You know you're in for a rough day when on approach, the flight attendant announces the following: "Well, folks, good news in Minneapolis. It appears to be warming up. It's now minus-2 degrees. Welcome to the Twin Cities."
I honestly think she was serious because some folks on my flight -- the ones wearing the Gophers caps -- chuckled and nodded as if there was some silly inside joke and they were the only ones in on it.
Well, memo to them: It's COLD out here! I'm serious. I was so cold today, one of the local writers up here told me he just had to take my picture. Because I needed something for the blog, I let him take his precious picture.
I don't know why a Minnesota hockey writer would be at a Panthers practice on an off day. Maybe he covered the team in the past or something? Anyway, Mike R., thanks for playing the role of photog today. And before you ask, that's not my hat. It belongs to our friend Brian X from Palm Beach.
THE NEWS: Juraj Kolnik had to be sent back to South Florida after last night's game. He got smacked in the face with a stick and had to have stitches. He went home to have oral (not Orel Hershisher) surgery because JM says he had some teeth broken. Yuck. PS: JM still ticked no penalty called on Kolnik's stick to the face.
-- Jozef Stumpel didn't practice today and may not play Thursday against the Wild. He looked to lose his balance after getting hit with a puck and landed awkwardly on his already sore shoulder. Said he also banged up some ribs.
-- Eddie Belfour usually doesn't practice on the day after a game. He did today. The whole team -- with exception of boys listed above -- was out there today after last night's humbling loss. Belfour back in net tomorrow.
-- Interesting note from The New York Times: When the Panthers beat the Devils at CSA on Jan. 27, a grand total of 736 households (rating number: 0.01) in the mammoth New York market tuned in on MSG. The available households in the market: 7.4 million. According to the report, over 2,000 homes tuned in on Florida's FSN while the arena announced a crowd of 18,136.