It’s finally a Panthers gameday, and I can only hope the Cats are as psyched as I am. News on the game is that Tomas Vokoun is starting and Ville Peltonen is playing. I feel Voky is at a crossroad; one direction takes him back to the level of play and consistency he was performing at last year, while the other is the same road he has been going down all year, good one week and bad the next. But hey…if the Panthers keep scoring the way they have been, Vokoun will be an afterthought!
As for Peltonen, he took a few days off before returning to practice today. He says he feels fine, only feeling a little pain while skating. Not only was he practicing today, but he stayed on the ice after to take part in some post-practice work and drills.
ANDY'S NEW MASK
Not to be left completely out of the news, Craig Anderson has a new paint job on his mask. It features a couple of Corvette’s, a cool looking panther on top, as well as his name and the Punisher logo of the Corvette C6 racing team on the backplate.
A couple interesting things about the Eastern Conference standings as they apply to the Cats: They are tied with Ottawa for fewest games played at 42, but have 10 more points then the Senators. They are tied for 9th in the East with Pittsburgh at 46 points, but have played 3 less games then the Penguins. In the Division, we have played 3 less games then both teams ahead of us. The Caps are way out in front with 59 points, but the Dive-Canes are only a point ahead of the Panthers, and holding the 8th and final playoff spot. The Maple Leafs helped us out tonight, beating the Canes in Raleigh 6-4.
FLYERS FLYING SOUTH...EAST
Taking a closer look at tonight’s opponent, the Philadelphia Flyers are coming to town a pissed off team. They have lost 2 in a row, including an embarrassing 4-1 loss in Tampa Bay last night. Should be an interesting match-up of an angry team on the back end of a back-to-back against a very focused Panthers team coming off 5 days ‘rest’.
Closing on a good note, Kamil Kreps is almost ready to return to game action. He has been practicing with the team but needs a little more time before his shoulder is ‘game ready’. He is hoping to return Monday vs. Buffalo.