Panthers' forward Ville Peltonen
Finally!!! After what seems like months and months off, the Panthers return to action tonight against the Broad Street Bullies in Sunrise. The Panthers 8-game points streak was snapped in their last game before the break, so the Cats will be looking to start a new one against some prime Eastern Conference opponents. They also play the Islanders and Maple Leafs 4 times in their next 8 games, so the opportunity to take advantage of struggling teams is right there.
Getting back to tonight’s game, there are a few lineup changes to report. Both Ville Peltonen and Nick Boynton will return to the lineup, while Nick Tarnasky and Noah Welch will be healthy scratches. Ville returning is big, as he will take his rightful place on the CPR line, which according to Coach DeBoer is the line that sets the tone for the rest of the team. They are always working their butts off, keeping their feet moving and applying constant pressure to the opposing line.
Peltonen returning means that the Panthers have an odd-man out in their forward ranks, and tonight that man is Nick Tarnasky. This of course means that Anthony Stewart will play in his 12th straight game. Our 4th line is now even better, featuring Kamil Kreps at center with McLean and Stewart on the wings.
With 36 games remaining, I think that Tomas Vokoun will ideally start 28-30 of them. He will be in there tonight against Philly, and he went into the break going 4-1-2 in his last 7 games. On the other side of the ice, it looks like it will be Marty Biron in net for the Flyers. This is a good thing, as Philly’s other goalie Antero Niittymaki owns the Cats, but more importantly I just don’t think very highly of Biron, and I think the fast-paced Panthers will be too much side-to-side movement for him to handle.
Prediction: The Panthers make Martin Biron look very silly tonight.