Saturday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Reilly Smith give Vegas commanding series lead

The NHL newest team continues to benefit from the Florida Panthers questionable handling of the expansion draft. Reilly Smith scored with 6:58 left in the third period to give the Vegas Golden Knights a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Vegas took a commanding three games to one lead in the series. William Karlsson and Tomas Nosek also lit the lamp and Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves for the Golden Knights. Patrik Laine and Tyler Myers scored for the Jets.

Highlights (courtesy of

Tonight’s game

Washington at Tampa Bay 7:15 p.m. NBC (Series tied 2-2)

Who will win tonight’s tilt?


2018 IIHF World Championship


United States vs Sweden 9:15 a.m. NHL Network

The Swedes had been dominant all tournament, but they struggled mightily against Latvia in the quarterfinals. The game was tied or close for a majority of the time, and if they don’t score goals, you can be sure the Americans, who edged the Czechs to advance, will be ready to capitalize.

It would be a disappointment for Sweden if they do not move on to the gold medal game, even though the Yanks, led by Patrick Kane’s tournament-leading 19 points, have had a really good tournament thus far, with one exception, its loss to Finland to close the group stage.

Switzerland vs Canada (Ekblad) 1:15 p.m. NHL Network

Thanks to an overtime win over Russia,  Canada has quickly gone from quarterfinal underdog to semifinal favorite. Switzerland, who finished fourth in Group A, stunned Finland a few hours later to advance to the final four.

Switzerland, who has a bit of a history of being a difficult opponent, should not be taken lightly. They have a lot of NHL talent on the roster and in a tournament like this, where it is not quite best-on-best, that is important. Adding Nashville’s Roman Josi and Kevin Fiala to a core that already included the likes of Nino Niederreiter, Timo Meier and Sven Andrighetto makes them dangerous.

Aaron Ekblad is the only member of the Panthers left playing. Let’s hope Ekblad and the rest of his Canadian teammates can move on to Sunday’s final.