« November 2007 | Main | January 2008 »

31 posts from December 2007

December 15, 2007

Booth Out

Detsnow DETROIT - The big news is that it's really snowing. Hard now. Word on the salt covered street is 6 to 8 inches expected. Yippee!

Also, David Booth didn't practice and won't play. Says he's got more than 50 friends and family in for the game. Seems disappointed but OK. Plus, he'll be watching from a private suite, so, good for him.

Beezer is here. Sends his best.

Balmy Michigan

SnowDETROIT -- Woke up early this morning to do a radio show back in South Florida, and instead of seeing sun out of my hotel room on the 58th floor, it's still dark.

And it's snowing.

Sure, not a lot of snow, but snow is snow pal. Now, here I sit, watching cartoons on a cold, snowy Saturday morning. Brings back a lot of childhood memories.

Of course, I grew up in Miami. But whatever. You have your childhood memories, I have mine.

-- Will update this site after the morning skates, which aren't that far off. Will see whats going on with David Booth, etc.

-- And again, tonight's game is not on local Florida TV, but it is on the Center Ice package and will be broadcast by the Wings' TV crew on FSN Detroit. People have been emailing me the past few weeks complaining about FSN's lack of coverage of this team, and how it seems every big game isn't on TV.

I think that's a bit of a stretch. Remember, the network only has a contract to cover 70 of the 82 games, so that's 12 games that's not televised. And, if the Panthers are in the playoff hunt, expect FSN to pick up games late and put them on Sunshine.

As far as tonight goes, FSN told the Panthers in no uncertain terms that they were not covering the game in Detroit. And it has nothing to do with the Red Wings. They were not going to cover any game on this particular Saturday night because it has a corporate partnership with the Florida High School Athletics Association and was going to televise the Class 6A football finals as it has done in the most recent past.

This was a business move on FSN's part, and they feel showing this game live does a number of things.

First, it's a community relations boost. It shows they care about youth sports in the state (whether they do or not. Truth is, it's a cheap thing to cover, and the only people complaining about high school football being on TV are the Panthers and their fans. And the Panthers aren't really complaining.) Second, by not switching it to Sun -- which is on just about every cable system in the state -- FSN can try to keep up the pressure on up-north cable systems to put their station on.

Remember, FSN Florida used to be SportsChannel, and is still regarded as the South Florida sports network. FSN is trying to change that, and to do so, they have put stuff like Orlando Magic and Gator basketball on to try and persuade folks up north to get it.

Good luck there.

So, it's nothing personal Panthers. Plus, the game's on Center Ice. If you don't get it, find a good sports bar and make it a night out. It is Saturday, after all. Places in Broward I know have the CI package include my buddies at Quarterdeck, the Schnellenberger Steakhouses and the Ale Houses. Think Gatsby's gets it too, but not sure.

-- And thanks to everyone for forwarding the Marcus Nilson quote about hockey being on Page 12 in The Miami Herald "after the high school basketball results.'' Obviously Marcus hasn't seen The Herald lately.  It's hockey central, baby!

Raiders -- Speaking of high schools, congratulations to George Smith and the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders for winning the Class 5A state title last night. Raiders had lost in the past three championship games, some in excruciating ways. Those guys are feeling good today, can tell you that.

-- Got a tip from Happy Girl to go to Windsor and do some gambling while in Detroit. I'm not a gambling man, sorry. But I did go to the new MGM Grand here last night. I honestly could not believe I was still in downtown Detroit. You have blocks and blocks of abandoned buildings, then BOOM! A giant, luxury casino. And they're everywhere here. Good times playing video poker.

December 14, 2007

Motown Memories

Tigerdstadium DETROIT -- Good to be back in the Big Apple, a town that prides itself on good hockey, Chinese food and quick and easy forays into Canada.

See, from my hotel room at the Renaissance Center, I can clearly see the Canadian side of the Detroit River. I can also clearly see Detroit. Which is OK too, 'cause I'm a Motown kinda guy.

Stopped by Tiger Stadium on my way to Wings practice today, took some shots including the one at left. Sad to see the old battleship looking the way it does, especially since Fenway Park -- which opened the same time as El Tigre -- is in such better shape.

To see such a beautiful ballpark be in such a state of disarray is shameful. Word is the old park is going to be torn down. I'm going to miss seeing it on my visits here, but good. Same goes for the Orange Bowl. Rather see it gone than be forgotten like this.

