CALGARY, Alberta -- The folks here in Calgary are so friendly, so inviting. And no, I'm not being a smart guy. The trip to Calgary has been great as usual, the weather perfect, lunch good and the Browns victorious!
As far as hockey goes, the Panthers take on the homestanding Flames tonight from the Saddledome. Good times are sure to come.
Haven't run into Mr. Keenan yet, but I'm sure I will sometime this week.
Here are some of the updates I promised. Notables in the lineup for Florida include Tomas Vokoun, Olli, Mezei, Stumpel, Peltonen, Dvorak, Zednik, Murphy, Salei, Van Ryn and Olesz. Youngsters like Michael Repik, David Brine, Stefan Meyer and Mike Duco getting a look. Duco apparently had an impressive rookie camp and was invited to training camp. Sure he's digging it.
For Calgary: Dion Phaneuf, Stephane Yelle, Owen Nolan, Wayne Primeau, Robyn Regehr, Adrian Aucoin, Alex Tanguay. Brett Sutter also in the lineup for the Flames.
Also for Florida: Calgary's own Keaton Ellerby getting a shot to play in his hometown. Ellerby had a huge rooting section at practice this morning with over a dozen family members and friends taking in the workout.
Keep checking back throughout the night. Will be updating as we go. It's 7:35 Miami time right now, 5:35 here in the WAC (or Mountain West, whatever....)
-- UPDATE SECTION
-- Midway through the 2nd: FLA 1-0; Missing one heck of a time here in Calgary! Craig Anderson the new goalie for the Panthers. Vokoun makes 10 saves, a couple of which were pretty sweet.
-- Calgary's new jerseys sport the Canadian national flag on one shoulder, the flag of Alberta on the other. Nice touch.
-- End of 1: FLA 1, CAL 0. Shots: FLA 14-5. Florida goes into the second killing off Mezei's hooking penalty taken at 19:22. CAL gets off two shots during abbreviated PP...
-- Olli scores @ 11:45. Florida got three shots off during power play.
-- Scoreless at 11:03; Shots: FLA 8-3. Van Ryn would have two power play shots, but they went right into two CAL defenders. Florida has been on the power play twice, no shots. Florida on third PP of night. And first shot w/ advantage by Murph the Surf.
-- Game is underway, and it's scoreless early on (ha!)
Tomas Vokoun in net for the Cats sporting their new white road unis; Matt Keetley in net for the Flames wearing their red togs.
-- Jacques Martin is indeed behind the Florida bench tonight. First line: Zednik/Olli/Meyer.
-- And yes, I do like what the Panthers did to their uniforms. They look crisp and clean.
END OF UPDATES. SAME OLD STUFF BELOW. INTERESTING, SURE, BUT THE SAME OLD STUFF. AND IS THAT BAD? OLD STUFF I MEAN? SOMETIMES OLD STUFF CAN BE GOOD. DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S THE CASE HERE, BUT YOU CAN BE THE JUDGE.
-- Hard to get homesick on this roadtrip when there are so many hints of home. For instance, when the Panthers were in Colorado, so too were FSU's Seminoles and Miami's Marlins. Had dinner last night with Brian X in downtown Denver; on one television, the Noles. The other: The Marlins. Nice homer Miguel. During lunch in Vail, I took in the Gator game with Steve Y. Would have watched the G-Man Bowl (Miami-FIU) but the Marriott didn't get ESPNU. So there.
And today, the good folks in Calgary made sure we didn't miss a play of the Dolphins debacle. Not only was the Fox feed in the media lounge, but on the large high-def scoreboards inside the arena as well.
-- Here is a picture of the Saddledome from my vantage point coming into Calgary. And before you all start ripping my camera, remember it came from a cellphone. On an aside, I had never flown Frontier before today, but props to them. Good flight, nice people. And, yes, I paid full fare.
-- Left the hotel at 6 a.m. local time to make my flight, and as I was walking to the car, noticed a rustling in the bushes. In Florida, one might expect a lizard, a rodent or perhaps a small alligator to come out. Instead, out popped a little rabbit. Some might call it a wild hare, but I don't want to get personal.