Wednesday Caterwaul: Panthers GameDay Open Forum - Cats host Thrash, WJC update, and farewell to a friend of The Box

No Repik tonight, but this pic was too slick to avoid.

Little bit 'o biz to cover before the Cats host Atlanta this evening (Live Game Chat, 7pm); from the WJC:

  • Finland fell to Switzerland 3-2 on Tuesday; forward prospect Joonas Donskoi was a non-factor in this one, though he completes the tourney with a very promising 3g-3a and +5 in 6 matches.
  • USA (Nick Bjugstad, Drew Shore) takes on Sweden for the bronze at 3:30, while Canada (Erik Gudbranson, Quinton Howden) battles Russia for the gold at 7:30.

And on to our local concern:

  • OFP is reporting via Twitter that F Evgeny Dadonov is out of tonight's game due to a bum ankle. He's cooled of late anyhow; 1 point - an assist - in his past four.
  • SB Nation Atlanta takes a peek at the Thrashers and why a victory in Sunrise isn't a given; and no...still nothing on our own South Florida "hub". Yet.
  • The AJC finds historical confusion in Florida's 18-17-2 record: "Seeing the Florida Panthers above .500 in the standings happens just about as often as a hard freeze in South Beach."
  • Tomas Vokoun is 12-8-2 (2 SO)  in 23 starts against Atlanta; Scott Clemmensen has struggled a bit, going 1-3 (1 SO) in 3 starts/4 appearances.
  • "Defenseman" Dustin Byfuglien handily leads the Thrash in points with 41 in 42 games; his 16 goals (including 6 GW!) are three better than anyone else on the roster.
  • Since December 7th (12 games) center Stephen Weiss has collected 13 points (7 goals, +7); the Cats have gone 7-3-2 in that stretch.

And finally, a quick tip of the hat to the Sun-Sentinel's "Business of Sports" writer Sarah Talalay, who is moving on to new professional challenges. In a very crowded pro-sports market, Sarah never shied away from bringing us top-notch commentary and inside goodies from behind the doors of the BankAtlantic Center. She staunchly treated hockey fans as equals among the higher-profile Dolphins, Marlins, and Heat fanatics, a behavior not often found among the media in this locale. We'll miss her.

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