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Tuesday Caterwaul - Panthers GameDay Open Forum

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In a Florida fan's world of B-List free agents, playoff teases, and urologist-sponsored toilets, it's simply not enough to face the Eastern Conference-pacing Capitals minus their best player: drama must ensue.

With Alexander Ovechkin now suspended two games for his hit on Chicago's Brian Campbell - including tonight's in Sunrise - there exists a small contingent of hockey fans who claim bias from the NHL executive who ruled on the matter: league disciplinary czar Colin Campbell. What possible favoritism could be in play? Campbell's son Gregory is a Panther. (Got to wonder who still may have been unaware of that fact...)

Brushing aside the inevitible confusion resulting from three principals in this affair sharing a surname and the smashingly obvious opportunities for a sitcom pilot ("My Three Soups"?), I must agree there is the potential for an appearance of bias, given (Colin) Campbell's ruling directly affects a game in which his son's club is involved.

In previous matters regarding the Panthers, Campbell the Elder typically recuses himself from the disciplinary process in an effort to eliminate the perception of favoritism, but not in this case. All the more confounding considering Ovie's suspension was not automatic.

Alex The Great remains just that, and everyone will have forgotten all about this when Washington squares off against Pittsburgh in a week.

What is a problem has been the Caps' having no difficulty gutting the Cats all year - with or without Ovechkin: A 26-12 goal differential in five games fleshes that out pretty handily.

Anyway, lots going on at Japers' Rink considering the subject matter, so do check that out as well. I'll be at the game this evening (finally!) but the Live Game Forum will fire up 'round 6pm or so.

Predictions?