Panthers Schedule Breakdown
October: 9 games (5 home, 4 away)
The Panthers open the season with two back-to-backs in the first month, including one to start the season. They face some tough competition with opponents like Minnesota, Montreal, and San Jose. There are only a few games you can look at and say Florida should win (Atlanta at home, Islanders at home, at St. Louis). If the Panthers can escape October at around .500, the first month will have to be considered a success.
November: 14 games (5 home, 9 away)
Once again the schedule makers have done nothing to ease the Panthers pain during their historically worst month of the season. Florida starts the month with a five game road trip, featuring two back-to-back sets. Not only do the Panthers face stiff competition in the West (and their first game against Olli Jokinen in Phoenix, November 8th), but also face the defending champion Red Wings, Devils twice, and rival Rangers twice. In action basically every other night, Florida will be hard pressed not to repeat a struggling November.
December: 14 games (6 home, 8 away)
Florida continues the trend of getting road games out of the way early in the season, as their season total finishes 2008 at 16 home games and 21 road games. This month features the Panthers second five game road trip in as many months, this time taking them on a trip throughout Canada facing the Senators, Oilers, Flames, and Canucks. Florida receives visits from Colorado, Nashville, and Montreal, as well as facing the new look Lightning in a home and home set. If the Panthers are anywhere near the .500 mark after 2008, they will be looking up heading into the home stretch.
January: 12 games (7 home, 5 away)
Florida faces its most relaxing stretch of the season when they don’t leave the state of Florida for eight straight games, although they do face difficult foes in Dallas, Philadelphia, Carolina, and Montreal. Despite a relatively difficult level of competition, this is the month Florida needs to make its move. With so many home games, not to mention tilts against recent underperforming teams in the Islanders and Maple Leafs, this could be the Panthers chance to get back into the division race, if they aren’t in it coming into the month.
February: 13 games (7 home, 6 away)
This is another month that the Panthers have a chance to make a move. A month that starts off with three of four against Toronto and the Islanders, Florida also has a season long five game home stand. The Panthers get a heavy dose of the Atlantic Division this month, facing the New York and New Jersey teams five times. With only one back-to-back all month, the Cats need to capitalize and move up the standings.
March: 15 games (8 home, 7 away)
March will once again be a month for fans to come see the Panthers many times at home. An equally longest five game home stand commences for the second time in as many months, with three opponents from the Panthers very own Southeast Division. Florida visits Buffalo twice in a matter of weeks, takes a trip to Philadelphia and to Dallas. Somehow the Panthers only get one back-to-back set this month, despite playing nearly half the days of the month.
April: 5 games (3 home, 2 away)
Unlike last season, Florida ends the season with just two straight against division rivals, rather than the nine of last year. Florida gets Atlanta twice down the stretch, but faces a tough Pennsylvania stretch, hosting Pittsburgh and visiting Philadelphia in the season’s final week. The Panthers close with a home game against Washington, one that all Panthers fans hope will end with the biggest celebration in a decade.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Panthers Schedule Breakdown