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Andy Controls the Net ... Craig Anderson in versus Detroit Red Wings ... Brian Burke a Free Agent ... Barry Melrose Walks Sunrise Boulevard

AndyrichterJust getting back from morning skate at the Bank, Pete DeBoer telling us that Craig Anderson is starting tonight, his second straight go in net.

Anderson, one might recall, stopped 44 shots and looked terrific Sunday night against the Ducks.

PDeB says "there is no doubt" Tomas Vokoun is the long-term guy here, but Andy got the win, and this team needs a lot more of those. Also, TVo left practice early with some sort of nagging injury. PDeB says the decision to go with Anderson had already been made. TVo left the building while we were talking with the coach so I didn't get a comment from him. Maybe tonight.

Also, Radek Dvorak is out with a hamstring injury, but Gregory Campbell's messed up hand (he says it's not infected but there is some sort of soft tissue injury) is not enough to keep him out of the lineup. "I''m definitely playing,'' he said, his hand wrapped in ice.

Cory Stillman is also in, says he feels good after suffering the first concussion of his career. The first one is always the worst, although the second one leads to a third; and they don't get any better from here.

Nick Boynton is back in the lineup tonight, leaving Noah Welch as the odd man out.

Melrose_2 -- Tampa Bay's Barry Melrose was back at practice today after taking Tuesday off. Well, he didn't take the day off really, saying "I was here until 12:30 last night.''

Melrose left the Bank before practice on Tuesday, walking back from the rink to the team hotel across the street from Sawgrass Mills. It's a nice walk, I do it every once in a while.

If Barry would have kept going down Sunrise Boulevard, he would have run right into our brand new Chik-fil-A -- which is now open. It's the pride of Sunrise. Which says something about Sunrise.

-- Those of you who enjoy Home Ice on XM204 can celebrate today: XM has brought over Sirrus' music channels, including Margaritaville, E Street Radio, Underground Garage and most importantly, the Elvis Channel. It was a good day of driving around the neighborhood today.

-- Expect things to go nutso in Toronto today as the Ducks have scheduled a press conference to announce future Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is stepping down. Burkie has a Stanley Cup title to his credit, but his last game as GM will go down as a loss to the Panthers.

-- You can now vote at NHL.com for the All-Star Game. Panther fans can vote for TVo and Jay Bouwmeester, but you can also write in votes (or at least that's what I've been told. I can't get the site to load.) I say Vote for Booth. Why not. Kid is having a pretty strong year. Plus, if Jay gets voted in, he may not even be with the Panthers when the All-Star Game is held. In fact, I'll make the time-honored $1.50 bet that he isn't.

Like in Dade County, you can vote as much as you want. Make your voice heard! Or not...

-- Panthers say they are going to have some sort of tribute to this year's Hall of Fame inductees, probably in the first period. You might have heard that one of the players inducted -- Igor Larionov -- once played for the Panthers. Or you might not have. Whatever.


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Good move. Proud of PD going with the hot hand. I remember when i was akid villimeurE and giacomin winning the vezina switching off... no shame there. Accountability, you play like a winner, you play...DO YOU HEAR THAT NATHAN!!!!

So what exactly do you know GR, throwing us that tidbit about Jay being gone by the all-star game?!? ;-)

I'm still reading you Georges and always thought you made a good job ! But I'm getting tired of your pessimism ! This team needs support...

Pessimism? I don't think there was anything pessimistic in my post today...and if there was, so what? I'm not here to be a cheerleader for the Panthers. When they do well, I'll point out why; when they struggle, I'll try to point out why as well...when the organization does something right, I almost always point it out -- no matter how minute. Because when they do something wrong, I'm on that too...But I am not here, by any means, to "support the team." That isn't my job. There are plenty of other places where one can get that, floridapanthers.com is one...but thanks for reading BabyJ...always appreciate the comments...

BabyJagr, having been an avid reader of GR, i find no credence in your comments. GR is a journalist and not an icedancer. We look to him for opinions that we respect. I go to the games to cheer, I read the paper for analysis. I can only imagine you living in NY and reading the POST...

G is actually the only panther writte , maybe except Brian Brigane, that doesnet write BS and does not shy away from his opinion. Thats why we true panther fan come here...for real news and opinion. e got tired of everyone else writting" ell 8 losses in a row but some good things happened . Our penalty killing went up 1 rank... the cup is near panther fans. Dont forget our special six pack promotion. " Dude , when the 2 clowns ahead of this organisation stop pretending and put a winning product on the ice instead of all this gaga crap they are throwing down our throat... this arena will be packed. Look at Boston and detroit. . . only a 105 yr old lady playing organ and the place is packed everynight. Great job Cohen and Yormark youve turned this franchise into a circus... and thank you GR for givin us the real news.

George does a fine job, and another great place for unbiased, non-soft Panther coverage is hockeybuzz.com. Actually, all teams are represented well there. Everyone should check it out.

