Here are tonight’s probable lineup’s:
Tonight’s game is the first of back to back for Ottawa as they come in with a 5-2-2 record good enough for second place in the Northeast Division. They are 2-0-2 in their last four games. Ottawa is led by captain Daniel Alfredsson who has 12 points and gritty center Mike Fisher who has started out the season with 9 as he looks to improve on last year’s off year of 32 points. Ottawa is doing this all with out any goals from enigmatic center Jason Spezza and no goals from Jonathan Cheechoo. Jonathan who happens to be one of my favorite NHL ‘ers came over along with Milan Michalek in the Dany Heatley trade. Jonathan who happens to have one of the coolest names around, hails from a town with an equally cool name of Moose Factory, Ontario. Since both Spezza and Cheechoo have no goals look for them to get their first tonight as that usually happens here in South Florida.
The Panthers are coming off a terrible weekend on the road. Losing in Pittsburgh and getting the crap beaten out of them in Philly. They will be without forward and penatly killing specialist Radek Dvorak who has a knee injury after being hit by Flyer Darrell Powe. The Panthers will also be without winger David Booth who met a freight train called Mike Richards Saturday. It is not known excatly how long Booth will be out, while Dvorak is expected to miss about 4 weeks.
For reinforcement’s the Panthers have called up Michal Repik and Kenndal McArdle to take the roster spots. It will be interesting to see the Panthers game plan for tonight and see what their response is from Saturday night’s ass kicking. Much of the talk around town is the lack of toughness and lack of emotion that they showed, especially after Booth was clobbered by Richards. Here’s the Sun-Sentinel’s Steve Gorten with more on that.
For tonight to be a success the Panthers have to play a full 60 minutes, play the body and finish their checks. Ottawa posseses some very gifted goal scorer’s and this game can get away from us really fast. Forget about the weekend, move forward and basically start over. The past is the past.
And if they are skating around thinking of that and feeling sorry for themselves, the “train” will fall off the rails.
Stat of note: Ottawa is 12-3 in South Florida over the last 15 games.
Thanks for reading.