Friday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Holiday break is over, NHL is back in business

After a three-day holiday slumber, the NHL is back from its Christmas break and the Florida Panthers have made a roster move. The Cats have recalled defenseman Riley Stillman from their AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Stillman, 21, has appeared in three games with Florida this season. The 6-foot-1, 196-pound native of Peterborough, ON has played in 25 games with the T-Birds this season, recording three goals and six points.

The move most likely means there is a good chance Aaron Ekblad won’t play tomorrow night against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Cats will hold an 11 a.m. practice today at Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs.

Prospects Grigori Denisenko and Spencer Knight were losers yesterday at the World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic.

Denisenko and Russia were upset 4-3 by the host Czechs. The 19-year-old captain drew an assist on his team’s first goal and logged 19:01 of ice time.

Knight stopped 26 of 31 shots in Team USA’s wild 6-4 loss to rival Canada. The Americans will be back in action today against Justin Schutz and Germany. You can tune in to NHL Network at 1 p.m. to see the game. Not sure if Knight will get the start again.

The only other game at the WJC today is Slovakia versus Kazakhstan, which is in progress now.

Games involving Atlantic Division foes to keep an eye on tonight are Boston at Buffalo (7 p.m.) and Toronto at New Jersey (7 p.m.). Games with wild card implications are Carolina at New York Rangers (7 p.m.), Pittsburgh at Nashville (8 p.m.) and Columbus at Washington (7 p.m.). Root hard for the Bruins and Devils tonight... real hard.

In the AHL, the Thunderbirds will open a three-game weekend by hosting the Providence Bruins tonight.