GameDay Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

1-1 Western trip rolls into San Jose.

  • WHO: Florida Panthers (6-5-5) at San Jose Sharks (10-9-2)
  • WHEN: 10:30 p.m. ET (LBC GameThread at 10)
  • WHERE: SAP Center
  • HOW TO WATCH: Fox Sports Florida (local), CSN California (home)
  • HOW TO LISTEN: 560 WQAM (local), KFOX 98.5 (home)

This may be the most evenly-matched game the Panthers have faced in a long while, based strictly on historical numbers: 10 wins, 10 losses, 7 ties, no OT/SO appearances. A 10-goal differential in favor of San Jose (77-67) is the lone standout in a series stretching back to 1993. Focusing on games in the Bay Area, Florida is 5-6-2 all-time with 30GF and 39GA. The Panthers have won the past six of seven meetings by a combined score of 22-16.

Panthers' last game: Stretching back to the Cats' last victory in non-Broward Hollywood during November of 2002, Tuesday saw a sixth straight loss in the City of Angels, featuring a 5-2 final this time around. Come to think of it, that margin was the same rope Florida hung around L.A. in their most recent win over the Kings on that blustery, chilly fall day (somewhere) in '02. Back to the present: Florida played a masterful game of chess in a scoreless first period followed up with a classic foot-off-the-gas 17-6 SOG, 4-goal Kings drilling by a terrific offensive burst in the third, highlighted by goals from Jimmy Hayes (2P, pictured above) and Jussi Jokinen's second marker of the season. In all seriousness it was of course a loss, but the 5-on-5 play was much closer than the score indicates: L.A. went 3-for-6 on the man advantage while Florida tallied a 1-for-4 effort. Who won the Cup twice over the past three seasons again? It showed, but other than a messy second, the Panthers were involved.

Who was hot for FLA: Hayes with 1G-1A, though Vincent Trocheck's (1A, 7SOG) maniacal yet methodical search-and-destroy philosophy is a close second. Getting to be a pattern with that kid, and we couldn't be happier.

Sharks' last game: Since it was a loss at Buffalo, we'll let the home crowd take care of this one. Not touching it here.

Who was hot for SJ: Nieto, Braun, Burish & Desjardins. Because "even".

Tuesday's GameThread was a smash hit considering the ultra-late start time, and we'll be doing it again tonight; come on out and enjoy the cool evening breezes of Anytown, South Florida. Do be sure to check out our cousins at Fear The Fin and Battle Of California, as they are probably due for some love.