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Sweet Home (versus Chicago)....

BluesbrothersNo, Joliet Jake and the Cubbies aren't in town (actually, the Cubbies are...) but it's Chicago Day here at the LessAdsIsMore* Center in beautiful north Davie.

Big news: Few fans are expected because of the public school snafu (kids can't take field trips on testing days apparently) so this noon start has been retooled into a 'business person's special.'

I think the Panthers should have just called it Chicago Day and been done with it. Have Derrek Lee drop the first puck, bring out Carlos Zambrano and maybe even fly in Ryne Sandberg. Going to be a lot of soggy Cubs fans at JRS tonight, many of whom might have enjoyed a cold one (and a beer too.)

Since today's game isn't on television -- actually, it's being broadcast in the Chicagoland area if you can believe that -- I will give my thoughts as the game goes on. Updates as they become available.

(*) LessAdsIsMore (LAIM) Center is the new nickname for the previously known CorporateSponsorship Arena (CSA).

-- Will have a head count for you momentarily. Right now there are 15 people in the press box, which is about half of what is downstairs in the arena proper. This is going to be one brutal, Marlinesque, crowd.

-- The upper deck is empty. Because the staff has closed it. Good move, there wasn't anyone up there anyway.

-- Panthers have had plenty of scoring opportunities but haven't been able to close the deal. Outshooting Hawks 8-3 currently (5:55 left in first).

-- Playing on Line 4: Globke, Campbell and Kreps.

-- PANTHERS GOAL: STEWART KNOCKS IN PUCK FROM DOWN LOW; FLA 1, CHI 0 5:32 LEFT...

-- Maroon 5 coming to Arena in October.

-- Craig Anderson finally gives up a goal; PATRICK SHARP -- FLA 1, CHI 1 w/ 4:09 left; power play goal FWI...

-- Horton just picks up a double minor for high sticking at 16:34...

END OF ONE AT NAME-YOUR-BANK PLACE IN SUNRISE: MIAMI PANTHERS 1, CHI 0

-- Message board extolling fans to 'Get Loud!' Three fans yell in unison.

-- CHI power play ends

-- Mezei with a nice scoring chance....

-- FLA on the PP...

-- Weiss shot smothered (and covered) by Khabibulin...

Hashbrowns

-- PP is over; gone like the wind on a summer's day...

-- CHI now on the PP..

-- FLA now on the PP.. (cut, paste, repeat)...

BEARS SCORE....ROBERT LANG FROM THE RIGHT CIRCLE...CHI 2, FLA 1 AT 10:00 OF THE SECOND...

-- Speaking of the Gators, have to feel bad for old Rex Grossman. Dude is getting killed in ChiTown these days. Might just be time for a change of scenery. He's obviously not the guy for that job -- there anyway -- anymore.

-- Trivia Time! One of Chicago's broadcasters is Eddie Olczyk; What's his coaching claim to fame?

-- Cats outshooting Chicago Fire 17-8...8:05 left in the second...

-- Mike Van Ryn playing with Noah Welch...

-- FLA on power play again...

-- Lou Piniella takes a shot for CHI; blocked. He's arguing with the refs right now. Looks like he's getting ejected...

-- Trivia Answer: Olcyzk was Sidney Crosby's first pro coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins way back in 2005.

-- Some places have Select-A-Seat day; Today is Select-a-Section day. For one low price, you too can have 127, most of 125, all of 111 and most of 108 for a good price! Call 1-800-WE-AINT-PLAYING-A-GAME-AT-NOON-AGAIN for prices.

-- Marlins prez David Sampson just told Michael Yormark "if you think this crowd is bad, imagine if you played the Nationals?"

-- Speaking of Yormark, lonelier job: Being a ticket taker at today's Panther game or driver of the Charlie Weis bandwagon?

END OF TWO AT BARNETT BANK PLAZA IN SUNRISE: CHI 2, FLA 1....SHOTS: FLA 21-8

-- It's Hockey Night Tonight and the puck goes down the ice. Is this the greatest game you can name or what?

-- Ozzie Guillen just blasted the Panthers during the second break, telling them they've quit on him.

-- Great Ad: Olli, Horton and Mike Van Ryn ordering stuff at Panera Bread. Classic. Van Ryn checks the clerk after Olli orders an Italian Combo. So bad it's good (the ad, not the Italian Combo. I'll reserve my snarky comments for Miami Subs.)

-- Song 'Suicidal' now playing over the PA system. Nice.

-- Panthers have 23 shots; that's a number that rings special to Chicago basketball fans because Nate Salley once wore it there.

-- FLA back on the power play. Thanks to hooking (no snickering, please)...

PANTHERS GOOOOAL....OLLI JOKINEN TAKES A GREAT FEED FROM CORY MURPHY ON THE POWER PLAY...FLA 2, WHITE SOX 2....16:51 left in third...

-- With Olesz out (hear it's his hand), Booth is up on the second line w/ Weiss and Horton...

-- Steve and Edy, Jackie Mason among those coming to the LAIM Center this coming year. Get your tickets early...

-- Checkers is back as a sponsor. Their motto: You Gotta Eat. My answer to that: Not there I don't.

-- Hooters also returns. The owl place known for its wings. So I'm told...

OLLI, OLLI, OLLI HAS DONE IT AGAIN; JOKINEN W/ THE GOAL OFF A NICE FEED FROM PELTONEN; FLA 3, NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS 2...7:29 LEFT IN 3RD...

-- EXCLUSIVE FROM SUNRISE: Olli is going to be one of the top three stars of the game...

YOUR FINAL FROM THE GREAT WESTERN FORUM IN SUNRISE: FLORIDA PANTHERS 3, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 2.

FLORIDA IMPROVES TO 4-1 THIS PRESEASON, WILL FINISH WITH FIRST WINNING PRESEASON SINCE 2000. ALL FOUR WINS AGAINST CALGARY OR CHICAGO, BY THE WAY.

ATLANTA IN TOWN TOMORROW NIGHT, KICKOFF AT 7:30.

ENJOY YOUR DAY, DRIVE CAREFULLY FOLKS...

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