-- Went and saw the Wings today. They don't seem any worse for wear after last night's loss. According to Mike Babcock, Chris Osgood going in net tomorrow.

Bert1 -- Got some news today as the Shawn Matthias "Askew" deal finally went down. Yes, the prospect Florida got from Detroit in exchange for Todd Bertuzzi is now under contract with the Cats. Matthias, 19, will finish his junior career this season and is expected to battle for a roster spot next season. He'll probably start the 2008-09 season in Rochester -- or wherever the Panthers AHL team is located -- but you never know.

Askew is fourth in the Ontario Hockey League in scoring, getting 19 goals and 37 assists for the Bellville Bulls.

-- David Booth's knee looks better apparently, and he's on his way to Detroit. He's going to be here for the morning skate, and if all looks OK, he'll be in the lineup for his homecoming game against the Red Wings.


Heading to Detroit

DtrainST. LOUIS -- Up bright and early, chilling in the Northwest terminal waiting for a flight to a town called "The Motor City.'' Don't know why they call it this, I guess it has something to do with motors.

Hope to see old pals D-Train, Miggie and Pudge once I get there, and will send Dave Dom your best.

And does anyone think this Panthers team can set the franchise record for consecutive road wins Saturday in Detroit? The only chance Florida's got is if Tomas Vokoun absolutely carries them.

So, it's just like any other game.

-- See that game last night in Tampa? If the Devil Rays could score as many runs as the Flames did, they might be OK. The final from Lakeland Ledger Arena in Tampa: Calgary 9, Rays 6.

Got to think Torts is pulling out his hair with this bunch.

-- Philly gave Mike Richards a 12-year deal. Not a bad career move for a 23-year-old, no?

-- PS: Think Detroit is going to be real happy to see the Cats? Edmonton ended Wings' seven game win streak by winning in shootout on Thursday.

-- Will be going to Red Wings practice today. The Panthers threw us a curve by kicking it an extra night in Brew City, so I'm going to check out Joe Louis and the Wings today. Will update if anything good comes about. Might even swing by Michigan and Trumbull, see Tiger Stadium for old times sake.

December 13, 2007

St. Louis Vacation

TruckstrST. LOUIS -- Would have blogged earlier, but got lost on my way to St. Louis today. Was coming in and saw the Arch; but I took the wrong exit, figuring as long as I got across the river I was good.

Then I got lost, got some bad directions and lost my hubcaps. Last time I try to get directions to the freeway in St. Louis from a guy from the southside of Chicago.

Anyway, not feeling on top of my game today, but will try to give the best LIVE BLOG I can tonight.

-- First off, condolences to Mike Kitchen, who isn't here tonight because of the death of his father. Mike is back in Canada, and we send all our best to him.

-- No big news hockeywise. Manny Legace is back in net for the Blues. He's missed the past few games with a knee injury. Lagace against the Panthers: 2-0-3. Legace has been out since Nov. 30.

-- Will return in a little while; see you in a bit....

-- Got to love the STL pregame. Instead of playing annoying commercials or crappy music, they are showing a classic matchup between the Blues and tonight's opponent from Florida. Game is from Feb. 11, 1996, and is currently 2-2 in overtime. Mike Keenan behind the bench for the Blues, Miami Arena playing a starring role in this one. Good stuff. Randy Moller just came over, smiling like a goof. It's fun to go back in time sometimes. Stuuuuu-pendous!

Your final from 1996 -- FLA 2, STL 2. According to Joe Micheletti, the Blues are still winless in overtime. And the Panthers are going to play in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Yeah, right. A third-year NHL team in the Stanley Cup Finals. Tell me another story pal...

-- Billy Lindsay enjoyed the trip through time. "I was on the ice for both of MacInnis' goals,'' he said prior to kickoff. "Solid game by me.''

GAME ON, EH...

-- No surprise, but Jozef Stumpel now centering the fourth line...

-- Mez takes the first penalty of the night...STL on the power play...

-- FLA kills off, now on PP of its own...PP starts @ 9:02 of first...

-- Penalty killed off..no damage done...

-- Big scrum down by net..Jay and Stephen with scoring chances...nothing through, although they went to video to review just in case...2:30 left in first, scoreless in St. Loo

END OF ONE AT BUSCH STADIUM, CARDS AND MARLINS SCORELESS...

