It's still the preseason, right?
Good thing, too. Otherwise we, the Illustrious Twelve, might be looking a bit confused, as in "Is this 2005, 2006, or 2007 all over again?"
Fear not, loyalists. Just workin' out the kinks. Behold the third kink in a row, last night's neutral-site game against the Isles in PEI. A 4-2 loss. Not much good can be taken away from this one. Collectively, the Cats have netted 6 goals in the past three contests, while giving up 15. At least yesterday they were only down by two at the final buzzer. Craig Anderson took the loss. Oh well. Today holds game 6 of 6 straight. In Montreal. I don't know whether this Panther club is composed of heroes or fools. We'll see.
Anyway, for a local gander at the loss, The Guardian provides a bit of insight.
"The first-ever NHL pre-season game on Prince Edward Island attracted 3,129 fans to the 3,500-seat Credit Union Place."
Back in South Florida, The Miami Herald looks at Bryan McCabe's whirlwind first few weeks with the Cats.
"McCabe said one of the reasons he wanted to play for the Panthers was that he liked what he saw in the Panthers' young core. Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss and Rostislav Olesz are locked in long-term, and McCabe has talked about Florida finally making that next step and getting into the playoffs."
The Palm Beach Post has crickets.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel offers up an interesting article covering not only the game, but the welcoming party which came before it.
"We got off our flight [Friday], spent over nine hours traveling here and to have people show up like that is exciting," (Gregory) Campbell said. "For us to have a warm welcome like that after a long day is pretty special."
As for the game itself:
"Three Islanders goals were on the power play, including two on 5-on-3s. New York outshot the Panthers 29-20."
Not so welcoming. Is it discipline, or a lack thereof? How many years have we watched this club take bad penalties? Granted, some nights it's injuries. On others it's the officials. Still others display a lack of skill or competition with the rival team. A bad omen, especially against a - sorry, Isles fans - beatable New York squad. C'mon Pete...get 'em into game shape. Year after year we hear the blather about getting off to a quick, successful start. And every year it fizzles. Cut the kids, assemble an NHL lineup tonight against the Habs and rock their world.