« September 2007 | Main | November 2007 »

35 posts from October 2007

October 31, 2007

Halloween Fun

GoldmanEveryone loves to dress up for Halloween, some going as ghosts and goblins, others going as their favorite Cleveland-loving sportswriter.*

* That's Panther PR dude Brian Goldman doing his best impersonation of a Miami Herald hockey writer not named David J.

The Panthers hope to get a few extra trick-or-treaters tonight because of the crummy weather, and actually, celebrating Halloween at the arena is a pretty good idea. I know two years ago we spent Halloween in Philly, and those fans really go into it. Of course, most of them came minus a mask (oh!)

Hats So, this being Halloween, feel free to send in your best costumes -- or what you are wearing today -- and I'll put them up here. Best costume gets a Panthers baseball cap. Hat month is coming up.

Email me at:

[email protected]

-- Here's Steve's entry; Apparently one of the Knights Who Say Nee Steve

-- Here's Annie; One of the Disney Rock Stars...Anniemontana_2


-- Here's Adam. I think it's Adam. And I have no idea what the costume is supposed to be. Put the lotion in the basket? Adam_2

-- Here's Brian. He's going as a Canadian Mountie. Mountie

-- Here's a completely unrelated bobble head, but one that looks a lot like the mountie (so draw your own conclusions there)....'Eight-hundred 5-8-8, 2-3-hundred, Empiiiiiiire...'


-- Here's FSN producer Mitch Rubenstein as Tie Domi, complete w/ black eye. Mitch

-- Also, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News is here. The Sabres' beat writer is dressed up as a dolphins writer for the Palm Beach Post.Timgraham

That's no costume?

-- Here's Jack and Wrigley posing as Darth and Yoda (I think they get the caps)...Jack1



-- Got a few more photos; here's Devin doing that cross-dressing thing: Devin

-- And here's Rian, live from BAC: Rian

-- Will give others time to send in their pics, so I'll decide the winner at a later date.

-- Coming up Sunday in The Herald's NHL Extra: Topic of the Week is favorite Halloween costume. Guess who was a Smurf as a kid. Or Freddie Krugger. Or Dog the Bounty Hunter. And who went to the Panthers' costume party as a prisoner? In 70s garb (OK, that was Olli Jokinen).

-- Back in Time: Here's what was blogged last Halloween. Seemed like a fun enough blog post...

Youse a Scaredy Cat?Pumpkin

Welch to have Surgery

Defenseman Noah Welch confirmed Wednesday that he would have potentially season-ending shoulder surgery in the coming days.

Welch, a rookie out of Harvard, was injured in a fight earlier this month and suffered a torn labrum. He says the rehab could take between four and six months, meaning his season could be over.

Here's some stuff from Noah:

"It's going to be four to six months…that’s what made it so tough. Mentally, I couldn’t come to terms with that. I had high expectations for the team, for myself. I couldn’t come to grips with losing the season. I’ve lost a lot of sleep over it. But now that I’ve made up my mind, I’ve been OK with it. I’m trying to turn it into a positive.''

“I have no regrets about that fight,’’ he said. “I play a physical game whether I’m sticking up for a teammate or myself. It’s part of the game. I’m not going to go out looking for fights, but everything happens for a reason. I think the next few months of rehab are going to make me a better player.’’

October 30, 2007

Well, Hooray for the Douglases!



Took another day off today, not because I really needed it, but a buddy came into town and wanted to hit the links.

Said friend is Raleigh News-Observer writer Luke DeCock, the man who covers every move the Carolina Hurricanes make.

If you know anything about either of us, then you know it was 18 holes full of movie lines -- most of which were obscure comments from Caddyshack. And Ghostbusters, Fletch, 16 Candles and a few other 1980s comedies.

Good times. And at times, good golf.

At least I laughed (E5).

-- There is some news out of Pantherland however. According to people who were there today, the big shakeups on the lines apparently will carry over into Wednesday's game against Carolina. The new top line: Olli, Nathan and Ville.

-- News out of Rochester; new d-man Jassen Cullimore tells Kevin Oklobzjia of the Democrat-Chronicle he's with the Amerks just to get into game shape. Adds Florida gave him a one-way deal.