PANTHERS TAKE A 1-0 LEAD; WEISS PICKS UP A REBOUND AND POKES IT THROUGH...1:10 INTO THE SECOND, PANTHERS 1, BLUES 0...HORTON GETS ASSIST FOR IT WAS HIS SHOT...

-- Jassen Cullimore called for penalty on Martin Rucinsky breakaway; STL power play @ 2:42

-- 8 seconds left, Bo gets called and goes to the box; 5/3 for .08 then another one-manner for the Blues...

-- Panthers in the box again, this time its Montador @ 6:48....

Sorry folks, having serious internet problems. Have to cut this short and say goodnight. Panthers lead 1-0, we're in the second intermission.

Drive carefully, will update when I get back to the hotel.

Good night -- for now -- from St. Louis! Arch_2

 

December 11, 2007

Live From Sunrise...

SaddledomeWelcome to Panthers hockey, where there was a thunderous ovation for the kids from Indian Trace Elementary who sang the Anthem, yet nothing but a smattering of boos for the visitors from Calgary (and their coach).

Then Tanner Glass got folks on their feet by swinging with Mark Smith.

It's a Hockey Fight Night in South Florida, y'all!

-- Game being broadcast up north by Rogers Sportsnet. Anyone who knows what that Rogers logo is supposed to be (a cat clawing out of an R?) please lemme know...

-- Hey, our first "Keenan you suck" chant from the crowd. Course, it was only one guy...

-- Nice shot by Timmy Horton...Booth too...And Weiss...

-- Ref got hit with a puck...midway through the first...shots: CAL 7-4...

-- Did you know the Flames used to play in Atlanta? Yep, they were called the Falcons.

-- Speaking of that, nice job Bobby Petrino. Arkansas will be looking for a new coach within two years...

-- Got a guy in a chicken suit sitting behind the Calgary bench yelling at Keenan...

-- Nice 'Blast from the Past' on the scoreboard during TO...MUCH better than an ad, trust me...

-- Speaking of ads, just ran a spot for FSN..'Watch it, Win it.' Of course, this is first of three straight games viewers of FSN can't watch....bad timing....

-- Panthers on the PP...w/ 3:18 left in the first (shots CAL 9-5)...Alex Tanqueray (yes i know his name) in box for hooking...

-- Killed off...one shot, a weak toss by JayBo...

-- Face off with 00.1 on the clock. Panthers win, but...

END OF ONE FROM THE SUNRISE SADDLEDOME...FLORIDA BOBCATS 0, CALGARY STAMPEDERS  0

-- Panthers come out with a little bit 'o fire...couple good scoring chances, keeping puck in Calgary zone...four shots to open second...

-- So far, no car ads...that's a pretty good thing...

-- Panthers fire off a number of shots, getting some good chances here...Olli had a great opportunity foiled when his stick snapped...then Salei had a god one from the slot...

-- Still no score...6:36 left in second...shots: CAL 14-12...more entertaining period than first, for sure..

-- "I'll have the Sierra Turkey sandwich...''

-- And there's the annoying "my wife hung up on me because the lazy so-and-so thinks she has to pick up our punk kid from soccer practice. Really, I'm out front with a new Lexus for her. She obviously doesn't deserve it because, really, she's only married to me because I've got some money. But, she's hot and I've got nothing else going on right now. Maybe, once the kid goes to sleep she might, you know, hook me up since I just bought her a Lexus for Christmas" commercial at 14:59 of the second...

PANTHERS GOAL....OLLI PICKS OFF CLEAR ATTEMPT BY DAYMOND MADCOW AND SHOVELS IT THROUGH @ 16:03...JACQUES 1, KEENANS 0

-- Panthers get a good look at end of period, then a scrum...Panthers now lead shots 20-16...but...

END OF TWO IN NORTH WESTON....MONTADORS 1, HUSELIUSES 0....

-- Olli know has a five-game scoring streak (five goals, two assists)...not too shabby...

-- Panthers on the power play...Eric Godard in for hooking 28 seconds in...only second PP of game, both by Panthers...

-- Again, penalty killed...

-- Salei to the box....holding at 3:35....Calgary on first PP...

-- FLA kills off...13:37 left...shots: CAL 23-22....

