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Taking a Dive

DivinggraphicRaleigh, N.C., may be landlocked, but according to some members of the Panthers, it's the dive capital of the south.

Yeah, it's been a few days since the Panthers were eliminated from postseason contention after losing to the Hurricanes on Sunday, but the fallout of Ed Belfour's bunny hop across the ice continues. Was on XM Radio's Home Ice not too long ago, and they all still wanted to talk about Eddie's dive act after Bryan Allen got called for hooking Eric Staal.

Diving Missed it?

Here is the FSN Florida video from the game, sent to YouTube by our good friend Lenny. Special thanks to my friend Pheebs for alerting me to this new footage. Nice job all: EDDIE! EDDIE!

Staal, meanwhile, called Belfour's actions stupid, and told our good buddy Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News-Observer the Eddie cost the Panthers the game. My opinion is Staal felt the tug and went down. Good for him. He knows a 4-on-3 in overtime is deadly; Carolina was desperate for a win (the Canes had lost 3 straight) and he did what he did.

Eddie? Funny stuff. It got the fans into the game even more -- although the throwing of junk onto the ice was disgraceful and dangerous. It appears Eddie has become quite the popular character around these parts which should help him in contract negotiations if he chooses to return to Florida (some players think the heat and humidity is really good for his back so the odds are good he wants to come back. Whether the Panthers go that direction is another blog entry.)

And good for him for coming out and talking to the media afterward. He spoke his mind, and let his feelings be known. Good stuff indeed.

-- Line of the day from one of my friends at XM Radio (won't give out the name so Eric Staal doesn't get mad at him): Belfour gets two for swimming but Staal gets nothing for diving? Unbelievable!

THE NEWS: JM told the gathered throng today in D.C. (I was not among them, will watch game at Q-deck tonight on Center Ice) that Jozef Stumpel is out for the rest of the season, his banged up left (I think) shoulder too much to continue now that they are out of the race. Welcome back Kamil Kreps, called up on Sunday, send back on Monday and recalled again on Tuesday.

-- Craig Anderson in net tonight as Eddie "Dance Fever" Belfour takes the night off. According to my peeps in D.C., Anderson will start one of the final two games. I just hope it ain't the one in Carolina!