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GUDBRANSON RETURNING: Panthers Still Nicked Up

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

Defenseman Erik Gudbranson could be back in the lineup Monday in Montreal but will do so wearing a steel cage on his helmet.

Gudbranson needed orbital bone surgery after being struck in the face by a puck Dec. 20 in Winnipeg. That was a rough trip for Gudbranson as he was slashed by a skate in Montreal a few days prior.

"We're hopeful he could play on this trip, as early as Monday,'' coach Peter Horachek said. "He'll have to wear the cage because of the surgery. You can't risk a direct hit.''

Florida's defensive depth has been receding of late with Alex Petrovic going down with an upper body injury Saturday. Horachek said Petrovic will not be on this road trip. Dylan Olsen (lower body) will not fly to Montreal but could meet the team later on in its travels.

"We're going to let [Petrovic] get some treatment and see where he is,'' Horachek said. "We'll know in the next few days. It's better to have our doctors here look at him.''

-- Winger Jesse Winchester is three weeks removed from injuring his hand blocking a shot in Montreal. He doesn't have a cast on the hand anymore and said he should be back later in the month. Winchester won't be on the trip.



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Tell that Goldie clown to shut up with his 3Bs !!

Still curious to see who sits when Olsen is healthy again. If they did send Olsen down, I guess it wouldn't shock me, considering how you couldn't justify sitting Jovo(considering the money he's making, and he's wearing the "C"), and neither Weaver, Gilbert, or Kulikov are playing poorly enough to warrant benching.

The way I see it, Soup is the only garunteed guy on this defense group that gets TOI if he's healthy enough to breathe, and Guds has just come back from
injury, so I guess Olsen is the odd-man-out.

It's a damn shame, considering how well he and Guds were playing as a pairing. Either way, considering the young core already on the roster(Guds, Olsen, Kulikov)
and the kids in the system(Matheson, Petrovic, McCoshen), I'd say the D-core should be a strength of this club in the near future.

Jovo triumphant return................................special ED!!!

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