"They said they've got a spot in Florida and if things looked good I'd get my chance,'' he said. Again, read between the lines and you have to think Noah Welch is leaning toward getting the surgery. That's just speculation on my part, however, he hasn't told me anything.

-- Drew Larman also has a seperated shoulder, out at least a week.


October 29, 2007

Stewart back to Roch

Coming to you live from Incredible Ice thanks to the magic of my Treo.

FYI, Anthony Stewart sent back to the AHL. Sure he's glad he missed today
marathon session. Practice went for an hour and 15 minutes, then 15 minutes of skate. Fun.

October 28, 2007

Seeing if this works


Posting this from my cellphone thanks to new software from typepad. if it works -- whoa nellie!

we're mobile baby!

-- It works. And I'm as proud as a new father...

-- Those of you wondering what the picture is, well, it's a play on the Stephen Weiss blog at the Panthers website. They had a bunch of pictures with a "9" on them, so I took one myself. And when I file from the Treo, I have to use pictures on the phone itself -- unlike the laptop. So, the photos are limited.

But it's cool to blog mobily. Or dorky. Whatever.

October 27, 2007

Homecoming Kings

HomecomingNASHVILLE -- Welcome to the radio only feed from tonight's Florida-Predators tilt at what used to be known as the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

It's now the Sommet Center, which is definitely less colorful.

Anywho, as many know tonight is like a reunion of sorts.

Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun spent eight seasons with the Predators and will be in net tonight. Vokounnash First time he's played a game here since he was part of the Preds last postseason.

Martin New Nashville forward Martin Gelinas spent the past two seasons with the Panthers, and although he's the cover boy on an otherwise very updated game program, he ain't playing. Hurt his shoulder earlier this week.

As earlier reported, goalie Chris Mason -- who once played for the Cats -- won't be starting tonight. That honor goes to Dan Ellis who ended Nashville's six-game losing streak Thursday by shutting out the Thrashers 3-0.

Will be joining Randy and Billy during the first intermission, so feel free to turn off the radio at that appointed time.

And now, it's almost time for LIVE BLOG!!!!!!

-- Live Blog rhymes with Go Dawgs, doesn't it?

-- In response to email sent in from previous post, yes, I realize the Raiders don't play in Los Angeles anymore. But I still call the Nashville football team the Oilers. You want people to forget their roots? Then dump the powder blue in the team's color scheme. And I still find it offensive that in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Earl Campbell is part of the Tennessee Titans display. Same goes for Johnny Unitas being part of the Indianapolis Colts. Just wrong.

-- Good crowd here in Tennessee tonight. Thinking they are going to hit the 14,000 mark this night at least. Thanks Tomas!

-- Cue up Larry King voice: "If you like country music, Nashville is your place." ... "I like the Spurs to repeat in the NBA this season.'' ... "If there's ever been a show better than 'Mad About You,' I don't know what it is.''

Badburger -- Hardees is the official hamburger of the Predators. Have you ever seen some of these caloric, gastrointestinal monstrosities? You would think the arena would be sponsored by an insurance company -- or at least a cardiologist -- instead of a computer company.

-- Hello, Goldie....

-- The fans here do the "sucks" after each player is introduced (and at forward, No. 75 George Richards -- SUCKS!) but loudly cheered Vokoun.

-- Fang Fingers is Nashville's version of Hook 'em Horns...

-- Internet trouble, back on...

-- Panthers kill off four minute penalty; Kamil Kreps high stick.

-- Panthers get a penalty shot; Olli and Stumpel fighting for puck, Greg Zanon covered up puck in the crease; basically sat on it...


-- Former Nashville winger Ville Peltonen called for penalty; Panthers on penalty kill

-- Zednik takes puck or stick to the face...being treated on the bench

-- Rocky Top will always be, home sweet home to G...big cheer goes up as scoreboard shows UT score: Tennessee leads South Spurriers 7-0 in first...


-- I'm going on radio!



Those of you not watching tonight aren't missing much...zzzzzzzzzzzzz


-- Bo back in the box with 25 seconds left..dude was tripping!


-- They have a contest here where winner gets $50 worth of Jack and the Box food. I don't think I have to add anything here.

Fun in Music City

Nashville3NASHVILLE -- Greetings from Nashtown, a cool town despite all the L.A. Raider fans who have invaded the city for tomorrow's game between the Oilers and Raiders.