-- Allen puts a shot right in Kipper's gut...12:30 left

-- And some more pushin' and shovin'....

-- Nice chance by Booth...knocked away...10:17 left...

-- Mancow gets a shot at Vokoun...we're under 10...

-- I will not switch to Hyundai either, thank you very much...Not because of the car, but the annoying ads..

-- I wish they had Home Hardware in the States...I would seriously shop there...seems like they have some cool stuff....

-- Iginla has two big shots, Vokoun stops one, net the other...Booth on breakaway, shot off the net as he spills into the boards...he appears to be OK...

-- Campbell with a chance down low...Kipper block...2:35 left...

CALGARY PULLS EVEN, GETS A POINT...IGINLA SCORES WITH 10.2 SECONDS LEFT...IT'S 1-1...GOING TO OVERTIME...

-- Lots of action here in OT...too fast to type about...anywho, still tied with 50.4 left..both goalies outstanding...

-- Calgary calls timeout...

-- Going to the shootout...

Welcome Back...Sort of

Keenan_2 Mike Keenan didn't lace up his skates Tuesday, didn't take a sentimental stroll around the BankAtlantic Center ice, you know, just for old time sakes.

No, while his Calgary Flames were working out on the ice, Keenan was roaming the press parking lot out back. Keenan had his shades on, a cellphone planted to his ear. Yeah, somethings never change.

"It was an optional skate,'' Keenan said with his usual sly grin. "I take the option as well.''

Keenan said a few team employees came down to say hello, and he seemed to enjoy that. Not all bad memories of South Florida for Iron Mike, for sure. Of course we went into his return, the Luongo trade, his time here. Nothing new to report. Mike was very politically correct, didn't throw anyone -- including himself -- under the proverbial charter bus.

The Luongo deal, he said, was a decision made by everyone -- Alan Cohen, himself, JM and others -- and Luongo was part of the problem. The Panthers' -- err, Mr. Cohen's -- offer of $30 million for five years was "more than fair" Keenan said, and Luongo lost money on the deal when you figure in Canadian and provincial taxes he now has to pay in Vancouver.  Keenan also laid blame on Luongo's agent and added the player's union was involved, saying they were in cahoots to drive up salary.

Would like to say this is the end of this, but with Roberto coming to town in February, we'll visit this topic again I'm sure.

-- No real news out of Panthers today. JM made it an optional skate as well. Like Keenan, he took the option to not skate too.

-- No TV for tonight's game because of the Versus blackout. If Versus broadcasts a game nationally on Mondays or Tuesdays, local teams aren't allowed to broadcast their own games during that time slot (so Blues going at 9 p.m. EST are safe).

Stupid policy, one meant to artificially inflate Versus meager ratings. Anyway, game is on Canadian TV so check it out on Center Ice.

-- So, GR, why isn't Thursday's game on TV? Or Saturday's ratings-whopper at Detroit? Don't have an answer about Thursday, other than this: Fox Sports told the Panthers there was no way Saturday's game was going to be televised.

The network plans to cover the Class 6A high school football title game, and in an effort to get their channel more exposure up north, won't switch it to Sun Sports. Believe it or not, a lot of people from Orlando north don't get FSN Florida. By putting important programing -- like prep football, Magic basketball, Gator hoops -- on FSN, they hope people complain enough to get it on their cable boxes.

The good folks at FSN resume coverage Sunday in Chicago.

-- PS: Since tonight's game isn't on, LIVE BLOG...

-- Weird night for former Florida goalies, no? First, Alex Auld was lights out Monday, beating Buffalo 4-1 by making 44 saves. Then Luongo gets hurt in warmups and can't go and the Canucks lose.

-- Speaking of Canucks, ran into a kid at Epcot wearing a Luongo jersey. Also, the Canada store at Epcot is a veritable NHL Canadian team store. Thought about bringing home some gear, but changed my mind.

Florida Panthers: Old Enough to Drive

Mclovin Hello all, had a nice mini-vacation, thanks to those who asked.

Ran a story in Monday's Herald, commemorating the 15-year anniversary of the NHL awarding H. Wayne Huizenga a franchise to be run in South Florida. Yep, Dec. 10, 1992 was the birthday of what would become the Florida Panthers hockey organization.

