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Welcome to Atlanta, Finally ... Tuesday: Florida Panthers @ Atlanta Thrashers ... David Booth OUT; Tomas Vokoun/Cory Stillman MAYBE

Pepsi2 ATLANTA -- Greetings from Peachtree Street where the Panthers have gathered in preparation for their big game Tuesday against the Thrashers.

It's good to be here in Atlanta, where there is little left of the four inches of snow that fell here this weekend. Good thing.

It's official: I'm sick of snow. I hope I'm done with it this season.

Tomas Vokoun practiced here today and like myself and Steve X., came to Georgia in a most inconvenient way. He drove. Of course, I didn't have an inner ear infection like he did, just a few canceled flights with no guarantee of making it to the 'ATL' in time for tomorrow's game. So I hoofed it in an XM-equipped Pontiac.

Don't know what Tomas and Dave Zenobi drove, but they struggled with the weather too. Will talk to them about it more tomorrow.

Publicenemy I have no good stories from the road to tell. Save for spinning out on an off ramp in Virginia. And buying a harmonica. Then playing the harmonica while Public Enemy played on the radio. And anything else I heard before Steve tried throwing it out the window. Of course, the window was frozen shut so...

Harmonica Still got my harmonica.

-- Tomas Vokoun, like I said before, did practice today. He could go tomorrow if he feels OK. The reason he drove was because he still has fluid in his ear drum and they didn't want him to be subjected to the pressurization of the cabin.

Plus, he said he had never been to South Carolina before and wanted to see what the big deal was.

-- David Booth is out tomorrow with a sore set of ribs courtesy of Mike Green yesterday.

-- Cory Stillman practiced today and is probable for tomorrow. He told me yesterday his bruised foot was feeling much, much better, thanks. Someone from Rochester could be coming up (Shawn Matthias?) just in case. But I haven't heard anything on that front yet.

Roch plays tonight so someone could be getting their bags packed and a free trip to the Lone Star State (Georgia, for those of you bad with geography) for Tuesday's game.

-- Niclas Havelid won't be in an Atlanta uni tomorrow; he was traded today to the Devils.

Avery -- The Panthers have put in a bid on Sean Avery since he was put on re-entry waivers by the Stars.

Just kidding.

-- Nothing new on the Jay Bouwmeester situation. He's still in Atlanta.

-- Also nothing new on Nick Boynton. Pete DeBoer said today that they would discuss the situation when they got back to South Florida.

-- Yesterday's scores (and how they affected the Panthers): Well, Florida thumping Washington 6-2 helped a whole bunch. Said Caps owner Ted Leonosis on XM today: ''Florida did what good teams do. They were focused, played desperate hockey. They were the better team yesterday.'' Martin Brodeur shutting out the Flyers kept Philly two points closer, but Pittsburgh (with three dates remaining against the Panthers) are now in the East's Elite Eight (EEE).

-- Today's Schedule (and who the Panthers would be rooting for if this game wasn't just horrible)

Avs @ Palm Isles, 7 (Versus): Big ratings grab by Versus putting these two powerhouse teams on. Of course, not really Versus fault since this is the only game on tonight's schedule. But didn't everyone know both these teams were going to stink this season? Seriously?

Panther fans might want to pay attention to Denver's Ian Laperriere tonight. His name has been bandied about as one JM is interested in. Don't know where the Florida GM is tonight, but he's either on Long Island or will be watching this game. Might be a couple Islanders who might pique Jacques' interest as well. So for that, it might be worth watching. Or not.

-- Today's Standings (brought to you by the Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia Department of Transportation; courtesy of TSN.ca/nhl)


RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1Boston63421299321514221-4-521-8-43-4-3Lost 1
2New Jersey63411938519615322-10-119-9-28-2-0Won 3
3Washington64401958521318825-7-115-12-46-3-1Lost 1
4Philadelphia613318107619817818-8-415-10-66-3-1Lost 2
5Montreal63342277519418920-6-414-16-35-4-1Won 4
6Florida63322387217717517-8-515-15-36-4-0Won 1
7NY Rangers64322487215917519-10-413-14-43-4-3Won 1
8Pittsburgh64322667019519617-12-215-14-46-3-1Won 3
9Buffalo63312576918217517-12-214-13-53-5-2Lost 3
10Carolina64322756916918617-13-115-14-45-5-0Lost 1
11Toronto632526126219122711-11-814-15-45-2-3Won 4
12Ottawa612328105615217613-11-610-17-45-3-2Lost 2
13Tampa Bay632130125416420411-12-810-18-43-6-1Won 1
14Atlanta63233465218822111-17-212-17-45-4-1Won 1
15NY Islanders62193674515020413-13-56-23-23-5-2Won 1


RankTeamGPWLOTPTSGFGAHomeAwayLast 10Streak
1San Jose61421099320514826-2-316-8-65-3-2Lost 1
2Detroit63411489023418724-4-317-10-56-3-1Lost 1
3Calgary62371968020118322-8-415-11-27-1-2Lost 1
4Chicago61351797920515516-5-619-12-36-3-1Won 1
5Vancouver62322287218617516-11-416-11-48-2-0Won 2
6Columbus63312666816817619-10-212-16-46-3-1Lost 1
7Edmonton62312656717318815-12-416-14-15-3-2Won 1
8Anaheim64312856718018815-13-316-15-25-5-0Won 1
9Nashville63312846615917219-11-212-17-26-3-1Won 4
10Minnesota61302656515514418-11-512-15-04-4-2Lost 3
11Dallas62292676517919117-12-412-14-33-7-0Lost 5
12St. Louis62282686417318116-11-512-15-36-2-2Won 3
13Los Angeles62262796116017913-13-813-14-12-6-2Lost 3
14Phoenix63273155915919317-13-210-18-33-7-0Lost 3
15Colorado63283415716920017-14-011-20-13-7-0Lost 4


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The idea that this could Jay's last game as a Panther is really striking me as making this game quite significant in addition to our place in the standings.

I don't believe anything will happen before the game, but tomorrow night through Wednesday is going to be VERY very interesting.

Lapierriere is definitely a name to be on the watchout for. Colorado def wants to trade him - I've been reading the blogs by the Denver Post and his name is pretty much #1 in trade rumors.

GR, 5 days later, what is your summary of the Boyton matter. What do you piece together boyton said? was it in the locker room in front of team or in a office? Would this have happened had JM not been around, and PD was on his own as he should be?

Please give us your take. I know we may never know and I know you are a facts only guy which i respect, but we want to know your reporters sense, as sometimes thats all as fans we have to go by....

Why would we want Ian Laperriére from the Avalanche ? In my eyes he wouldn't bring anything we do not already have. I do not like this idea at all and I just hope it's not turning true !

Hope Jay gives us a few goals and a solid game on defense for his last game as a Panther.

I wonder who will be coming to FLA for our next home game? Should be interesting.

I can't wait either...I haven't been so curious since when I was six and expecting the Santa Claus to ring the bell for christmas :-))

George, do you know why the Cats called up Keaton Ellerby as of this morning? I would think this is the precursor to a trade of a defense man. Here's to hoping its not JayBo.

I didn't know they called up Ellerby...whoa, that either means Welch is out or someone (Boyton, Bo...) could be traded.

This next 29 1/2 hours is going to be very stressful. Exciting, but stressful!

Welch didn't play much even with Boynton out. Could be they want to see how their young defensman plays comparable to Welch and Boynton. If they trade Welch or Boynton is Ellerby ready to step in? This could be a test.

the lonestar state is definitelly texas.

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