Actually, the Predators hope all the Raider fans buy some hockey tickets and help the team get over 14,000 paid for tonight. As many of you know, if the team doesn't average that number this season, they can break their lease and head to Kansas City. Or Las Vegas. Wherever.

As far as tonight's game goes, got to think it's a big one for the visiting Panthers. Coming off a tough loss to Buffalo, a game they coulda, shoulda won. Yep, broken record time.

Be very interesting to see how this team comes out. They have a built in excuse about the late travel and all that. But the Panthers are better than this Nashville team.

Let's see if the Panthers use the excuse or come out and take the game to the Predators and get out of here with a win.

Nashville1 And, yes, this could be the last time Florida plays a hockey game here. Sad. I really like this town. Hope the Preds stay.

-- At least half of the Tomas Vokoun homecoming deal won't play tonight: Nashville is going with Dan Ellis in goal instead of former Florida farmhand -- and Vokoun replacement -- Chris Mason.

Will update Florida's choice in goal once we speak with JM at 6:45 Miami time.

-- Thanks for all who emailed. Yes, I know, UBuffalo beat Akron today. Seriously, thanks for the updates. Clowns.

October 26, 2007

Buffalo Hot Wings in Town

WingchicaNothing beats a plate of good, authentic Buffalo-style chicken wings, except for maybe a good hockey game.

Those of you watching tonight's game from somewhere other than the Ikea Overflow Parking Arena in Sunrise can get the best of both worlds.

If this was my call, I'd head over to Rickey's in Pines or Hollywood to watch the game; or Uncle Al's in The Coop; or Gabriel's Gate in Buffalo.

Should be a fun one tonight. These two usually give a good show, and I don't think the Panthers are buying the 'woe-is-us' bologna coming out of Buffalo. Sure they're struggling right now, but there's still some fire on this team. It just hasn't come out yet.

Reggie_2 -- After sucking down a few dozen wings, you may be in the mood to go light tomorrow. Well, pal, swing on over to McDonald's and try the side salad on the dollar menu. I didn't even know they offered a salad for a dollar, did you? Anyway, had one today, completely worth the buck-six. Lots of greens, some spinach, carrots, grape tomatoes and dressing from Reggie Dunlap himself. Yes, all for $1.06 (more in Canada, but why?)

-- Line of the day comes from Jacques Martin. Asked him about Branislav Mezei mixing it up Wednesday in defense of his teammates. JM brought up that Mezei has fought in the past, and I forgot he threw down with Buffalo's Nathan Paetsch last year. Anyway, JM says it was good to see Mezei show some aggression.

"He has a long fuse, maybe a little too long,'' JM said. "But when he gets mad, he's a bull. He's got tremendous strength.''

-- One thing I just thought of. Jassen Cullimore is now the second member of the Panthers organization to get a Stanley Cup ring from the 2004 Lightning. The other: FSN producer Mitch Rubenstein.

Mnf -- Speaking of Mitch, those of you catching the game at home need to check out Goldie's suit. It's the same color gold as those old ABC Sports/Monday Night Football coats.

-- Team is honoring Olli for his most recent accomplishments. Heard the ceremony during the dry-run (seriously!). Olli and his family is getting the VIP treatment at Walt Disney World, complete with luxury hotel and a personal tour guide all compliments of the Panthers.  Also gets framed lineup card from game when he played in 301st consecutive goal to set franchise record. Record setting pucks are also in the frame.

-- Are you ready for some football?!

-- Scratched tonight: Anthony Stewart.

-- Just spoke to Rostislav Olesz, says all is well. Has a cast on his right wrist, says that may come off next week. He already is chomping at the bit, ready to play. Once the drugs wore off, though. "I slept until 3 today,'' he said with a grin. "Those pills are powerful.'' Relax folks; he was prescribed the medicine.

-- Sabres stay in room for Jokinen tribute.


-- The Panthers now have someone banging the rally drum, just like John Adams in Cleveland...

-- Panthers on penalty kill, now a 5-on-3 affair for next 1:19...Soup and McLean in the bin...


-- Big game in the MAC tomorrow; the improved Buffalo Bulls vs. YOUR Akron Zips...I'm serious, it's a big game....

-- Of course, AK did lose to Temple...

