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A Big Apple a Day...

AppleThe Rangers are in town, a sickly, struggling bunch that has lost three straight. But as bad as the Rangers have been of late, they are still in first place in the Northeast, so things ain't that bad.

The team has been kicked in the head with the flu, with Henrik Lundqvist so sick he had to miss the start against the Islanders on Tuesday. Only the scratched players worked out at the CSA* this morning, the rest of the Rangers taking the morning off. Last team to skip the morning skate at CSA was Buffalo two weeks ago, and we know how that worked out for them.

The Panthers, on the other hand, were a frisky bunch. Winning sure has taken a shine to the Cats, no? Everyone was in a good mood, and it looks like Stephen Weiss and Juraj Kolnik will be back in the lineup soon. That's reminds me...

THE NEWS: Kolnik practiced with his teammates Thursday, and could be back Saturday. If not, Tuesday for sure. Looks like Weiss will be back for the Tuesday game in Carolina or Wednesday against the Phantoms, err, Flyers.

-- Eddie Belfour in net tonight for sure, the first Florida goalie to start four straight games since some guy named Luongo. Eddie has won his past two starts, and played well enough to win all three.

-- Watching tape of those stranded in Denver because of the blizzard make me thankful to be back home. Sure, it took a nameless airline a long time to do it and lost my bag in the process, but being home sure is sweet. Get tomorrow off to Christmas shop (email me your secret shopping spots if you would -- as well as places to avoid) and I'll get you all something nice. Like another goofy picture for the blog. Today's is kinda lame. Just sad is all.

(*) -- Longtime readers of the blog should know CSA stands for CorporateSponsorship Arena. I swear, has it only been a week since we've been in there? Today it looked like there was even more advertisements than before.