Wake me when the break is over.

Thoughts While We Break For The All-Star Weekend

As we enter the All-Star break with no games until Tuesday January 31st for some teams and Wednesday February 1st for the Florida Panthers, here’s a few random thoughts to think about while we wait……impatiently for the season to resume:

* The Florida Panthers are in seventh place in the Southeastern Conference.  Having held first place in the division for 57 consecutive days was a major accomplishment.  We’re still in the race.

* Kris Versteeg is on pace for 32 goals and 41 assists totaling 73 points.  Tell me you wouldn’t be happy about that.

* The acquisition of Brian Campbell was one of the best moves that Dale Tallon has made.  And not once has anyone complained about his salary.

* After being brought along very slowly, Erik Gudbranson is beginning to show why he was drafted third overall in 2010.  Dave mentioned at our watch party the other night that more and more the noise you hear is Big G checking someone in the corner.

* Jose Theodore has played significantly better than you thought he would.  Admit it.

* Alexander Ovechkin was suspended for his hit on Zybnek Michalek, and has decided not to go to the All-Star game.  I’m ok with that.

* James Neal takes Ovechkin’s place and this makes staff writer Paige Lewis very happy!

* As much as I don’t really care for Sidney Crosby, he’s good for the game.  I hope he can play again.

* Not to get political, but Tim Thomas not going to the White House with his team?  Not a good move.  At all.

* Mike Keenan, Bob Hartley, Marc Crawford, Craig MacTavish.  All former coaches that I’m pretty sure speak French.  Just sayin’.

* The best all around player in the NHL is Jonathan Toews.  The way he plays and the way he leads the Blackhawks is an example of what a true captain is.  If your team has a player that’s even close to that, you’re lucky.  A leader/captain is given that “C” for leadership on and off the ice.  Toews exemplifies that role nightly.

* Why do we have so many concussed players?  Is the game too fast, is the equipment too big/hard?  Have players become reckless?

* My guess is that teams looking to improve for the playoff push will focus on defencemen.  Wonder how many blue liners change teams by the deadline.

* The Panthers play Washington four times and Winnipeg three before the season is over.  14 potential points to grab.  That will determine our position in the standings.

* The Panthers have 34 games remaining.  In order to reach 95 points which is usually the benchmark for a playoff position, they will have to win 20 games.  Not unreasonable.

* Finally, what will you do during the break?  Vote on our poll which is located down on the right.

Thanks for reading.

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Follow the Rat Pack on Twitter: me @TheRatTrick , David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Josh Luecht@joshluecht, Patrick McLaughlin @PatrickRattrick, Scott Mullin @GreatScottsman, David Rodriguez @davidbub_2, Paige Lewis @peejlewiz Gabby Kiger @gabbykiger, and Adam Reid @AdamReidAlso, please join our Facebook Fan Page and hit the like button, send us photos, and make some comments.

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Tags: Alex Ovechkin Misses All Star Game All Star Break Concussions In Hockey Florida Panthers James Neal Named To All Star Team Kris Versteeg Sidney Crosby

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