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Southernmost Hockeytown -- Or, Hockeytown FLA ... Florida Panthers vs. Detroit Red Wings

Stumpy Welcome to the center of hockey in the Southeast, the Bank in Sunrise where the Detroit Red Wings have come to town.

Was actually hard to tell the champs were here today.

First clue: The Red Wings jersey being raffled off by the Panthers this morning at the open-to-the-public morning skate. True story: The Panthers were giving away the jersey of their opponent.

Clue No. 2: The ADT Club was offering off all kinds of seafood, from jumbo skrimps to sushi to Octopii. OK, just kidding about the sushi.

Clue No. 3: The guy they got to do the ceremonial slap shot came onto the ice sporting his Red Wings jersey. Maybe he won the raffle. Stanley C. Panther tried to stop the shot, but dude put it home. Then Stanley stormed off the ice, leaving the Detroit guy standing there not knowing what to do next. Classic.

Clue No. 4: There's a good buzz here. Lot of folks in the building early. Lot of winged wheels on the jerseys. Again, the Panthers may just have been handing them out before the game. New promotion: Anyone coming to a Panthers game wearing the home colors is asked to remove their jersey and trade it in for one from the opposition.

Kidrock If I'm the Panthers, I bring in Kid Rock to sing the anthem. Then trot out Dontrelle Willis, Gary Sheffield, Miguel Cabrera and Jim Leyland -- in Wings' jerseys with Tigers' caps -- to drop the ceremonial puck. Only makes sense.

While we're at it, replace Denis Potvin in the TV booth with Gordie Howe.

-- The Panthers have replaced the Florida state flag with one brought down from Michigan...

-- The team took the Hyundai showroom on the lower level and replaced it with a variety of cars from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler for Friday's game....

-- Friday's game was also brought to you by Greektown Casino and Casino Windsor instead of Seminole Coconut Creek....

-- Big cluster of Detroit fans standing in Section 107, and it appears they are looking for a fight. And Matt Millen is nowhere to be found.

-- Back to hockey: Gregory Campbell is in, Noah Welch and Wade Belak are out.

-- Pregame video (not making this up): David vs. Goliath, with a picture of David Booth. Good stuff indeed. Let's get this party started.

Kid Rock, you're up!


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Party over. No one invited the Panthers in the tird period.


Whatwere you doing during the Anthem tonight? I was sittine in row 4 behind the shoot twice net, and my buddy tells me, "The gal is reading the words"

Did you notice this? The Anthem Singer does not know the Anthem? She even needed to look to know the last words!!!!! Give me a break!!!!

Also the Urinal ads are a bit over board!

I was in 107 (as I am every game) and I didn't see too many Wings fans standing and looking for trouble aside from some moron with a faux Stanley Cup (and he wouldn't even drink beer out of it! What kind of fan is THAT?). We had plenty of Wings fans in our section (just like everywhere else) and they were reasonably respectful. I'll take them over Ranger fans every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Trust me, if they were looking for a fight, we had a few Panthers fans in 107 that were ready to go by the end of this game.

To the point of your blog, I thought the lean towards Wings fans last night was ridiculous. Raffling off a Wings sweater? The ceremonial shot? The tool riding on the Zamboni? Did we have to put the octopus on the jumbotron? I like what In-Game does 99% of the time, but last night was brutal.

For those that DID wear our colors last night, thank you!

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