August 26, 2008

You Make the Call

Beezer_2 With summer finally coming to a close and training camp just a few weeks away, it's time to honor the top players in Florida Panthers history.

Sure, some of you will say 'George has been watching ESPN again.' And it's true. ESPN is currently running nightly segments picking the top three players in franchise history of major league baseball (for instance, last night was the Philadelphia Phillies. They chose Robin Roberts, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt as the top Phils of all time.)

Here at On Frozen Pond, we don't care about the Phillies (OK, sometimes we do.) But we do care about the Florida Panthers, and would like to get your input on who you believe the best Panthers of all time are.

Bure_2 Listed below are 10 players I selected for the honor; you are allowed to vote for three.

We will unveil the final results at the home opener on Oct. 11, so you have plenty of time to vote. Unlike ESPN, this will be strictly a fan vote. If I don't agree with the top three vote getters, I will say so. But the fan's vote will stick.

I'm sure I left out a player or two the fans feel should be honored. Make sure in the comment section to let me know who is missing. In one month, I'll lop off the bottom three vote getters and replace them with three new names and see where we go.

As always, comments are welcome. Let us know who your top three are and why. Carry on.

June 02, 2008

Time to Crown a Wing?

WingsbannerThere's still a game to be won, but there's a feeling here we're going to see a new Stanley Cup champion crowned in Detroit tonight.

With a win over Pittsburgh tonight, the great city of Detroit will celebrate a Cup champion, the Red Wings' 11th.

Not trying to jinx Detroit, not trying to get too far ahead. This Pittsburgh team is too talented and too good to do that. But the Wings are focused, fired up and ready to go.

Party at Sunrise Quarterdeck tonight, with most of the televisions tuned to the Stanley Cup Final (the others will have the Marlins, FSU baseball and I'm requesting the Indians/Rangers).

Despite all the distractions, I'll be watching the hockey game, one I would bet is the final game of the 2007-08 season.

Where does the time go?

-- If Detroit were to win, who do you like as Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP? Detroit has some great candidates, from Henrik Zetterberg to Johan Franzen to Chris Osgood.

It's Frozen Poll time, AKA Alcoa's You Make the Call (comments always welcomed below)....

May 02, 2008

Here Come the Wings

WingswinYou figured the Colorado Avalanche were going to come out and give Detroit their money's worth in Thursday's Game 4 didn't you? The Wings led the series 3-0, and the Avs had one chance to extend their season.

For a while, it looked like they might. Detroit led 1-0 before the Avs tied it.

Then things got out of control. The Wings scored two more before the end of the first to lead 3-1 at the break, then scored five more before rolling their rivals and leaving Denver on a mile-high roll with an 8-2 win.

On the flip side of the Avs collapse, you have the Rangers. In a similar situation, the Rangers responded by beating the Pens 3-0 to live at least another day. The Pens get to end the deal Sunday at the igloo (I'll be covering the Marlins, but you can watch on NBC-6), and the thought here is they will.

But at least the Rangers showed us a little something, no? The Avs looked beaten and broken, and the Wings looked very championship like. They weren't the best team in the game all season for nothin' folks.

The Wings now get to go back to Motown and rest up a bit, watching tonight's game from San Jose with interest. Got to think the Wings are rooting for the Sharks to win tonight and then force a sixth game in Dallas, one more game meaning a few days fewer days off for the red-hot Stars.

Course, the Stars have won eight of their past nine in San Jose, so things are looking good for them.

Redwingsring You think the Wings have what it takes to win it all? As always, comments are more than welcomed.

Don't you think the league -- and especially the suits at NBC -- would love a Detroit/Pittsburgh finale? Or, if a miracle happens, the Wings-Rangers?

Tomorrow's Montreal-Flyers tilt looms large, and the Habs are going back to Carey Price in net. Coach Guy Charbonneau told the CP that Price -- benched for Montreal's eventual Game 4 loss in Philly -- "deserves a second shot.''

Carbonneau adds "he had time to calm down and refocus and get ready for another long stretch.'' Don't know about this one, you have to think Price's confidence is shot right now. Yet he came back from some pretty bad outings in the Boston series and won that one, one of the reasons I picked to Habs to win this series as well. I thought surviving that experience was only going to make him stronger. We'll see.

April 29, 2008

Too Few are Doing the Fish -- Live from the Joe

Billy Covering the Miami Marlins tonight, and it appears we're going to have another Friends and Family night at the football yard.

Everyone's tired about hearing about the small crowds at Joe Robbie Stadium night after night I'm sure. But there has to be a reason -- or two, or three -- folks down here don't support this team.

You all know the Fighting Fish are a first-place club at the moment, right?

I plan to update this site during the game tonight, and was hoping to get some feedback on why fans -- the ones who live in South Florida -- don't come out to see the Marlins more often. Feel free to vote, for sure, but also leave a comment on why you do -- or don't -- like coming down to Joe Robbie Stadium to watch the team.

-- Crowd filling and settling in here at the Joe but still on the smallish side. The Dodgers, who haven't been in Florida since bailing on Vero Beach back on St. Patrick's Day, getting up and around on Andrew Miller. LADs get a run off three singles to left in the opening inning. In the second, LADs load 'em up with two outs, Matt Kemp singles in a pair to make it 3-0. Jeff Kent follows suit, singling into center to make it 5-0.

