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Sunday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers GameDay Open Forum

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March 23 2012: Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver (43) leaps over Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle (14) during the third period at the BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
March 23 2012: Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver (43) leaps over Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle (14) during the third period at the BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Having already eclipsed single-season bests in assists (16), hits (106), and blocked shots (136), Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver will see action in his 500th NHL game Sunday against the Red Wings (and somewhat appropriately, as he played four NCAA seasons with the East Lansing-based Michigan State Spartans). A testament to how quickly the past twenty or so months have flown by for the Cats, Weaver is already ranked #56 in games-played (160), a number which will continue to rise as a two-year contract extension kicks in over the summer.

His 20 blocked shots (in 16 games) vs Detroit are a career high among Western Conference clubs.

The Eastern Front

Rank

Team

GP

W

L

OT

ROW

PTS

GF

GA

Home

Away

L10

Stk

1

x-NY Rangers

78

50

21

7

46

107

217

173

27-10-2

23-11-5

7-3-0

Won 4

2

x-Boston

78

46

28

4

38

96

257

192

23-13-3

23-15-1

6-3-1

Won 1

3

Florida

78

37

25

16

31

90

192

215

20-9-10

17-16-6

5-2-3

Lost 1

4

x-Pittsburgh

78

48

24

6

39

102

264

208

27-9-2

21-15-4

6-3-1

Won 1

5

x-Philadelphia

78

45

24

9

41

99

251

218

21-12-6

24-12-3

6-2-2

OT 1

6

x-New Jersey

79

45

28

6

33

96

219

205

22-13-4

23-15-2

5-4-1

Won 3

7

Ottawa

78

40

28

10

34

90

240

230

20-15-4

20-13-6

5-3-2

Won 3

8

Washington

79

40

31

8

36

88

212

223

25-11-4

15-20-4

5-3-2

Won 2

9

Buffalo

79

38

31

10

31

86

208

219

20-12-8

18-19-2

6-2-2

Lost 2

*

What the Caps and Sabs did last night:

  • WSH (88P/3GR) over MTL, 3-2 (SO): Matt Hendricks - again - and Alex Semin sealed the victory for Caps during Skillz Komp in surprisingly entertaining showing by Habs. Washington heads for Tampa Bay tomorrow.
  • TOR over BUF (86P/3GR), 4-3 (REG): Leafs dug deep for this one as three players collected two points; G Ben Scrivens gets 29-save win. Sabres host - who else - Toronto on Tuesday.

Panthers Playoff Update:

  • Somewhat amazingly considering the assumed damage at first glance, FLA's playoff odds up 1.5 to 98.3% per Sports Club Stats. There was this, however.

Why tonight is a Big Deal in SoFla, beyond the obvious:

  • OTT (90P/4GR) at NYI, 3 p.m.: all about the seedings here for a few teams

Next up for the Cats:

  • Another brutal - but thankfully baby blue-less - Sunday matinee, this time from Detroit (46-27-5, 97P); LBC Game Thread rolls out at 3:30. Use this once-per-year opportunity to kick a few tires at Winging It In Motown.

Did you know:

  • F Tomas Kopecky has 6 goals - 3 of which were gamewinners - in 95 appearances at Joe Lewis Arena

Saturday’s Organizational News:

  • 46 saves for Jacob Markstrom as Rampage downed Rusty Olesz (2G) and the Ice Hogs (really?) in a shootout from Rockford; hold on to sixth spot in Western Conference standings. Drew Shore had an assist and one SOG in professional debut.
  • Flash and Weiss ask that you keep the votes coming