Saturday Offseason Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Quarterfinal action at Women’s Worlds today

The ladies take center stage of the hockeyverse today with quarterfinal round play at the 2021 Women’s World Championship in Calgary set to begin at noon. Canada and the United States are still the heavy favorites to make it to the gold medal game, but the winner of Finland and the Czech Republic, who dominated Group B, could make some noise. The Finns have won two in a row and the Czechs rolled through its group winning four in a row. Today’s winners obviously move on to the semifinals on Monday. The four losers will be grouped together and play off for fifth place, which will put that particular team in Group A in next year’s tournament. The five teams in Group A are guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals, so that’s a worthy prize.

A4 Russia vs A5 Switzerland 12 p.m. (NHL Network)

A2 United States vs B2 Japan 3:30 p.m. (NHL Network)

A1 Canada vs B3 Germany 7 p.m. (NHL Network)

A3 Finland vs B1 Czech Republic 10:30 p.m. (NHL Network)

Men’s Olympic Qualifying

Thursday and Friday’s games have clarified things to a large degree for the final day of play on Sunday. Each of the three groups is down to one winner takes all game and one rather meaningless affair, Let’s take a look...

Group D

Host Slovakia cruised to a 5-1 win over Poland and Belarus bounced back from an opening game loss to defeat Austria 5-2 on Friday. The game between Slovakia and Belarus will decide who goes to the Olympics. Belarus must win the game in regulation to advance on the head to head points tiebreakers. Poland and Austria, who have been elimanted, will play against each other on Sunday. With a win and Belarus loss, Poland can still finish in second place in the group.

Group E

Former Florida Panthers prospect Rodrigo Abols scored two goals and an assist in host Latvia’s 9-0 rout of Hungary and France blanked Italy 2-0 on Friday. Latvia and France both have six points, so whoever wins the game between the two, in any fashion, on Sunday will move on to Beijing. Hungary and Italy will play for third place in the group.

Group F

Nikolaj Ehlers racked up two goals and four assists and Oliver Bjorkstrand notched a hat trick in Denmark’s 11-1 demolition of South Korea. Host Norway scored an impressive 7-4 win over Anze Kopitar and Slovenia. Denmark and Norway, who each have six points, will play on Sunday with the Olympics on the line while South Korea and Slovenia will play for third place in the group.

NHL signings

The Montreal Canadiens signed restricted free agent forward Ryan Poehling to a two-year contract. Poehling’s new deal is two-way in the first year and one-way at the league minimum in the second. The 22-year-old put up 11 goals and 25 points in 28 games with the AHL’s Laval Rocket last season. (Eyes On The Prize)

The Minnesota WIld inked veteran defenseman Jordie Benn to a one-year contract worth $900K. Benn, who played for Vancouver and Winnipeg last season, appeared in 49 games and produced ten points. (Hockey Wilderness)

Underground poll o’ the day

Will Huberdeau average a point per game or more this season?