Good to be here in Philly for tonight's highly anticipated matchup between the hometown Flyers and the Montreal Canadiens.
It's a pretty important game for the Panthers, and to make sure there are no shenanigans in the scoring, Jacques Martin is here as well.
Actually, JM is here scouting the Flyers and Canadiens to see if there are any players here he might want. I don't know if either of those teams covet any members of the Panthers, but one name does come to mind.
Yes, everyone here wants to talk about Jay Bouwmeester. But I don't see him coming to Philadelphia only because the Flyers are so close to the cap they had to waive two players yesterday. They lost Glen Metropolit to these Canadiens as they claimed him this afternoon. He's in the lineup for the Habs tonight. At least he didn't have to move his gear too far.
Daniel Briere, the reason for the waivings, is not in the lineup tonight because the Flyers still haven't cleared enough cap room to get him onto the ice. The Flyers would have to do quite a bit to fit Jay's contract under, and some of the players they would want to trade the Panthers would have little interest in.
But JM's been here twice in the past three days, so who knows.
-- Nothing new on Nick Boynton's status. Spoke with JM a few minutes ago and he said they're going to talk next week. ''We're giving him a few days off,'' JM said.
''We'll deal with it more next week.''
As for thoughts that Boynton could be traded or waived, Martin was speaking more long term about Boynton, saying ''he is no different than any of our players who have expiring contracts. We'll evaluate him at the end of the season, the same as Ville, Zednik, Radek. Those guys.''
-- For those wondering: Craig Anderson is not on the market. ''We need two goalies,'' JM said, ''and he's playing real well for us.'' Rochester's Mike Brodeur does not belong to the Panthers as he's with Rochester on an AHL contract. Anderson is a pending free agent.
-- We'll be scoreboard watching tonight as I stay on throughout this game. Feel free to check in early and often. With that in mind, here's today's belated schedule and who the Panthers would be rooting for if they weren't all at the movies in Secaucus.
Canadiens @ Flyers, NOW: Probably Philadelphia. Not because cheesesteaks are better than poutine, but the Habs are only one point in front of the Panthers for fifth in the east. And yes, cheesesteaks kick the tar out of those gravy-covered fries every day of the week and three times on Sunday.
Joffrey Lupol is showing off for JM, scoring to make it 1-0 just 28 seconds in.
Kings @ Wings, 7:30: Belle Tire, don't matter to the Cats.
Pens @ Hawks, 8:30: Pittsburgh is still out of a playoff spot, but two points puts it one point back of Carolina and Buffalo for eighth.
Wild @ Flames, 9: Who?
Lightning @ Canucks, 10: Louie, I guess.
-- Next time we come up here, hope to catch a Phantoms game at the Spectrum. They're tearing it down, you know.
-- Flyers update: The home team is up 2-0. Mike 'George' Richards giving the Flyers a nice cushion at 8:14 of the first.
-- Philly is on the Peco Power Play with just over five minutes left in the period.
-- Habs score on a power play with 3:35 left in the period as Tomas 'Tom' Plekanec knocks in a loose puck.
-- Cushion? Montreal just scored again, span of 13 seconds...very bad goal... 2-2. Eh.
-- Whoa Nellie. Montreal just scored again, Alex Kovalev doing the honors with 1:31 left. That's three goals for Montreal in two minutes. The folks here aren't showing much brotherly love.
-- We're in the second here in Philly, and the Flyers have just tied it up with 6:17 left in the period. Simon Gagne picks off a puck at center ice, charges in on Jaroslav Halak and slides 'er in. Looks like Halak made the initial save but couldn't control the puck. It's under review but looks good to me. Give 'em the goal, we're tied at 3.
-- Didn't notice this before: goals here are sponsored! Holy smokes. But they are sponsored by Tastykakes, a Philly tradition (and a darned tasty one). So I don't mind so much.
-- This is a pretty good game. Lot of hitting, lots of bad blood. Fun to be here. And not be on deadline.
-- Couple nice little scuffles broke out in the concourse during the second intermission. Fun stuff...
--Well, no scoring in an exciting third period. So, both teams get at least a point. Shots right now: PHL 37-31.
-- Scottie Upshall is going to the box for running into Halak with 2:39 left in the overtime, giving the Habs a 4-on-3. Nitty has looked good lately and just made a nice save. We'll see.
-- And that's that. Mathieu Schnieder wins it with a nice shot that beat Nitty with 1:39 left in OT and a minute left in the penalty. He then did an Ovechkin leap up against the glass that brought some middle digits and some choice words for the Flyer faithful sitting there. The big group of Canadiens fans sitting in the upper deck appear to be getting pelted with stuff.
Par for the course I guess.
Anyway, come back and visit tomorrow as I come to you from high-high-high above the Newark City Centre in Hoboken.
Peace in the Big East....
Today's BONUS! On Phrozen Poll: Where should I get a cheesesteak tonight? Pats,
Ginos or Jims on South Street. You make the call. Any other options,
leave as a comment below. Get voting!