-- And that means nothing tomorrow! The fate of the MAC East hangs in the balance!

-- Back to hockey; Bills outshooting Dolphins 11-4, 6:45 left in the first quarter...

-- Cats back on the power play...


-- Sebastian the Ibis in the house...

-- Panthers on the power play...


Cullimore a Cat

Cullimore2The Panthers added some defensive help Friday, signing veteran Jassen Cullimore to a one-year deal.

The stay-home defenseman is expected to spend the next few weeks with AHL Rochester to get back into playing shape. The 35-year-old Cullimore won a Cup with the Bolts, spent last season with Chicago and was in camp this summer with the Red Wings.

This signing leads one to believe that Noah Welch is going to opt for surgery on his torn labrum and be out until at least March. Welch said he was going to wait until this weekend to make the decision, but the thought here is the decision has been made.

According to a release sent out by the Panthers, Cullimore has played in 643  games with Vancouver (1994-97), Montreal (97-98), Tampa (98-2004) and Chicago (06-07).

-- Don't forget our NHL Extra page needs your help! Need you all to keep sending in questions of your favorite Panther player or coach. It's pretty easy! Just send me the name of the player and the question you want asked. Then, I ask it and run it in Sunday's paper.

See, it's easy.

Anyway, send said question to me at:

[email protected]

The past four questions have been very good, very solid. I'm getting spoiled. So send me more!

-- Update on injuries: David Booth (neck) and Mike Van Ryn (knee) appear to be back in the fold (Booth for sure, MVR pretty close). Rostislav Olesz had one of those 'successful' surgeries, and will be out four to six weeks. JM didn't know if Olesz was in a cast or not, but we'll see him tonight and find out.

October 24, 2007

Cheese Wit'

CheesesteakLove a good cheesesteak as much as the next fella, but you aren't going to find one at the Panthers arena/Ikea parking lot near the Tamarac border.

Empty seats? Yes. Ikea trolleys? Yep. Cheesesteak?  No.

Sure, people will say 'G you could go to Miami Scrubs and get a Philly cheesesteak.' And I will tell them 'sure, I could.'

Anyway, no reason for this blog entry except to let folks know that if they stayed home because they were worried about being crowded, well, don't. Come on down. Just a few minutes 'til the puck is dropped and you can have your pick of entire sections. Like 427 for instance, or 432-434 and 401-412 and ... OK, you can enjoy the entire upper deck if that's your wish.

And if you can find a decent cheesesteak, go ahead and smuggle it in.

-- No major changes in the lineup tonight. In a rare case, the Panthers are facing a team's starting goalie instead of the backup. Flyers are starting Martin Biron tonight, then going with Antero 'Ray' Niittymaki tomorrow in 'Hockey Bay USA.'

-- Hockey Bay, of course, is near Green Bay.

Boulerice -- Scratches for the Flyers: Steve Downie and Jesse Boulerice. Don't know what their injuries are....

-- Speaking of suspensions....For some reason we have Channel 7's Deco Drive on a television in the press box. What is up with these people? And I mean the people on TV, not running the press box. I enjoy having the remote as anyone else...seriously, people watch this stuff?

-- The lines: Olli-Zed-Stump; Weiss-Horts-Pelts; McLean-Soup-Stewie; Kreps-Dvo-Meyer

-- Olli sets franchise points mark, ties goals mark @ 2:35 of first period -- FLA 1, PHL 0

-- The Ice Dancers have a calender coming out, shot in the Bahamas. And where was I?

-- Olli all alone as Panthers' all-time goals leader @ 8:56 of first period -- FLA 2, PHL 0

-- Olli at home this season: 4* games, 4 goals, 3 assists, minus-1.

-- Olli on road this season: 5 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, minus-2.

-- Bill 'Mad Guitar' Murphy just introduced Olli as the team's all-time goal leader. Nice ovation from those here...


-- Stats of the period: Steve Montador, five shifts, 3:28;

-- Faceoffs won: FLA 68 percent (a big change from Ottawa where the Sens won 78 percent); Of FLA's 13 shots, Olli has five (and is 2 of 5 with 2 RBI and a run scored).

-- Next month is hat month! Free hats at every November game. That's pretty big in my hat-wearing opinion.

