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Kicking it in Queens

Kingqueens1QUEENS, N.Y. -- Just made the spectacularly beautiful drive into the city from West Point where the changing of the leaves was just an explosion of color.

Then we hit the George Washington Bridge. From oranges and yellows and reds to browns. A lot of gray. Some off-white. And gone was the fresh air that was flowing threw my rental car (cruising with the windows rolled down and a new Bruce Springsteen CD cranking might be the only way to fly).

Hit the city, roll up the windows. The Mets and the Jets aren't the only things here that stink.

Speaking of the 'Amazins,' my beautiful hotel here at LaGuardia has a nice view of Shea Stadium off in the distance. Looks like they are making some headway on their new stadium as well.

BACK TO HOCKEY

The Panthers held their final practice at Tate Rink at West Point today, their final practice of the preseason. It starts for real come tomorrow. Not a bunch of news, aside from David Booth getting drilled during Tuesday's paintball session. Says he's got plenty of bruises from the multiple shots suffered on a flag-stealing run but adds it was completely worth it.

-- Oh yeah, Richard Zednik isn't playing tomorrow. JM says he could be ready to play in the home opener on Saturday.

-- The Panthers are going with one captain (Olli) and two assistants this year instead of four. And your assistants are.....Stephen Weiss and Bryan Allen. "It's a true honor,'' Allen said.

-- Sports Illustrated came out with their predictions, and they have the Panthers finishing ninth in the east. They also picked the Sharks to beat the Rangers for the Cup.


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