Florida doesn't have its most powerful lineup out there, although the Sens are bringing out whatever big guns they have left.
Here are Florida's lines and d-combos:
G: Vokoun, Plante
-- Spoke with coach Pete DeBoer (access video here) about Kulikov playing in a second straight game. Kulikov is also taking the coaches bus to Montreal tonight and could be in the lineup again tomorrow. The Panthers are very high on Kulikov and want to see him as much as possible. Backman is also in for a second straight night, Pete saying he came here to try out, so let's let him try out.
-- Bryan Allen makes his first start tomorrow in Montreal against the Martins. Dennis Seidenberg and Martin Skoula are also expected to make their preseason debut.
-- Here's who is making the trip to Montreal: Weiss, Booth, Campbell, Horton, York, Mink, Kreps, Repik, Matthias, Dadonov, Duco, McArdle, Olesz, Ballard, Seidenberg, Allen, Koistinen, Ellerby, Skoula, Kulikov, Clemmensen, Salak.
-- Spoke to scout and former Florida goalie coach Phil Myre in the hallway just a few minutes ago and he said he really liked what he saw from Alexander Salak last night in Halifax. Salak didn't surrender a goal in 20 minutes of play against the Sens and made some nice plays. ''He looked good, looked like he belonged out there for sure,'' said Myre.
-- We'll be live from the Scotiabank press box in a little while.
The Cats and Sens get after it again tonight, although it will be like two completely different teams. Florida won last night's game 3-1 in Halifax, although the Sens will have most of their regulars in tonight. Florida counters with Tomas Vokoun.
We'll be live right here around 6:30 p.m.
-- As many of you have been talking about, TSN (the Canadian ESPN) really likes this year's Florida squad. In their 30 teams in 30 days tour, the Panthers come in 15th -- or seventh in the Eastern Conference.
According to TSN, the Cats will finish ahead of Montreal and make the playoffs for the first time since 2000.
OK, why not.
You want to check it out, do so here.
-- Bret Hedican, a pretty popular player during his Florida days, called it a career today as he announced his retirement. Heds won a Cup with Carolina in 2006.
-- Apparently the Penguins went all Florida Marlins on us and got super-sized championship rings.
-- See you all in a bit. Heading in early to talk to Pete and some of the players, so there may be some pregame interview stuff up on CatCam. Stay tuned.
We're up and operational -- and as long as the internet stays up here in the press box, we're safe as kittens.
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. MT so come on back in a bit.
-- Looks like the problem was the internet all along. CatCam appears to be up and operational. Problem is, I have a ton of stuff to post. So stay tuned. We'll have video up here sometime tonight.
-- To check out tonight's LIVE! post, you have to click the play button on the graphic below.
I am tired and I am frankly getting a little frustrated. I have been trying to get this to work all day. Well, no luck. I am just going to download every piece of video one by one and then put them up. It sucks, but it's either that or nothing.
I do not know what's wrong with this and I am not a big fan of YouTube right now. I have about 10 more video clips to upload and this is taking an incredibly long time to do. UPDATE: I'm done. Giving up. Cannot take another YouTube error message. You guys know a better way to do this, please let me know. I am not wasting another minute doing this. Sorry. What a waste of a day. UPDATE: Thanks to all who have been sending me ideas for what to do. And none of it works. I'm thinking that it's the internet here at the hotel. I think it's just too slow to do anything. Will try all this tomorrow at the arena. Maybe their internet is faster and can handle more stuff.
Good, good stuff.
First off, Randy Sexton confirmed that the team is close to signing defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
Basically, he has to pass his physical in Florida then sign the paperwork to make it official. That should come anytime today. Sexton said he expects Seidenberg to meet with the team Wednesday in Ottawa.
''We increased our mobility, added some skill and some toughness,'' Sexton said.
Have plenty of reaction on the Seidenberg signing coming up, with video of Sexton and Pete DeBoer coming up. Also spoke to Cory Stillman about his former Carolina teammate coming south, and Stillman said he did call Seidenberg to ''sell him on the program.'' Sexton confirmed it is a one-year deal.
-- The team practiced and held a scrimmage here today. The team played a 20 minute scrimmage and then worked on special teams and the shootout. Special teams looked good, the shootout still needs work.
-- Something interesting from the scrimmage: Kamil Kreps was centering one line, with Rostislav Olesz and Gregory Campbell on the wings. Stephen Reinprect worked with Cory Stillman and Michael Frolik. Michal Repik was kept out of the scrimmage and will instead play on the rookie team tonight against St. Francis Xavier at the Civic Center. DeBoer said not to read anything into that. So I won't. Plus, Repik is playing tomorrow against the Sens. You want the lines for that game? OK.
Tuesday: Panthers vs. Senators, Halifax
-- For those interested in CatCam, I will post two videos today. The first one will be general footage with the interviews with Randy and Pete. The second video will be the scrimmage (almost in its entirety for you diehards) with some of the special teams and all of the shootout work.
-- The first video is edited and now going through the publishing stages. It ain't bad, but it's long. Lot of footage and quotes, a lot less goofy than our first shot at this. The second video -- of the scrimmage -- will be quoteless but filled with action.
EDIT: The first video should have been within the hour, but I didn't know YouTube only lets you go in 10 minute increments. So I had to start over. So the first video will be in two parts, then the scrimmage in three. They will all be together, however, on their own posts.
Thanks for your patience.
EDIT 2: Having a lot of problems getting anything video related online. I don't know what to do and am getting pretty ticked off. Have spent most of the day, basically, working for nothing. I cannot get anything to post onto YouTube and that's the only way I know how to get video on here.