-- More rankings: Yahoo! has the Panthers 25th in their power poll. Might go up if FLA can win this one tonight. And they desperately need to win this one tonight.


-- Oh look, the World Series is about to start. Ughhhhhh....

-- Panthers power play, sponsored by a motorcycle dude, just broke down. Four minutes, a few chances, sure...no goals.

-- Globetrotters coming to town. In March. Ads on scoreboard now. "Hey hon, I think we should buy tickets for the Globetrotters. I know they aren't coming for a few months, but you never know. We need to buy tickets today!''

Jeffrey "I know it's spelled Joffrey but still don't know why" Lupul scores on the power play at 9:35; FLA 2, PHL 1

Pretty goal by Jeff Carter, beats Murphy and Montador at 11:10 of second; FLA 2, PHL 2

Gregory Campbell cans one, sends a shot that dribbles through at 14:16; FLA 3, PHL 2


Soup does it again; Campbell with first two-goal week of career much less game; at 1:59 of 3rd: FLA 4, Phillies 2

Lassie Kukkonen 'for Cocoa Puffs' scores for the Phantoms at 12:46 of the third; FLA 4, PHL 3

Rumor has it, Miami's Sebastian the Ibis is going to do the Soulja Boy here Friday night...

Panthers win, good night from Sunrise. Buckle up everyone and drive careful....

Beaten and Bruised

MashThink losing two straight and five of their first eight is bad?

Now the Panthers have to deal with the injury bug.

JM said today that Rostislav Olesz -- whose two goals is (seriously) tied for second on this offensively challenged team -- will need surgery on his injured right wrist/hand. Says there's a fractured bone, won't know how long he's out until he goes under the knife.

Got to think we're talking a month, bare minimum. Will talk to Rusty later today and see what he's thinking.

Also, sounds like Noah Welch is leaning toward doing the shoulder surgery, so he's out until March. Talked to him today, and it seems he doesn't want to rehab for a month, then get checked and wreck the shoulder again and then be forced into season-ending surgery. If he has surgery now, he'll be back for the final push. He's agonizing over the decision, says he'll let us know as the week goes on.

Also, Mike Van Ryn says his strained MCL isn't a big deal, but they are going to be cautious. MVR joins us in the booth tonight, Steve Montador in the lineup as the sixth d-man.

In the good news department, David Booth rejoined his teammates on the ice today and went through a full practice. He won't play tonight, but he's good to go he says; expect him back Friday against Buffalo.

October 23, 2007

Yes, Cats Golf Too

PinkpantherLazy man taking another day off so I don't have many updates from this mornings practice.

But I do have this:

The Panthers have announced their first charity golf tournament, scheduled for Jan. 14 at Weston Hills CC (it's in Weston). Cost is $400 per player or $1,500 per foursome. The entire Panthers team is going to be out there playing, with the thought that each team will get a Panther, a coach or maybe even Goldie.

Included in the price: Great food, a goodie bag and two tickets on the club level to a game.

"Our Inaugural Golf Classic is a great way for fans to interact with out players while playing one of South Florida's most prestigious golf courses,'' said Florida Panthers Foundation executive director Alaina Miller.

Sounds like a fun time.

-- The Panthers are bringing back their mystery puck night later this week against Buffalo. The deal: The team has 150 pucks for sale @ $25, each one signed by a member of the team. Five of them are signed in gold and brings what is called a "fabulous prize" Well alright! Again, all moneys goes to charity (I like good causes).

October 22, 2007

Sad Day in C-Town

Chief Say what you will about the Cleveland Indians mascot, but nothing ever seems to get Chief Wahoo down.

He's always smiling.

Unlike many who are Cleveland fans today.

See, I've been an Indians fan since I was a little kid, my grandfather taking me to games at Cleveland Muni when I would come up from Miami to visit. Used to love going to Muni, and I remember walking up and buying tickets at the gate Clevelandmuni and being one of about, oh, 4,553 in the stands on a Thursday night when Oakland was in town. Seriously, crowds at Indians games would make the Marlins look good.

Anyway, being a Cleveland fan, I was expecting this collapse. I was. I knew it was coming. I knew there was no way Josh Beckett was getting beat in Game 5, so the series rested on Game 6. Because the Tribe was not going to win a Game 7. And so it goes. Cleveland gets roughed up early in Game 6, and that's all she wrote.

