The Chicken Wings are in town, ready to take on your Florida Panthers and halt the home team's impressive one-game winning streak. Seriously, though, the Panthers really needed a win and got one in Pittsburgh. JM told the guys today basically that it was only one win, but it was a start, perhaps something to build on.
I agree. You can't win two straight or three straight or -- gasp! -- four straight without getting that first one in. So we'll see.
And as good as Buffalo has been the past two years, the Panthers have played them well. Florida won three of four last year, and took the homestanding Sabres to overtime last month. That was a pretty exciting game I must say (and the wings were good too!)
Wanted to talk to Lindy and some of the Buffalo guys this morning, but they skipped the morning skate. Will get them next week in the Wingtown hopefully.
THE NEWS: Joe Nieuwendyk speaks to the national media today at 3 for the first time since announcing his retirement yesterday in Coral Springs. JM spoke a bit about what Joe meant to the team and to the franchise and that he expects Stephen Weiss to kind of fill Joe's role a little more.
JM didn't say who would get the fourth A now that Joe is gone, although Ruslan Salei has worn it in Joe's absence a few times already. JM would not rule out giving it to a younger player like Bo or Weiss, either. Joe will be in the building tonight, and there will be a one-minute video presentation for him on the scoreboard. For those away, he will be visiting the boys in the broadcast booth as well.
-- Alex Auld gets the start tonight. Auld, Alex.
-- Greg Campbell was back at practice today and will play tonight.
-- On Frozen Pond would like to welcome NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and league PR man Frank Brown to South Florida. Mr. Bettman will be at the game tonight and will be speaking to the local media before tonight's big game. I apologize ahead of time for not being there; my sister is getting married tomorrow and I have a rehersal dinner to attend tonight.
Don't snitch, but I plan on having the game on at the bar. It will look funny, me sneaking off the bathroom all the time, but I'll tell them I'm taking some sort of pill or something. Either that or I can tell them I started smoking again. OK, the pill thing is better.