Here's a link to my story, which ran Monday: 15 years of hockey  

 Talked to John Vanbiesbrouck last week for his take on hockey here. As goalie for the Rangers, he played in an exhibition game at Miami Arena where the ice melted in the crease, with ref Kerry Fraser telling him "make the most of it.''

Beezer recalls Fraser also telling him he would call things if the ice got too bad. They did. Then, the Lightning and Rangers played in a regular season game in Miami. The NHL was doing that all over; Halifax, Indy, Orlando. Only the game in Miami seemed to do the trick. The next day, Huizenga got his hockey team.

When it came to naming the franchise, Huizenga and his group (which just launched the baseball Marlins) decided traditional was the way to go. No Flamingos, no -- as Beezer said -- Miami Ice. "We thought of Miami Ice with Don Johnson in his white, flaring coat,'' Vanbiesbrouck said. "We thought the logo had staying power, some depth to the research into the Panther. That helped. It still does.''

The team sold the Florida Panther as the endangered Everglades cat, which worked well. Huizenga also liked the name because it paid homage to his high school squad, the Pine Crest Panthers of Fort Lauderdale. Either way, not many NHL teams have kept the same colors and logos for 15 years. The Ducks, who came into the league with the Panthers, have changed colors or logos a few times. They even changed their name.

Here are some more quotes I culled from my research. Found them funny. Remember, the NHL game at Miami Arena was played on Dec. 9, 1992; the team was awarded the next day, on the 10th. All of these quotes came from Miami Herald stories from that time. Enjoy.

"The speculation on expansion is that it could happen as early as 1994, but I think the window will be from the next two to four years. We have the experience, we have the facility, and it doesn't matter who comes forward [to buy the team]. We know that possibly some of the owners will be down and we'll have the opportunity to address them." -- William Perry, executive director of the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority, on Dec. 8, 1993.

"This building is hockey ready. And we'd love to have a hockey team in Miami. We'd love to have the interstate rivalry." -- Mel Lowell, executive vice president of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dec. 9, 1993.

"We're real honored and privileged to bring the fourth professional sports team to the South Florida area. I think hockey will go over a bit better in South Florida than many people think it will." -- H. Wayne Huizenga after franchise awarded on Dec. 10, 1993.

"Our people will really hate your team. But really, it's great. The rivalry will be beneficial for both of us." – Lightning president (now current team broadcaster) Phil Esposito after franchise was awarded.

"We had two applicants who we had to get in. Why not do it? Plus, Miami's always been considered one of the premier sports locations in the country. Hey, I'm a good salesman. When two teams show an interest, I don't let them off the hook." – Los Angeles Kings’ owner Bruce McNall, talking about Miami and Anaheim being awarded teams.

"Flamingos! I couldn't picture hockey players with pink legs!" – Huizenga, after announcing the team would be called Florida Panthers. Other considerations: Flamingos, Stingrays, Ice and Storm.

“I am interested in the situation in Miami, and look forward to an opportunity to speak with Mr. Huizenga if he wishes to.’’ – Mike Keenan, who had been fired as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. Keenan, of course, would later work two stints with the Panthers as coach and general manager.

 

December 07, 2007

I Like You...

Borat

Lot of Borat floating around this day. First, Bob Emanuel conjured up images of the most famous Kazakh journalist in the world in his high school column this morning.

Now, sitting at BAC, I see Borat's going to be a big part of the in-game entertainment today. Looks like the Panthers' crew has interspersed pieces of Borat's movie with images of the Ice Dancers presented by Lessthanzero.

Honestly, I think the dancer calendar should be able to sell itself on its own merits. But that's just me.

-- UPDATE: Michael Yormark tells me he has nixed the Borat piece. It’s actually one of the few I liked.

-- Not a whole lot of news coming out of morning practice today; looks like Garth "Bryan" Murray is going to be out a while. JM says Murray's shoulder is dislocated, and that isn't ever fun. May know more about his status tonight after Murray meets with a team doc before the game.

-- The Panthers are very interested in staying with Rochester, but JM says the team is concerned with the American's financial problems. Various reports say the franchise owes the city a nice sized check and is looking for a more favorable lease. JM added the Panthers have no interest in owning the franchise, and that came as a total shock to this sports writer.

The Panthers have enough trouble marketing one team, don't need to take on another.

