Greetings! From everyone here at The Rat Trick (there are like three of us by the way….it was a lame christmas party) we hope you all had the most magnificent Christmas ever! And if you have found your way here because you are desperately searching for a moments reprieve from you relatives who somehow got it into their head that it would be cool for them to spend a full week at you house, then you have come to the right spot, because we’re gearing up to talk about some hockey…holidays be damned!
Here is the latest from the Panthers-verse:
- Tim Thomas aside, the Panthers have been a relatively healthy bunch this season. Unfortunately things took a sour turn last week as the Panthers lost Erik Gudbranson and Scottie Upshall in rapid succession. Gudbranson will miss about 2-3 weeks after undergoing orbital bone surgery. All we know about Upshall right now is that he sustained an upper-body injury in the Panthers 6-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday. I’m sure we will hear more when the NHL gets going again on Friday.
- The news has not been all bad as Tim Thomas has been reactivated off Injured Reserve. He could be in net Saturday when the Panthers face the Red Wings.
- The Panthers have sent D Alex Petrovic and G Jacob Markstrom back to the minors where they will pick back up with the San Antonio Rampage. Petrovic, 21, filled in for Gudbranson during the Panthers 6-1 loss to the Lightning. If Petro remains in San Antonio Mike Mottau or Ryan Whitney could jump into the Panthers lineup, but the conventional wisdom surrounding the Panthers seems to say that Petrovic will be re-called prior to Florida’s game against the Red Wings on Saturday.
- While there may be no NHL hockey today, fans can still find ways to destroy their marriages by tuning in for the full slate of World Junior Hockey Championship games being aired on NHL Network. The games, which are being held in Malmo, Sweden this year, got underway this morning at 7:30 a.m. ET. Canada got things underway with a 7-2 rout of Germany, meanwhile as of this writing, Russia is up 10-0 on Norway. Team USA begins their repeat campaign today at 11:30 when they take on Czech Republic. The game will have added importance for Panthers fans because it will provide an opportunity to get a glimpse of Ian McCoshen, who will be playing for the US. McCoshen, 18, was the 31st overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
- A friend sent me this video the other day which features an AHL ref wearing a camera on his helmet for one game. The results are pretty awesome to see as the interaction between referees and players is one of the most fascinating, and little-seen, aspects of professional hockey.
What do you think about Florida’s recent roster moves? Bummed to see Gudbranson out of the lineup? Excited to have Thomas back? Who are you most looking forward to seeing in the WJHC? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and follow The Rat Trick on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest.