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Panthers GameDay LIVE! Dmitry Kulikov Sticking Around? ... Game Blacked Out in SoFla

Lightninggirl TAMPA -- The Panthers are desperate for a win and the Lightning are looking to win a second straight game tonight when the two Sunshine State rivals face off at St. Pete Times Forum.

The big story of the day is the future of defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. The 18-year-old will play his fifth game tonight, meaning he has four more to go before the Panthers have to make a big decision: Keep him for the season or send him back to his junior team.

Coach Pete DeBoer said today that if Kulikov keeps up what he's doing ''I don't know how we can send him anywhere.''

''He has to keep doing what he's been doing,'' DeBoer said. ''He's had one tough game. He's been pretty steady and is getting more and more confident. He needs to find a way to get his shot to the net, put pucks at the net, but that's going to come.

''You guys saw Stamko's development last year; this doesn't happen overnight. I think Hedman who is here is a little bit of a different story. He's hit the ground running. But it's tough for young defensemen. [Kulikov] is playing 18 minutes a night which is a great number for a young guy. He's contributing.

''If that continues, I don't know how we can send him anywhere.''

I later asked Pete if he was leaning one way or another as far as Kulikov goes and he gave me a smart aleck answer.

''I'm not leaning anyway right now, I'm standing straight up,'' he said. ''You know what? We're not going to make that decision until we have to and that's Game 9.''

-- Same lineup for tonight since Dominic Moore still isn't here. We may see him Friday against Philly. Or not.

-- Speaking of Canada, Happy Thanksgiving!

-- And happy Columbus Day to all you Buckeye fans out there....

-- Just got official word from Sun Sports that tonight's game will be blacked out in South Florida even though people in South Florida get Sun Sports. It's apparently a league rule that Tampa Bay broadcasts can't be shown in South Florida, although I've watched a few of their games at my place and I don't have Center Ice.

Again, another dumb rule. I'm sure the Panthers have no problems with the game being on in South Florida even though it's a Tampa broadcast. And why are the Lightning blacked out in South Florida anyway? Has it hurt the Marlins ratings that the Rays are on in South Florida as well? No. Hockey needs all the help it can get in the Sunshine State. Let both teams roam the airways throughout the state. Might just get a few more fans in the process.

Anyway, the game is on Center Ice so if you have that, bully for you. If not, head to a place that has the package and it will be on. Quarterdeck in Sunrise is one, Incredible Ice and Carolina Ale House in Weston are others. I think the Miller's Ale House chains carry the package too. You might want to call first.

And you might want to get their early. Apparently there's some big football game tonight with the local team playing host to a bunch of jokers from New York.

-- Also, congrats to the University of Miami for staying atop the national hockey polls. Just got the release on it, although they called Miami the 'Redhawks.' Don't know what that's all about. Probably just a typo.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Miami University, which twice defeated St. Cloud State University last weekend, retains the No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll. The RedHawks accumulated 496 points and 24 of 34 first-place votes.

Boston University (470) moves up one spot to No. 2 while the University of Denver (413) slides to No. 3 after splitting two games with No. 11 University of Vermont. After a pair of victories against Merrimack College, the University of North Dakota (394) jumps four spots to No. 4. The University of Michigan (365) rounds out the top five.

The University of Nebraska Omaha makes its 2009-10 debut in the poll at No. 15 this week after defeating Army and No. 13 University of Massachusetts Lowell.

NOTES: The Central Collegiate Hockey Association, the Hockey East Association and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association each boast four ranked teams. ECAC Hockey has three ranked programs ... A total of 27 teams received votes.


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Hello Panther fans. Get ready for a faster than you can imagine and tougher than you realize Lightning team tonight.

It could get ugly.

Agreed. I hope the Panthers took note of the drubbing the Lightning gave the Hurricanes while they were weakly trying to hold off the Devils Saturday night.

Lightening suck as do their fans. Cats crush them tonight and every other night they will play.

Sorry Shawn how many points did Tampa have last year?

Have center ice. looking forward to the Panthers breaking out. If not this game, the next one. They need scorers to score. Stillman, Horton, Booth need to get untracked. That first game in Finland seems like years ago. Weiss made a super play through the whole Devils team and scored. Need some of the others to start earning their pay.

shawn - im hoping you didn't set up an account on here just to say that . . . if so, yu'l realise it was a waste of time after tonight. the lightning are about as fast + tough as my gran - shes 89. speed and toughness is something i'd associate more with the cats, THERE'S ONLY 1 TEAM IN FLORIDA!!

Bummer that it's blacked-out. Has anyone noticed that we used to get alot more games a few years ago than we do these days?

Either you guys dont know hockey, or you arent paying attention. The Bolts are stacked.

The forechecking is seriously relentless, they have outshot every opponent (that hardly EVER happened under Tort), guys parked in the crease(Malone was an absolute beast against NJ, let alone the HT), defenseman standing people up at the blue line, great first passes, standing up for each other, Power play is deadly, all 4 lines are on the scoring sheet, on and on...It's like xmas to me.
This is the kind of team that could go on long ass streaks and put up big scoring numbers. Lecavalier has to hustle just to keep up with the plays for gods sake.

And Hedman? Forget it. a freaking 19 year old logging 27 SOLID minutes on defense. That doesnt happen. Defenseman need time to ripen and get burned for a few years before they start doing what he's doing. He's a freak. And he's still growing!

And just to show that all Lightning fans arent bad guys, for those of you who cant see the game.....


I love all these Lightning suck, only 1 team in Florida. Lightning arent fast posts.

Truth is, pretty soon, there WILL be only one team in Florida. And it wont be in Sunrise.

I enjoy the rivalry, but be realistic.

oh shawn: im not doubting hedmans abilities, and im not gonna lie that i'd kill to have a youngster with his potential on our blueline . . . oh no no, wait a second? . . .ever heard of someone named dmitry kulikov?? . . . if not he was the 14th overall selection in june's draft - YES - 14th - he is also 18. . . and he's made our roster too, showing the same potential that you received with the 2nd pick overall after sucking ass for a year whilst we made a legit shot at the playoffs.
make that the past two years actually . . . you had the first overall pick back in 2008. you know . . . i never did hear about or 'see stamkos' though - for your franchises sake, lets hope he's not the next patrick stefan (although i hope he is).
then we'l see who's so smug :P . . .

GR, I wouldnt know where to start with that post.

If you havent "seen Stamkos" you should turn off Oprah and watch more games. All he did in his rookie year was notch 23 goals to go with his 23 assists in limited playing time. Then went to the worlds and had 9 goals and 7 assists in 8 games. This past summer he put on 15 pounds of muscle, is down to 7 percent body fat, Took the fastest skater at camp contest, and now has 2g/2a in four games, as well as hit the crossbar 4 freaking times against NJ last week.

To bring up Patrick Stefan in the same breath as Steven Stamkos tells me all I need to know.

BTW, while we were sucking ass, it was made alot easier by staring at our Stanley Cup banner and remembering the cup sitting on my kitchen counter. We got screwed by the lockout, you got screwed by your owners. 2 different things.

Do your homework.

Great banter! Like McDonald's, I'm Lovin' It!

George, I sure hope your Miami Redhawks hockey comment above was in jest.....

George, Centre Ice is still in FREE preview. Ch. 781 for Comcast Customers.

don't dismiss the power of oprah! . . . she'd have done a better job than your ownership of sorting out the mess of a franchise you have been since last summer.
wow 46 points in your rookie year . . . pretty good . . . but for a no.1 pick?? again a player you may not have heard of - michael frolik: 45 rookie points - 10th overall pick. . . and again we were not the worst team in the NHL for a year to get that kind of production.
as for the weight gain and fat loss . . . now your just clutching at straws - if thats is what you find evidence as stamkos being the real deal, than my uncle's homer simpson + everyone knows the world championships are bogus . . . the best talent is in the playoffs so its not a true test of ability.
the fact your still reminiscing about your championship whilst well earned, does indicate the state of your franchise at the moment is severely lacking any form of achievement or hope for that matter - all of which is made easier by fond memories of yesteryear. . .water under the bridge as far as im concerned: id bet an organ that yu'l never win another :P

McDonald's? Bleah! What is it with you and bad fast food, anyway?

Miami University is awesome and is in Ohio. :-)

Any of you Don Cherrys still want to compare Patrik Stefan to Stamkos?

I thought not.

Finnish Subway is definitely not bad fast food...expensive, but pretty good....

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