Vancouver ends up beating Calgary 4-3 in a shootout as Todd Bertuzzi (former Panther FYI) took on goalie Roberto Luongo (also a former Panther!) on the final shot. Bert beat Louie with a terrific spin-a-rama move, backhanding the puck into an open net.
Only he hit the post. While Louie and the Canucks celebrated, Bert went to his knees and smashed his stick on the ice. It was awesome. Great game, and a great ending.
You might recall that current Calgary coach Mike Keenan traded Luongo to Vancouver for Bertuzzi while Keenan was general manager of the Panthers. You may not, it wasn't that big of a deal. Few people even noticed when that minor trade went down. I had actually forgotten about it until someone mentioned it to me last night.
''Hey G, didn't Luongo get traded for Bertuzzi?'' one asked. I had to look it up on my cellphone. And there it was, yes, that trade actually happened.
-- Going to make this quick because I finally have a day off and am headed to the golf course. Last night's win by the Panthers was by no means pretty but it sure did the trick. Five shutouts for Tomas Vokoun now this season, one better than all of last season. He's money. Good to see Stephen Weiss get a goal, he's been knocking on that door for weeks now.
And, in case you missed it, Rostislav Olesz is skating and could be available in a few weeks.
-- David J.Neal says the Panthers can't trade Jay Bo.
-- Last night's action: With the Rangers and Canadiens mercifully off, the Panthers make up ground and pull into a four-way tie (in points) for fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. Technically Florida is in sixth because it has one fewer victory than the slumping Canadiens. Buffalo also in that mix after bouncing the Leafs last night.
Panthers off until Thursday.
-- Today's Schedule (and the teams the Panthers are rooting for)
Isles @ Rangers, 7: Rangers are feeling some intense heat lately and frankly should be. They're, well, not good. Panthers rooting on Isles to keep the Blueshirts in a funk.
Blues @ Jackets, 7: No playoff implications here. Could be a fun game. Both are playing pretty well.
Habs @ Caps, 7:30: Washington has all but clinched the SE, so root on Ovechkin and the boys. Panthers need a Montreal loss to stay tied.
Preds @ Wings, 7:30: Nothing for the Panthers, but a fun game regardless.
Kings @ Ducks, 10: The I-5 rivalry continues with the Kings leaving the big city and headed to Orange County suburbia. Hope they don't get lost. And I hope they leave early.
Today's Standings (Courtesy of Taylor Made)