Thursday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Cats remain tops in the NHL after Avalanche pummel Rangers

While the Florida Panthers will be looking for a big two points in Denver on Sunday, they got some help from the Colorado Avalanche last night. The Cats remained atop the NHL standings after the Avalanche ended the New York Rangers, who were attempting to become the first team to hit 39 points, seven-game winning streak with a convincing 7-3 win at Madison Square Garden.

The Vancouver Canucks won its second straight game under new coach Bruce Boudreau, besting the Boston Bruins 2-1 in a shootout. Always nice to see the Western Conference teams beating the teams from the east, especially those in the Atlantic Division.

In other games, the New Jersey Devils blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0, and the Vegas Golden Knights edged the Dallas Stars by a 5-4 count. That’s ten losses (0-8-2) for the Flyers. Yikes...

The Panthers will get a practice in today as they prepare for Friday night’s tilt against the Arizona Coyotes, who have dropped five of their last six. Florida has not registered a road win since beating the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in overtime on October 29. It’s time to get one.

In organizational news, defenseman Kasper Puutio was named to Team Finland and forward Elliot Ekmark made Sweden’s entry for the upcoming 2022 World Junior Championship taking place in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta from December 26 to January 5.

The 19-year-old Puutio has appeared in 25 Liiga games with KalPa and produced three goals and two assists. Ekmark, 19, has collected one goal and one assist for Linkoping HC of the Swedish Hockey League. It will be the second WJC for Puutio and first for Ekmark.

Riding a modest two-game winning streak, the Charlotte Checkers will host the last place Syracuse Crunch for a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday.

Will the Cats end its 7-game road losing streak against the Coyotes?