Suggestions? Email me. Because I would hate to waste all this video.
So stay tuned will ya? Got a lot of work to do and not much time to do it. The rookies -- including Michal Repik -- will be playing the local college team here tonight and want to get everything done so I can head out there. That means more coverage and footage for you, the loyal reader/viewer of On Frozen Pond.
Come back early and often!
PORT HAWKESBURY, Nova Scotia -- The Panthers officially opened things up today with a pair of practices at the very nice Civic Center here in Port Hawkes.
Very friendly place here with a lot of Panthers banners hanging up on businesses and around the rink.
On thing that was funny to me was one of the banners said 'The Panthers are Coming' and had a picture of Jay Bouwmeester underneath those words. And it wasn't just a generic pic of Bo either; it was taken from the back, so it's nothing but his nameplate and No. 4.
That side of the banner was facing the wall, but I saw it.
--- Was good to see Bryan Allen out there and he's the focus of my story in tomorrow's Herald.
Allen missed all but two games for the Panthers last season, so when the team took the ice at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Center for the first day of training camp on Sunday, Allen was more than ready to get going.
After what seemed like endless months of rehabilitation on his surgically repaired knee, being able to get back on the ice with his teammates left Allen with a wide grin.
''It felt good to be out there and have that first day intensity,'' said Allen, who had only missed nine games in his previous two seasons with the Panthers. ''You have a little of that in the summertime, but nothing like training camp. We didn't really battle or anything like that, but it felt good. So far so good. I'd rather hit someone than get hit, and I'm excited to see how it feels in battle.''
The Panthers are going to closely monitor Allen's knee, and if feels anything strange – anything – he's been told to let the medical staff know.
''Bryan knows his body better than anyone so he has to keep us in tune with how he's feeling,'' said coach Pete DeBoer. ''He wants to get back. It's killing him to sit out. He just has to be honest with himself so we can set the right tone. He's real anxious. He's a character guy and he wants to be involved.''
-- Rookie David Brine couldn't believe it when he heard the Panthers were going to spend the start of training camp in Nova Scotia. Brine, who grew up in nearby Truro, had a number of family members as well as former coaches and teammates in the stands at Sunday's practice.
New strength and conditioning coach Craig Slaunwhite is also from Nova Scotia.
-- The Panthers are going back to their roots a bit by holding training camp in a typical small Canadian town. Port Hawkesbury, population 3,900 or so, doesn't have a movie theater or a mall. But the town does have a state of the art hockey rink, one complete with a large film room that DeBoer has already gotten plenty of use out of.
''It's fun to get to a small town like this, it's the grass roots of hockey,'' said defenseman Bryan McCabe, who was mobbed by kids requesting autographs after the workout. ''A lot of us are Canadians and grew up in an atmosphere like this. It's fun.''
-- DeBoer said Radek Dvorak, still in Czech Republic because of a family matter, should join the team next week in Dallas. Free agent defenseman Martin Skoula, on a try out, is having visa issues cleared and should be with the team next week. Defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick (groin) will skip Panthers camp and report directly to minor league camp in Rochester, N.Y.
-- The Panthers veterans will hold an intersquad scrimmage on Monday morning. The rookies will practice prior to that and then play an exhibition game against a local college team (St. Francis Xavier) on Monday night.
-- DeBoer on the start of training camp:
''I thought it was good. Yesterday was tough, reporting at 6:30 a.m. and testing and then flying across the country. They went through it real well this morning, are in great shape.
''Everyone seemed excited about getting started. That enthusiasm is nice.''
-- "We're here for business. We didn't get to where we wanted to last year. I think the atmosphere around here is workmanlike. If we consistently start making the playoffs and win some games, you might see a little more fun. The nice thing for me is that it's very businesslike.''
-- DeBoer on the third line that was so successful last season:
''We want to roll four lines and make sure all four are capable of chipping in and give us some goals. If you have an Olesz-Campbell-Dvorak line, that's a big strong line that skates well and forechecks well.
''They'll be pretty hard to play against. We wanted to get bigger and faster, and that kind of combination is intriguing to me because of how big they are.''
-- Bryan McCabe on what he thought when he saw Florida's preseason schedule of seven games in nine days: ''I thought it was a misprint.''
-- Sorry, no video today. I somehow left the camera on all night and when I went to use it today the battery was dead. But it's charging now, so we'll have plenty tomorrow.
The team did medical tests today in Sunrise before heading to the Great White North, and according to Panthers spokesman Justin Copertino, all players passed. They must have studied hard.
That doesn't mean everyone will be at practice tomorrow, however.
According to Copertino, Martin Skoula will be missing as he works on getting his visa. He is expected to meet the team in Halifax when they come here to play the Senators on Tuesday. Radek Dvorak is not with the team as he is in the Czech Republic because of family matters. Defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick apparently tweaked his groin skating last week and will be held out of workouts.
Other than that: Practice on!
-- Below is a new feature of On Frozen Pond, something I like to call Panther Vision. Or Growl TV. Or a bunch of little videos put together and put online. Whatever.
First off, this is not a professional production. I'm using a small, hand held flip camera to shoot raw video, then I do my best with what I have available to put it all together.
Today's opening video is basically me traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Halifax. I needed to try this thing out and see how it works. It will get better with time, although don't expect it to get too much better.
I will bring the camera tomorrow and shoot some video from the workouts and get some interviews with players and try and bring a little slice of training camp to you, the loyal reader (viewer?) of On Frozen Pond.
And please be kind with your comments. Thanks.