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More from T.O. ... Florida Panthers @ Toronto Maple Leafs ... Shawn Matthias Called Up Again ... Nasty Nick OUT Again

ToTORONTO -- Good afternoon from tropical Toronto, where when the wind doesn't kick up walking around town is almost tolerable.


Had a fun time at lunch with Mitch, Steve X. and Goldie, although those latter two spent way too much time in the Hall of Fame gift shop and yours truly spent way too much money.

But I did score a sweet World Juniors cap with all the countries on it and also snagged a Team Canada hat to wear around town. Who's jumping on the bandwagon? That would be me.

Had a great time watching the Gold Medal game with a few of my pals from the Panthers, and the place we were at were going nuts. Great atmosphere, great passion. Glad I was up here to be able to enjoy such a cool event. Congrats to Team Canada and coach Pat Quinn on a fifth straight World Juniors title.

And, remember, Quinn wouldn't have been the coach had the Panthers not hired Benoit Groulx to be the new coach of the Americans over the summer. Groulx was supposed to be that coach. Florida's Pete DeBoer was a serious candidate and probably would have coached Team Canada had he not signed on with the Panthers.

-- Shawn Matthias and his frequent flier card have been getting quite the workout recently. He's back and practiced with the team this morning after being sent back to Rochester after Sunday's game in Montreal. Nick Tarnasky is out, so Matthias is back centering the fourth line.

-- As reported before, Tomas Vokoun in net tonight against the Buds.

-- We're almost home....


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poor Tarnasky and Matthias! I find very odd what is happening to Tarnasky especially considering hes been alright for the Cats and hasnt been mediocre..theres no doubt we need more from him and less turnovers for sure.
On another note glad you enjoyed ur time in Canada watching the WJC...its unbelievable how a junior team with players nobody knows except for hockey pros can get so much excitement!! I hope one day the States will have some kind of passion for hockey in more citiess than just Chicago or Minnesota. And maybe Detroit could jump back in the mix again lol
and lastly it is extremely obvious to me that the epicenter of the hockeyworld is Montreal and most definitely not Toronto!! The loser leafs offered FREE tix to a preseason game and it wasnt even full!!! Do that in Montreal and i guarantee u will find a lineup all the way down to border...we easily sell out preseason games at ridiculous prices so just imagine..
anyways GO CATS GO and may the leafs' 41 yr losing streak continue! (cough 8-0 cough)

oh and btw GR, i think the pictures u post on this are always BRILLIANT..i get a good laugh everytime so thank u for that...same thing for the team names (Winnipeg Jets, Dolphins and so on)
dont think ur little under the table jokes dont get noticed because they do!
keep up the great work in 09 George "Beat writer" Richards

Can't they just keep both up? I thought that the player could only be recalled a certain number of times a year....has that change? or is that baseball?

George, love your answer to my my question on the Q and A...nananananananananana

I can't imagine all this moving around and constant uncertainty is good for young Matthias. Look how long it took Frolik to get comfortable with the big team. A month into the season and he was still a little lost, now he's as much a producer as any of the 2nd-4th stringers. Give Matthias some time and he'll find his stride.

Hey George, its been kind of silent. ANy word on Allen? Olesz? Murphy?

Tomcat, Murphy is in Rochester on a conditioning stint (and playing really well there - too bad they can't keep him past this week). Last word on Olesz from a poster on HFBoards claiming to have spoken to him is that he's out 4-6 weeks at least. Allen is in rehab I believe but it's going to be most of the season at the least.

Martin is teaching Matthias a lesson to not complain or you will be punished.He did same thing to Stewart and Olesz.I really wonder if Allen will ever play again.Anyone think Bouw could sign one year extension?

when did mathias complain and what did he say?

He's sulking in Rochester... 4 points in 32 games for a highly touted prospect is not very good.

Matthias said he should have made team at beginning of year and then sulked in Rochester.Look at difference in his play down there and up here.Kiss of death with egomaniac Martin is to throw any kind of fit.Kid is an NHLer for sure

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