GR reports on some goofy, non-hockey stuff but he's not biased. We Panther fans have been deflated of all our optimism. let's see if they can beat the lighting tonight.

I'm glad Stillman will be playing tonight.

Don't vote for Booth as our All-Star because ownership won't want to pay him what he's worth- Booth is an RFA after this season and he'll want a salary commensurate with his tenacity (spelling?). JM will dole out lots of cashola for Olesz, Weiss, and Nate....let's see how they respond to Booooooooooooooth!

I think GR does a great job at providing commentary that is pretty spot on. Also as a blog, I would expect to find more personal opinions as opposed to straight news. I think you do a great job GR and are an upstanding individual - well except for your love of the Cleveland Browns. LOL

GR: I agree with you when the organization does something right then we should say that when they mess up then we need to know that, when the team plays well like tonight credit goes to the team, when players don't hustle then we should share that as well.

No team will win all their games but there should be effort every time they are on the ice.

I have been critical of the Panthers play and still feel the talent level needs improvement but you cannot argue with the fact that the effort tonight was impressive. They played all 60 minutes and never let up despite the leads.The Bolts were on the tail end of a 5 game road trip and it showed but the Cats' effort was admirable. That said, our margin for error is too minute, hence the need to improve our talent.

If the Panthers want support and the respect of their fans they should play like they did tonight and it will be theirs, even if when they don't win.

For JH... You are dead wrong, I'm not from New York and I don't read the Post ! I'm a "canadian" living now in France who has been a fan of Montreal but quit on hockey in 93 because of poor management made be Peanut Rejean Houle, I was a kid back then ! And in 96, we want to Florida with my parents and I saw my first ever NHL game at the National Car Rental Center, it was a 2-2 tie against the Caps... Then for Christmas I had the whole set: jersey, cap, etc... Everybody know what followed that year !

So I said at the time that I would never quit on a team again, never ! And here I am... Maybe pessimism isn't the term I should have employed, it's because my english is a little bit rusty ! But those tidbits about Bouwmeester for example makes me anxious. Maybe your right, maybe you have information that we don't have, but I'm also willing to bet that he'll stay, and I can also bet that if we aren't in the playoffs we'll be closer than the year before.

I know what your job is GR, and already said you were doing great. But fans also need you to be the link between our team and us, not the reflect of this team. I thought you're work was worse during our losing-streak, and you seems to pick it up now that we are going on a winning-one, so I hope you'll keep it up through the whole season ! ;)

P.S.: Don't take my comments as any sort of insult or attack, I know my english may be a little bit off sometimes so I don't want any misinterpretation !

BabyJ: It's all good...my writing appeals to you more now because the team is winning...not much for me to rip, so I don't rip so much...which I guess makes me human..you can only beat a dead horse so much....there are still plenty of flaws with this team, and if tampa came to play tonight -- which they didn't -- this game could have been trouble. because the panthers didn't start off well. at all. fact is, florida should have won this game 6, 7, 8-0. that's how bad the D-Rays were tonight. I see this florida team giving detroit all it can handle (and possibly winning), but then they go on the road again. and that's going to be trouble. anyway, heading to bed. actually, plan on watching the sex infomercial showing on "Sunshine Network" right now. classy move by the fox family of regional sports networks.

GR is doing a great job. This organization has been bad that is is hard to point out the good and he finds it. The organization does not want real NHL fans they want puppets for there pathetic excuse of running a team. I will tell you this much, GR is only one of two people that write for this "team" and if you people lived in another city then you would be reading 30 articles about how bad they actually are. He is one voice and remember, he is not an ice dancer, if they stink they stink and if you want the positives out of a horrible losing streak then email the panthers and they will put a positive spin on it. Rememeber one thing everyone, the panthers goals this season was to make a playoff run and try to get the 8 spot. The other teams want to win the cup.

Perception is in the eye of the beholder. I don't know Damian Cristodero other than he writes for the Lightning. Here is what he wrote about last nights game:

The Lightning was outplayed by a team that isn't even on the same page in terms of talent and entered on a 1-5-1 streak, all after Tuesday's team meeting addressed the issue of consistent effort.

I don't think Tampa is that much better then the Panthers, Tampa has a better first line and we have better defenders.

Both teams will struggle when they don't play 60 minutes as has been evident in both team's play.

Other than Lecavalier and Stamkos there really is not much on the lightning that I would want on the Panthers.

Both teams are closer to the bottom of the league talent wise but to say not on the same page is completely blind

sthsdo: I'd add one more name to the list from the Lightning. Marty St. Louis could teach our team a thing or two about hard work. The guy was successful even before the lockout and big rules change made his (generously listed) 5'8" height less of a drawback. And this is despite he was never drafted.

Not that the Panthers would ever get him, but if they could it would be a nice addition. I'd even take him over Lecavalier for that reason, since Vinnie has been cited for effort issues in the past. He'd fit right in with this team for all the wrong reasons.

Just saw that DB gave Anderson the nod to start against Detroit on Friday - riding the hot hand. Good call.

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