-- Tanner Glass says he hopes to make an impression, and knows he needs to make the most of this opportunity. There's a roster spot open right now, and JM isn't giving it away for free. If Tanner doesn't provide what JM wants, let the Rochester merry-go-round begin.

-- Has anyone seen those Brady Quinn Subway ads filmed out in front of Cleveland Brown Stadium? Most playing time he's seen all year. Who could have seen these Browns in the playoff hunt after the opening day debacle against the Steelers? Not me. I picked them to win two games total after that.

Miggie_2 -- The Islanders didn't skate this morning. No idea why. Maybe they were out on a team fishing expedition, looking for a big marlin. Sorry fellas, Detroit already cleaned us out. We have plenty of dolphin left, though.

-- Unfortunately.

-- Speaking of that, Cam Cameron says he has not been calling plays for the Panthers. JM says he did during the past three games.

Don't know who is telling the truth.

-- Speaking of not telling the truth, Nick Saban says he said he was "proud" his team was headed to the Independence Bowl? Yup, gotta love Shreveport during the Holidays.

-- Randy Shannon just called and said Shreveport don't sound that bad...

-- Had a meeting with Michael Yormark before the game Friday. He says the team has toned down the advertising in the arena, but has amped it back up as a favor to a few advertisers around the holidays. Says the car commercials are gone after the New Year. I ain't betting on that one.

-- DJ Irie Jr. now playing a little Flock of Seagulls. Diggin' it..

-- Surprisingly, Sunrise was passed over by the biased staff at Sports Illustrated for the honor of America's new Hockeytown. For some reason, St. Paul, Minn., beat out places like Sunrise, Atlanta, Washington, Phoenix and Toledo. OK, I made that last part up. Toledo was not passed over, it was just late in getting its paperwork in. Other cities beat out by St. Paul: Detroit (the self-proclaimed Hockeytown), Philly and Buffalo.

-- Starters tonight: Stumpel-Olesz-Dvorak; Salei-Mezei; Vokoun. The all-Eastern Europe lineup...

-- New sponsor on the video boards is one we can all enjoy: Tim Hortons. Wonder if the Dunkin Donuts people know about this...

-- Lot of fire from the Panthers at the onset...two quick shots at Ricky D...

-- There's a buzz in here tonight...great steal by Kreps, moves in, beats Rick D but hits post and out...TO 3:09 in...

-- Old pal Jon Sim is enjoying the game from the press box tonight. He tore up a knee in the second game of the season after signing a longterm deal with the Islanders. Hopefully he's back soon...

-- Hey...the Lexus ad! Got a good game going here and the air just got sucked out of the building...

-- One minute to play in the period...Un minuto!

-- END OF ONE...SCORELESS!

-- Thanks to Tampa Trib for blogging tonight so we can have this: Largo 6, Aquinas 0, early in second quarter of Class 5A state semifinal game. Will update Northwestern score once I get ahold of Andre...

-- Deerfield Beach holding a 7-6 lead on the nation's No.1...STA down 13-0 now....

-- Panthers dominating this game, not getting anything through...Stephen Weiss gets a penalty shot, second in as many games for the Panthers...this one misses too...

-- Andy Hilbert takes on the Panthers, scraps with Olli a bit...first penalty of the game comes at 6:25 of the second...

-- Scary moment...Bryan Allen tripped up, flies into board...sickening thud...looked like he went in headfirst, only he broke spill with arm...still, hard hit..Guerin in the box at 7:16..

PANTHERS SCORE...WEISS GETS HIS @ 8:30 OF THE SECOND...FLA 1, THE ISLE CASINO 0...

-- Halftime in Largo: Packers 13, Aquinas 7

-- Again, I'm not the Lexus lucky driver..

-- Panthers on power play...@ 12:06...

-- Another Islanders penalty....5/3 for :26....Isles kill that off...

-- Isles kill it all off...TO with 4:10 left...still 1-0...

-- Dancing Banana Time!

-- FIGHT...Guerin takes down Allen a second time...that'll leave a mark...

-- Isles get their first PP of the night...Cullimore in the box with 3:50 left...

-- Panthers kill, Zednik/Booth both get chances...final seconds of period...

-- Late penalty...Bruno "Great Name" Gervais in with 13 seconds left...but that's it...

END OF TWO IN SOUTH TAMARAC: CATS 1, FISHERMEN 0

-- Aquinas grabs the lead 14-13 one play into the third quarter..Bucks up on Northwestern 14-13 @ half...

