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March Madness

JimmyvHad plans to check out your Fort Lauderdale Orioles today, and it is quite the waste to spend a day like today indoors.

But the ACC tournament is one and I have work to do. So here I am, blogging for you, the loyal On Frozen Pond reader.

Watching N.C. State take on the true Carolina Hurricanes, Miami off to a pretty good start against the reeling Wolfpack. According to Manny Navarro's story today, Pack haven't won since they upset Canes last month. Crazy game, this college basketball.

Anyway, this is a hockey site, and we're dedicated to hockey and only hockey. Nothing but serious hockey talk here. Speaking of talk, the boys on XM were chatting up the Panthers, some of them thinking FLA has a pretty good shot at the postseason.

And I quote: "So long as they keep winning.'' Well, yeah.

Cats have won five straight, looking to make that six against the red hot Rangers. The New Yorkers haven't lost in regulation in more than a month. Since losing to the Ducks (4-1) on Feb. 7, the Blueshirts haven't lost anywhere other than overtime. That's a 10-0-3 run, 23 points in the standings to you and me  Russ.

Can the Panthers break that streak tomorrow night? Talked to Olli and JM (separately, of course) today, both saying all the right things. They know how tough the Rangers are, know if they come out as flat as they did against the Islanders it might get ugly. I don't foresee that though. For once, I think the Panthers are going to rise to the occasion.

It's going to feel like a playoff game tomorrow, a packed house (less than 1000 tix left, standing room tickets likely going on sale soon) against a top-notch opponent. From New York, no less. "We're going to have to play a great road game,'' Olli joked.

-- Panthers record in March -- 2006: 14-7-3; 2007: 10-5-3; 2008: 5-0-0. Total: 29-12-6 (64 points).

-- Also: The Panthers longest winning streak in franchise history is seven, set twice, in Nov. 1995, and in March 2006.

-- No other news coming out of practice today. When you win, you don't change anything. So no Noah, no Stumpel, no Van Ryn for now.