So, there's always next year. This is a good young team one I hope isn't too scarred from the Beantown meltdown. Been getting some emails from folks in the past 12 hours, so feel feel to let me have it in the comment section or just leave something nice. But I'm cool with it.

Because I was expecting it.

Go Tribe.

-- Only a couple more months until Spring Training! Last season for the Indians in Winter Haven before they pack up and head back to Arizona. Sucks. Speaking of sucking, this is the last spring for the Dodgers in Vero Beach too. They're going to AZ as well.

If you've never been to a game at Dodgertown, seriously, make your plans right now. You have to go there. Get there real early, too. Take in the entire Dodgertown experience. I'm thinking of doing a combination Dodgertown/Winter Haven trip this spring, Panthers or no.

Minniedriver -- Speaking of time off, I'm not working today. Mr. FIU -- Pete Pelegrin -- covers the team today as I hit the links to release some frustration with my good old buddy Mr. Driver (he's not related to Minnie).

-- Panthers ranked 25th out of 30 NHL teams in the most recent TSN power rankings. Seems about right, to be brutally honest. This continues to be a very inconsistent team and needs to figure some things out.

October 21, 2007

David Booth Update

Booth_2Word out of One Panther Parkway is that all is well with the young Mr. Booth, and his scheduled MRI is now not needed.

According to spokesman Justin Copertino, Booth flew home with the team last night and met with team trainer Curtis Bell today. All seems fine. David is hurting a bit, understandable, and is wearing a precautionary neck brace.

Booth will not practice Monday at the Ice (10:30 a.m., open to public) and isn't expected back until later in the week. So it's good news: no permanent damage, just some soreness. "Kind of like he was in a car wreck,'' Copertino said. Yep, that's about what it looked like last night.

(*) David Shantz was sent back to Rochester; not a surprise by any means. Seems like the youngster had a good time in his time up with the team, and got some NHL money. Not a bad couple days for the Shantzer.

(*) Good deal for you hockey fans: The Panthers are running a special this week. Buy a ticket to see either the Flyers or Sabres this week, get a ticket to see the Hurricanes (not the ones who beat FSU yesterday but the ones from Carolina who lifted the name and came up with a goofy logo) on Halloween night. Pretty good deal. Also, if you go to Miami Scrubs and buy one of their meal deals, you get a free ticket to one of the two upcoming games against the Carolina Fauxcanes.


October 20, 2007

Booth Hurt; Taken to Hospital (UPDATE, 9:01)

-- Booth has been taken to the Ottawa Civic Hospital, said to be alert and moving around. The Panthers are optimistic doctors at the hospital will release him and he'll be able to make the charter flight home. REST BELOW

Panthers forward David Booth was hurt in the second period of Saturday's game against the host Ottawa Senators after being thrown head-first into the boards by Anton Volchenkov.

Booth, a second-year winger from Michigan State, spent 10 minutes on the ice and had to be taken off by stretcher.

Booth was attended to by Ottawa team physician Dr. Don Chow.

The hit by Volchenkov may have been in retaliation for a similar hit just moments earlier. There, Florida defenseman Branislav Mezei sent Nick Foligno into the boards. Foligno had to be helped off the ice; according to an Ottawa spokesperson, Foligno has a neck strain and will not return to the game.

Volchenkov was assessed a penalty for boarding and was ejected from the game.

Updates as they become available.

Update from Omaha

Remember, this is your No. 1 source for serious -- no goofing around, no getting off track -- news regarding the Florida Panthers professional hockey team.

That said, there is an update on tonight's game.

In goal for the Panthers: Tomas Vokoun. Out at winger for the Panthers: Rostislav Olesz (hand). In as winger for the Panthers: Steve Montador.

Updates when needed.

Oh yes, Miami trailing FSU 29-24 at the current moment....Kyle Wright out of the game, Kirby Freeman behind center...

-- Starting line (and I am being totally serious, I swear): Brett McLean, Gregory Campbell AND Nathan Horton.

-- Second shift, things are back to normal: Olli/Pelts/Zed; Weiss/Horts/Booth; Stump/Monty/Dvo; McLean/Soup/Stewie

-- Uh-oh: Canes score....

