Lots of fun, with a lot of the programing surrounding small-town Canadian hockey.
This year's Hockeyville: Campbellton, New Brunswick.
Check it out if you would. The CBC does a great job with this all-day coverage, the highlights of which are the three games involving all six Canadian teams. The biggie, of course, is Mats Sundin and the Luongos going into Toronto tonight.
Montreal and Ottawa kick off the Canadian NHL games today at 3.
-- Mmmmm. Timbits.
-- Big doings in Pantherland, the Bruins coming to town and creating quite a buzz. Tonight's game is expected to be only the second sellout of the season. Opening Night was close. Should be a good atmosphere in North Weston tonight.
David J. Neal, sure you all remember him, writes about Panther Hysteria in a rare 1A feature.
Good crowd at the morning skate today. Nice seeing everyone.
-- Speaking of links, Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post writes about Randy Moller and his crazy goal calls. Why link to a Post story? Word is we share things now. Sometime they run my stuff. Or so I've heard.
Here's the original story from Barry Jackson way back in December.
-- Oh, what the heck: Here's Mollers' YouTube clip. Enjoy.
-- Pete DeBoer is mixing things up a little bit, sitting Brett McLean and putting Nick Tarnasky back in the lineup. PDeB says it wasn't a message thing, saying no one plays harder than McLean and that Tarnasky has fresh legs and deserves a spot in the lineup.
Also, putting in Nick toughens things up a bit in case Boston wants to mix things up. The Panthers do need more production from McLean but the entire fourth line.
Anthony Stewart is getting chances, so is Kamil Kreps. McLean had a big scoring opportunity Thursday. But they need to start taking advantage. That fourth line doing something offensively would be a huge lift.
-- T-Vo goes tonight.
-- Former Panther Chris Gratton is finally done with the Lightning, picked up by Columbus off waivers. Good for him. He'll dig C-bus (and dig the postseason).
-- Friday's Games (and what they meant to the Panthers): Tampa Bay did the Panthers no favors, giving up two in the third at Carolina as the Hurricanes moved to within a point of seventh/eighth.
Colorado put a hurting on the Caps (not that it matters) and the Red Wings seemed to be on the Belle Tire power play throughout the second in their win over Anaheim. The Ducks are in trouble.
-- Saturday's Games (and who I think the Panthers would be rooting for if they were into such things)
Pens @ Flyers, now: Game is tied at 1 as I write this. Panthers are rooting for Flyers; Pens are getting too close for comfort (remember that show? The Cosmic Cow? The hot daughters? Judge Smails? Good stuff).
UPDATE: Pens win 5-4 in regulation. That means the Pens (with Sergei Gonchar back) are poised to make a nice run. Pens are two points back but Panthers have played two fewer games. Still.
Hawks @ Stars, now: No real interest.
Sens @ Canadiens: Rooting for the Sens. They're probably out of it but the Panthers are chasing the scandal-plagued Habs.
UPDATE: Alex Kovalev sure looks relaxed, doesn't he?
Coyotes @ Kings, 4: No real interest, although the Kings are trying to get into the playoffs. Well, the Dogs are too.
Thrashers @ Sharks, 4: Atlanta is still on the road? Geez.
Rangers @ Sabres, 7: Tough one here. Panthers are just hoping this one doesn't go to overtime. Panthers have one left against Rangers (Thursday at MSG) and two in Beefalo. So I guess Buffalo.
Canucks @ Leafs, 7: No real interest, although it should be fun to see if Mats gets the Bryan McCabe treatment.
Devils @ Islanders, 7: Islanders. Why not.
Bruins @ Panthers, 7: Florida is rooting for the Bruins in this one. They're like that you know.
Ducks @ Jackets, 7: Ducks really need this one. Right now the word to describe their game ryhmes with duck.
Wings @ Wild, 8: Minny is trying really hard to get into the playoffs, but this game isn't too important since Mike Russo is here in Florida. OK, he's going to a wedding. That's a good excuse.
Preds @ Blues, 8:30: I don't think I want to comment on this game.
Flames @ Oil, 10: Final game of Hockey Day in Canada. Should be a wild night in Red Deer.
The Standings (brought to you by Tim Hortons)