-- Panthers get another PP try...and Weiss gets punched by Ricky D after hunkering down in the Islander net ala Tom Barrasso...And not a rubber rat in sight...

-- Nate Horton gets Ricky D to bite, hit ice...you can't stop the puck from there...

PANTHERS SCORE AGAIN...ANOTHER PP GOAL, THIS ONE FROM HORTON...FLA 2, NY 0...@ 3:31

-- Too many men on the ice...that's a penalty...two minutes in box, you feel shame....Booth serving @ 8:32...

-- Panthers kill off penalty...

-- Pelts to the box...7:12 left...he's in for boarding...not boring, boarding...

-- Isles get two shots to bounce off the post...or a post to be more specific...

-- Neil Rogers now South Florida's top free agent...check out miamiherald.com for more info...

-- There's no kicking in hockey...Sean "Ingrid" Bergenheim knows that now...goal disallowed with 1:41 left after he booted it through...

-- Empty net on the Island...and Olli finds it w/ 12 seconds left...first empty netter of the season

PANTHERS 3, ISLANDERS 0

YOUR FINAL FROM SUNRISE, PANTHERS SNAP THREE GAME LOSING STREAK, BEAT REELING ISLANDERS 3-0...

Enjoy your evening and drive home carefully. See you Tuesday Keenan fans....

December 05, 2007

Hello, Senator

HilaryGood day from beautiful downtown Sunrise where the weather is spectacular even if the hockey may not be.

Yeah, the first-place Senators are in town, fresh off their seventh straight loss last night in Tampa. The Panthers are only riding a two-game losing streak, but didn't do a whole lot in their previous game, and if recent history gives any clue, I wouldn't be betting on Florida tonight.

First, the Panthers don't match up very well against the Senators. They just don't. Secondly, can you remember a time a team played the Panthers with a lengthy losing streak going and didn't snap it against Florida? Earlier this year, Tampa was riding a six-game losing streak. Then came the Panthers. I have no stats to back me up, but I can't remember the last time Florida continued a team's misery. They just don't seem to have it in them.

-- According to the Ottawa guys, Ray Emery gets another start tonight. Emery made 25 saves in last night's shootout loss at Tampa.

-- Also, the NHL doesn't consider Ottawa's losing stretch an official losing streak. The rationale: Two of those losses came in a shootout. Last time Sens lost this many consecutive game was in the franchise's fourth season.

December 03, 2007

Head Games

Frasier_2The Panthers had a fun day in Coral Springs today, predictable after Saturday's weak showing and Sunday's off day.

After a long practice -- one JM promises with become a regularity if performances like Saturday become the norm -- the team met in the upstairs meeting room with their sports psychologist (officially known as the team's "mental skills coach").

Dr. David Scott is an associate professor at the University of New Brunswick (team nickname: The Stew), and he visits the team every so often. Today's theme was getting rid of the bad vibes, if you believe you're a winner you are, don't dwell on the negative, etc.

Stuart1 My take: The Panthers are good enough, smart enough, and, dog gonit, people like them.

-- Little bit of news out of practice today. Stephen Weiss is fine after taking a hit to the head in Thursday's loss to the Bruins. Weiss did everything in practice today, and will go Wednesday against the Sens.

Anthony Stewart sent back to Rochester.

-- Jassen Cullimore had an MRI done, but the extent of his knee injury isn't known. He didn't have a good look on his face when he came to Incredible Ice today holding his films.

Look for Martin Lojek to make an appearence sometime soon.

-- Congrats to Roberto Luongo, not only the NHL's top star for last week, but one of three stars of the month.

-- Thanks to all those checking this space every once in a while. Moved up the Herald blog rankings this month, now in fourth among sports pages (trailing Manny's very good Miami blog, Greg Cote's Gold Standard blog and the Izzy's Heat page).

Hope you all enjoy the page, and keep coming back, ya hear!

Swayze -- Speaking of fun, watching Red Dawn on AMC right now. One of the great cheesy 80s flicks you sometimes stumble upon after morning practices. Wolverines!

-- Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League announced that Panthers prospects Shawn Matthias and Keaton Ellerby have been invited to Canada’s National Junior Selection Camp from December 10-14, 2007 in Calgary. Team Canada opens World Juniors on Dec. 26.