Thursday, February 5, 2009

Game Night!

Well that didn't go so well. That whole off-night scoreboard watching thing kind of back fired. The Penguins came back from a 2-goal deficit to defeat the Lightning in OT and Buffalo blew out the Leafs, 5-0. So now the Panthers sit just 1 point ahead of Carolina and Pittsburgh, and 3 points back of 7th seed Buffalo. Let's just focus on winning our own games, shall we?

The Panthers take the ice tonight against the New York Islanders. These two teams met just last Saturday, the Isles skating to a 3-1 win. That win was just the start for the recently streaking Islanders, who have won 3 games since the win over the Panthers, and come into tonight looking for an impressive 5th straight victory. New York goaltender Yann Denis should get a lot of credit, as he has allowed just one goal in 3 games of the 4 game streak, and has save percentage of .952 during the same stretch. Florida will have to do a better job of getting traffic in front of Denis is they want to beat him.

Good news for the Cats. David Booth and Tomas Vokoun have overcome the flu and should be on the ice tonight. Booth's return will be especially welcome, as Florida has looked a little lethargic, at times, without it's most aggressive and quickest forechecker the past 2 games. “We’re a forechecking, puck pressure team and nobody closes on people faster than David Booth,” DeBoer said. “His speed out there is something we miss and he’s a welcome addition back.” Unfortunately, Booth's return means one less roster spot, and personal favorite Nick Tarnasky will sit out tonight. Never-the-less, I'm expecting a solid effort tonight. There will be no surprise factor, as Florida saw what the Islanders can do if given a chance. They are at home with something to prove and playoff position to maintain. I'm lookin' forward to it, for sure. Puck drops at 7:30.

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