-- Uh-oh Jr.: Canes score again.....37-29 MIA

-- Canes snap their two-game losing streak, upend the Noles in Tally....

-- Nice job by Joe Z today...couldn't watch game, so listened in...


-- Actually, Montador hasn't played yet. Only dude -- save for Craig Anderson -- who hasn't hit the ice.

The Pen is Mightier for $500, Alex

Jeopard_2 Somewhere near OTTAWA, CANADA -- Question time.

If you are ever on a game show, and are asked "please name the capital of Canada," take a deep breath and think.

Toronto, of course, first comes to mind. The area known as 'T.O.' or 'G.T.A.' is the Centre of Canada, but it is not the capital.

Montreal is a popular guess, sure. It's the home to Youppi! and the Argonauts -- ha! I know the name of Montreal's hockey team is 'Alouettes.'

But Montreal isn't even the capital of Quebec. That would be Quebec City, home of the Nordiques.

No, the actual capital of Canada is....


Good luck on that game show.

PS: The Panthers play in OTTAWA tonight.

PPS: Before anyone emails me, G.T.A. means Greater Toronto Area and T.O. stands for Terrell Owens.

It's Hockey Night. And we're in Canada!

MountieKANATA, Ontario -- Greetings from the Magic City where Hockey Night in Canada is here to broadcast tonight's Sens-Panthers tilt not across the country, but at least across town.

Apparently the Maple Leafs are a staple of Canadian Saturday nights, so they get preference over the lowly defending Eastern Conference champs and their homely opponents from the swamplands.

But there isn't much more Canadian than Hockey Night In Canada, and I'm excited to be part of it.  Well, this might be more Canadian: Timmies

But it's close.

Anyway, there is some news to share with those of you who actually get to watch the Miami-FSU game today (for me, it's Joe Z., Don Bailey II and Da Beast).

-- Tomas Vokoun looked fine in net today, dude's starting. David Shantz is still up and did some extra work after practice, and don't know when he's heading back. Not betting 'The Shantzer' will be on the southbound charter tonight.

-- Rostislav Olesz did nothing in practice today, with Steve Montador taking his place on the third line. JM mumbled that Olesz was fine, but I'm thinking he only did that because all the Ottawa reporters were gathered around. If I'm still betting, I put money that Montador is in the lineup tonight leaving Uncle Rusty free to bring me some popcorn in the press box.

Talked to both players today; Olesz says he hurt his right hand in the Toronto game, and hopes to be able to play. Monty said it's a gametime decision whether he plays tonight, but says he's ready and excited to play with Stumpel and Dvorak. Of course, he added "I'll play anywhere they want me too.''

-- This is pretty Canadian: Molson

-- Speaking of all things Canadian, bought a maple syrup lollypop last night. Yes, I'm serious. It looked pretty good, in fact, still does. Holding off on it though. Hope it gets through customs.

-- Also finally found Diet Dr. Pepper at the Toronto Westin the other day. The Rexall Drugs sells it too. Jackpot!

-- Speaking of news, Ray Emery starts in net tonight for the Congressmen. Emery has had wrist problems and makes his first start of the season. Martin "Don't Call Me Baby" Gerber is 6-1* in net for the State Representatives so far this season.

(*) Good catch Captain Chaos Domdedomdom

-- I know Jim Carrey is Canadian, but didn't know he spoke French. On TV right now (instead of a college football game with any sort of redeeming value): The Truman Show. In French. Learning some new words. It's this or Miami of Ohio vs. Temple.

Sure you'd take the French Truman Show too.

Bon Jour!

Hockeynight-- Seriously, it's a bad year for MIAMI football. The Hurricanes have lost two straight to below-average teams, the Dolphins might not be able to beat a CFL team, and the Miami University Redhawks from Oxford OH trail Temple (TEMPLE!) by 14.

Guess we all have to start rooting for the Northwestern HS Bulls.

-- Got a couple of emails regarding the top picture of the Canadian Mountie. Here are some answers: It's a bobblehead we found in a side store last night in the Ottawa market area; no, it's not the guy who covers the team for the Palm Beach Post, although I now see the resemblance; I do not know what a Texas county mountie is doing in Arkansas.

If you understand that last line, you are a true fan of 1970s kitsch.


October 18, 2007

Back in Time

BacktofutureTORONTO -- Ten years ago today, the Panthers suited up for a game against the Rangers.

