There is a hockey game in South Florida tonight, but like the tree falling in the woods with no one to hear it, this one might get pushed to the back page. Just down the road from the Panthers game, there is a college football game taking place that might garner just a tad more attention then the Panthers contest with the Carolina Hurricanes (Go Gators).
The 'Canes currently lead the Cats by 5 points and sit in the 7th seed in the East. The 'Canes are also riding a 4-game winning streak. New-old coach Paul Maurice has gotten his team performing, and is 9-4-3 since his rehiring. Cam Ward has been in goal for Carolina for all 4 of their recent wins, and will provide a solid test for Florida.
Speaking of the Panthers, the Cats have been on a small scoring tear of late (at least, as Panthers scoring tears go). They've averaged 5 goals a game over their past 3 games, of which they won 2 and lost in a shootout in the 3rd. The Cats are also getting offensive contributions from their defense. Panthers' blue liners have combined for 25 goals, which is tied with Nashville for the most goals by defensemen. Tomas Vokoun should be in net, after earning his 200th career win Tuesday in Toronto.
It is a home game for the Panthers, but it'll be interesting to see how many people are actually there, providing a home ice advantage. The Florida Gators are playing the Oklahoma Sooners in Dolphins Stadium tonight, and might steal a few fans... myself being one of them. Having graduated from the U of F, I probably won't be paying too much attention to the Panthers' game. I may watch the first period, then flip over to the big show. Depending on the outcome, I'll get to a post game Panthers report tomorrow, or I might not. Puck drops at 7:30 tonight, although you have to have NHL Center Ice to see it.
Quick side note, congratulations to Jay Bouwmeester for being selected to the 2009 All-Star game. J-Bo is currently 3rd on the team in scoring (6 G, 15 A, 21 P). Good job, Jay, someone had to go, right?