit back and pray for the best...

Okay I read almost every blog thingy, and i always read the comments from the "critics". I have NEVER seen such a large group of NEGITIVE in my life. If the Panthers dont sign Wayne Gretzky, they are the worst team??? WTF guys do you ACTUALLY think the new management is TRYING TO LOSE. And they havent even started yet? Why dont you guys support the Panthers INSTEAD of bashing them to hell. It makes me sick. Try making SUGGESTIONS instead of ORDERS. I mean really. Obviously our goal is to make the playoffs. They're not scamming you guys or brain-washing you people. So just relax and calm down. Thank you!

-Anyways, this schedule looks tougher then last season. But at least we get to end the season with 2 games (4 gimme pionts)against Tampa. Why do we always NJ Devils in our opener?

''We're a vacation destination, so we need the right teams here during the holidays,'' said Yormark

In other words, dear NHL we are fielding a hockey team so that fans of other teams can come here on vacation and have a great time while they beat us so they will come back again.

To Panther fans: we have decided that we are going to be the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters, so please realize that we don't need a big sales force because we make more money selling individual tickets to fans of the road team, so we are geared to having them enjoy their stay and that is why we wanted to make sure we had our marquee named teams playing when their fans are in town.

We will continue to rebuild and we hope you continue to root for your Washington Generals (oops I mean Florida Panthers) even though they have no chance to win at the end.

As a hockey fan, it pains me to see what's happening down here in S. Fla with regards to The Cats. But as a Panthers fan, I can take solace in the fact that...in my own opinion...if they just would have cut they're OTL's down by half, they would have been in the playoffs, no doubt. But, then again, considering what they've lost compared to what they've gained so far(the growth of the young players and Horton's move back to the wing not withstanding), anyone could understand why there's SO MUCH negativity. This franchise went from almost setting a record for the fastest Stanley Cup winning season, to almost setting a record for the most seasons without making the playoffs...That CERTAINLY isn't a fan-support issue.

I can't wait to see all you negative fans in january/february when were winning all go. Yes I knew we would do this. Watch Horton have a great year and everyone will say o i love him when 90% of you bash him for no reason at all. He's not gonna be Sidney Crosby, He's not gonna be Ovechkin. Get over it. Nate is a great player and i've seen mature a lot in the past 2 years and i think this year he will turn the corner. I think we have a great team and it's just like in 96 no one gave us a chance or even looked at us but we surprised a lot of people. I see a lot of that in this team. I'm excited because we finally have a great coach and a great set of core guys. Sure i'd love to get a comrie, tangay or moore but if we don't i'm happy with what we have right now and i think we are gonna surprise some people. I can't wait to see Mcabe and Bryan allen just laying people out as well as ballard and leopold. It's gonna be a great season and all of these people who aren't giving us a chance or laughing at us i can't wait to see you eat your words. Go Cats!!

I bash Horton because he is lazy and plays on the outside, he refuses to go into the corners and battle for the puck, his rookie season was his best season, he worked hard and faught for the puck and looked like a great pick.

The Panthers took Horton over Staal and that is who you compare him too and there is no comparison. Staal works hard and is a winner, Horton plays for the paycheck is lazy (most NHL scouts say he is one of the laziest players in the league)

This team is nowhere near the character of the 96 team, if we had 20 David Booths or Gregory Campbells then you could say this team has the character of the 96 team.

I will never bash a player who works hard, I just see a player who more than 3/4 of the time doesn't show like he wants to be on the ice.

Horton needs someone to do his dirty work and then get him the puck. The Panthers don't have that type of player.

The Panthers have drafted the wrong player year after year.

Traded too much value for the wrong player year after year.

Every year we here how a couple of the young players are going to help the club only to not match what we are told.

About 6 months ago one of JM the GMs supporters said he wouldn't trade our roster with other teams in the same point range. He talked about our defensemen (3 of which are no longer with the team)

I say now I would trade our roster for every team in the league and it would be an improvement

hockey buzz is reporting Tanguay has signed with the Cats!

Stephen, people have said that to me since May 2004. Nothing has changed in 5 years, except some actually have the ability to say I was correct back then about the organization

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