The big news tonight is Jay Bouwmeester making the All-Star team; nice honor for JayBo although it seems he would rather hang with his Edmonton buddies during the break than go to Dallas. I can't blame him. While it's an honor he can't turn down, the All-star break is a welcomed time off. He ain't getting it now. No, all Jay can look forward to is spending more time with media folk like myself.
-- Feeling good about the vibe the Panthers gave off today. Friday had a very hung-over feel to it, and why not. The boys crashed and burned in that third period in Carolina. Loved Mike Van Ryn's quote about the loss feeling like something rotting in his stomach. Great visual. Really enjoyed reading that one with my morning cup of Tim Hortons coffee (I brew my own) and my yogurt. Thanks, Mike.
Saturday felt like a bounce back day for the Panthers, and they sure did start the game that way. Mr. Emotional (that's what I'm calling Bouwmeester from now on) got things going early before Chris Gratton made it 2-0.
And here's your stat of the night: Florida won seven of eight against the Caps last year, but Bouwmeester's goal gave Florida its first lead against Washington this season. Saturday was the third meeting between the two.
-- Gary Roberts is still out with his hip flexor and doesn't sound very optimistic about his return. Says a return next week not very realistic.
-- The goofy intro video featuring various players at an unnamed local casino (rhymes with Mard Jock made its return Saturday. This thing is classic,perhaps the best goofball thing the team has ever done. You have a bunch of players trying to look cool, only they look really dorky. I actually love this video, so much I've requested it many a time. It's been remade to cut out Joe Nieuwendyk, but it's still so bad I can't even describe it. You have to see this video (they only play it on the weekends).
-- And the Rainmaker is upfront and honest. Just thought everyone needed to know that.