Game was played in the old Miami Arena. Florida had a goalie wearing No. 34 in net. Name: John Vanbiesbrouck.

Thursday, for the first time since Beezer left the Panthers, Florida had a goalie wearing No. 34: Rookie David Shantz.

New nickname: The Shantzer...

ATTENTION ESPN: Found someone who mangled the Star-Spangled Banner almost as badly as Carl Lewis did back in the day. Lady in Toronto belted out her version of the anthem. Not good. Apparently she won a contest to do the anthems, only didn't bother to tell anyone she didn't know the words. Butchered the song, skipping entire lines. Then she went to her cheat sheet and finished strong.

Roseanne As one Canadian writer quipped, "if this had been in reverse, people here would be going nuts. Front page story across the country.''

She actually did a nice job on O! Canada. So it all worked out OK in the end.

-- Lots of empty seats in the lower bowl of the Air Canada Center. Looks like hockey is in big trouble in this market. Move the team to Nevada!

-- Panthers lead 2-0 going into the second; Rostislav Olesz and David Booth with the goals.

-- Best radio guys in the business, Randy Moller and Bill Lindsay tuned their spare TV into the ALCS. Bless them. And bless slow Manny Ramirez too. 1-0 Red Sox going B1....

-- Mapled Leaves score 24 seconds into the second. It's 2-1 Kitties....

Raptors_2 -- Speaking of hospitality, thanks to Blair for showing me a good time at last night's Raptors game. Toronto's NBA team played a pro team from Lithuania, and I actually enjoyed it. A private box helps one enjoy just about anything. Goldie seemed to have a good time too....

-- Maple Leafs score, it's tied at 2...

-- Panthers do a great job of killing off a penalty...Toronto thrashes FLA with shots, with Mezei breaking his stick and McLean being forced to skate a two minute shift without a skate. Exhusted, the Panthers finally clear...would have been a big goal for Toronto, alas, NO SOUP FOR YOU.


-- Tribe tied things up, it's 1-1...


Need to unplug, go back on batteries (left charger in Sunrise)....enjoy the rest of the game...Tell Goldie and Denis I said hello....

Vokoun Out

TomasTORONTO -- Goalie Tomas Vokoun will miss at least Thursday's start against the Maple Leafs with a sprained right ankle suffered in Tuesday's win at Montreal.

Vokoun says it's nothing to worry about, and that he should be back by Friday's practice in Ottawa.

"I twisted my ankle a little. It's a mild sprain,'' he said. "It was pretty sore yesterday and it's way better today. I hope to skate tomorrow and be back Saturday.''

Also: "It's always disappointing when you can't play. I haven't skated, so I don't know how it's going to feel doing the stuff I need to do on the ice. You don't want to go out there and make it worse. Instead of missing two days, you can miss two weeks. This is what the trainers want me to do. As a player you want to play no matter what, but it's good to take their advice. If it means missing one game, don't take the chance. The ankle isn't as strong as it should be and it could get worse.''

Read the rest of the story at MiamiHerald.com: VOKOUN HURT

-- Craig Anderson starts tonight, his second start of the season. Says JM told him he was going to start after Wednesday's practice.

"Anytime you know in advance, you can do the extra steps to get ready,'' Anderson said. "Confidence is a funny thing. It comes and goes. You just try to stay even. Don't want to get too high, don't want to get too low if you have a bad game.''

-- David Shantz gets an opportunity to get his name on an NHL scoresheet for the first time, called up from Rochester to be the backup. He's not expecting to play tonight, and not expected to be up for long. That doesn't mean it's not a thrill for him. Shantz came up direct from Manitoba; he was the loser in a 7-1 decision last night, but says his time in Rochester -- aside from last night, of course -- has been beneficial.

"Last night we played in Manitoba, and it wasn't the greatest game, but then I got the word to come up here,'' said Shantz, a second-year pro who played in Estero for the Everblades last season. "I'm pretty excited. This is an opportunity. You put in so much work on the ice and off the ice for a chance like this. It's an opportunity for the organization to know what kind of a goaltender I am. I have to savor every moment.''

He later added the jump from ECHL to AHL was substantial, but his adjustment was OK. "It's a difference in style of play,'' he said.