And the Marlins get the bullpen going....

-- Speaking of Vero Beach, the Dodgers plan on being in their new digs in Gretzkytown (AKA Glendale, Ariz.) come February. The Indians (2009) and Reds (2010) join the Dodgers out in Arizona, the Ohio teams moving to a new complex in Goodyear.

Last team training in Florida bring the citrus....

-- The Marlins trail 6-1 after a wild pitch, then something truly wild happened: The Mermaids, the team's scantily clad dance troupe, did a routine on the field in which they moved and grooved to Motley Crue's ode to adult clubs, Girls, Girls, Girls

Somewhere, a prepubescent teen asked "Dad, where's the Dollhouse in Fort Lauderdale? And can we go there sometime?'' No son, you can't. But at least we have the Mermaids!

-- Dan Uggla goes deep into the club seats....Marlins trail 6-2 heading to the fourth...

-- The line on Miller: 3 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 62 pitches, 33 strikes

-- Hockey friends Josh Friedman, Craig Minervini and Frank Forte all send their best to Panther fans out there...

-- I'm not watching it obviously, but Pens seem to be taking it to the Rangers at MSG. This would be Pitt's first win at the Garden this season if the Pens hold on. I picked the Rangers to win this series, a move I'm regretting with each passing moment of the series. Had Rangers been able to get that win in Game 1, things might be a bit different. Of course, had I covered hockey in Detroit and not South Florida, I'd be covering playoff hockey and not watching baseball in a football stadium in Miami.

-- Jorge Cantu leads off fourth with a double to center; after Luis Gonzalez singled, Mike Rabelo's sac fly to center makes it a 6-3 LAD lead...

Office -- Speaking of the Mermaids, this is how you celebrate winning some playoff hockey games. I have a buddy who is regional manager of a paper company in Scranton, Pa. Wonder if he goes to any of these games?

-- Going to bottom of fifth, still Vero Beach Dodgers 6, Jupiter Marlins 3

-- Hey hey, here come the Rangers....Nueva York puts up a pair of quick goals in the second period and tie up the Penguins 3-3...

-- And here come the Marlins....Jeremy Hermida drives in two with a broken-bat double to right...Hanley Ramirez (E3) and Dan Uggla (BB) come in, Hermida to third on a throwing error home...Marlins have pulled to within one @ 6-5...

And Jorge Cantu continues his big day...Cantu (profiled by Clark Spencer in today's Miami Herald) is now 3-for-3, his RBI single driving in Hermida and tying this thing at 6...Miller off the hook...

-- Just some great all-out baseball being played here at the Joe...those of you who haven't noticed ("and judging by the attendance, you haven't") are really missing out...

Dan Uggla just went 100 miles per hour and headfirst into the stands to grab a high popup...then, with two outs, Alfredo Amezaga races in to make a great stab and end the inning...just fun times here at the Joe these days...

-- Pens opening it up again, lead two once more...5-3 over the Rangers...

-- Oh, and we're still tied at the Joe @ 6...going to the top of the eighth...

-- Marlins score a touchdown in the eighth -- or at least catcher Mike Rabelo celebrated like he scored off a Dan Marino pass. With two outs in the inning, Mark Sweeney lines a shot into the right field corner...Blake DeWitt comes barreling around third looks to score, but Hermida's throw is right on line to Rabelo...the Marlins first-year catcher makes the catch, turns and gets run over by DeWitt.

Rabelo braced for the hit -- actually turned a shoulder into the hit -- and spiked the baseball (ala Pete Rose or Mark Duper) at home plate.

Good stuff indeed...

Rock the Vote -- Now, New Candidates!

Jacques JM the GM said last week that he would begin formulating his criteria for selecting a new coach of the Florida Panthers this week. Since today is Tuesday, I'm assuming JM has his thoughts in order and is about ready to start looking at good, quality candidates to coach the Panthers for the foreseeable future.

Of course, the new coach will be the 10th coach in the relatively short history of the Florida Panthers. That, kids, is a lot of instability. Consider this: Jacques Martin is the only coach in the history of the Panthers franchise to last three full seasons. Yes, the only one. Not coincidentally, JM is the franchise coaching leader in wins, losses and games.

We'll see if the new guy sticks around long enough to challenge those records.

Flick Anyway, a new feature at On Frozen Pond (stolen from old pal Gregory Cote down the street at is what I like to call the Frozen Poll.

Today's poll surrounds Martin's search for a new coach and who you, the loyal reader of On Frozen Pond, wants to see behind the Panthers bench. With the Sharks teetering on the brink of elimination, I figure Ron Wilson may be available sooner than later so I'm throwing him into the mix.

Vote early, and if you're from Miami-Dade County, feel free to vote often.

This Frozen Poll stays open for an entire month!

-- Folks have been emailing me wondering why they had not heard that Denis Potvin was a coaching candidate. As far as I know, he isn't. I just threw his name out there thinking if he was interested in the gig, the Panthers have to talk to him. But truthfully, I don't know if Denis is interested. He has a pretty good deal going now, and I know he enjoys his way of life.

-- After one full day of voting, here's what we got: Denis Potvin 24 percent; Randy Cunneyworth 22 percent; The Dancing Banana 22 percent; Bob Hartley 11 percent; Doug MacLean 9 percent; Ron Wilson 7 percent; Perry Pearn 6 percent.