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Nothing New to See Here, Please Remain Calm ... Saturday: Florida Panthers @ New York Islanders

Baconanimalhouse TERMINAL 1, FORT LAUDERDALE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT NEAR HOLLYWOOD BUT QUITE POSSIBLY IN DANIA BEACH, FLA. -- Sitting around the JetBlue counter waiting on my flight to Nueva York for the big hockey game that's going down tomorrow on Long Island.

Pete DeBoer made it clear he's going to stress how important a win over the lowly Islanders is. He will remind them of the last time they were there, when Tomas Vokoun got mad and Nathan Horton scored a late goal in what became a 4-2 loss. That, you may recall, was the last of Florida's four-game losing streak.

Boy, have the Cats turned things around since then.

Since losing to the Palm Isles, Florida has gone 7-1-3, the seven wins second most in a January in franchise history.

-- Don't know if you noticed, but Florida is 3-for-3 in penalty shots this season. Pretty impressive, eh? More impressive is that all three have come within a 19-day span. Some teams don't get a penalty shot in a season. Florida fans have seeen three in less than a month. And all three have come at the Billboard in Sunrise.

-- In the 'If You Send It, I Will Post It' Department comes a press release from loyal reader Charlie Flowers of Hollywood by way of his sister (another loyal reader and critic of OFP). Enjoy. Or not. Whatever.

Ballard receives second award in as many days for Being Gangsta

Jan. 29, 2009

Ballard2 HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Fresh off his win Tuesday for the Re-naugural Charlie Flowers Memorial Award Trophy for Being Gangsta, Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard has been formally bequeathed the Charlie Flowers Memorial Distinguished Service Cross in Service to the Concept of Being Gangsta, Charlie Flowers announced Thursday evening.

"While many Panthers have distinguished themselves on the ice this year, none has done so in such a manner that exemplifies the qualities of Being Gangsta so much as Keith Ballard," Flowers said. "To paraphrase Jeru the Damaja of the Gang Starr Foundation, 'he dictates the flow of play like Fidel does his nation.'"

Flowers continued: "Beyond his contributions to the spirit of gangstrosity on the ice, Ballard further provides a much-needed role model to those wack kids Worrell2 wandering the halls of BankAtlantic Center dancing with their shirts off."

The recipient of the Inaugural Charlie Flowers Memorial Award Trophy for Being Gangsta was Peter Worrell, whose singular triumphs in the field of gangstronomy necessitate that Worrell holds the position in perpetuity, thus leading to the creation on Tuesday of the Re-naugural title.