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Wednesday Caterwaul: Panthers GameDay Open Forum – Cats host Thrash, WJC update, and farewell to a friend of The Box

Little bit ‘o biz to cover before the Cats host Atlanta this evening (Live Game Chat, 7pm); from the WJC:

  • Finland fell to Switzerland 3-2 on Tuesday; forward prospect Joonas Donskoi was a non-factor in this one, though he completes the tourney with a very promising 3g-3a and +5 in 6 matches.
  • USA (Nick Bjugstad, Drew Shore) takes on Sweden for the bronze at 3:30, while Canada (Erik Gudbranson, Quinton Howden) battles Russia for the gold at 7:30.

And on to our local concern:

  • OFP is reporting via Twitter that F Evgeny Dadonov is out of tonight’s game due to a bum ankle. He’s cooled of late anyhow; 1 point – an assist – in his past four.
  • SB Nation Atlanta takes a peek at the Thrashers and why a victory in Sunrise isn’t a given; and no…still nothing on our own South Florida “hub”. Yet.
  • The AJC finds historical confusion in Florida’s 18-17-2 record: “Seeing the Florida Panthers above .500 in the standings happens just about as often as a hard freeze in South Beach.”
  • Tomas Vokoun is 12-8-2 (2 SO) in 23 starts against Atlanta; Scott Clemmensen has struggled a bit, going 1-3 (1 SO) in 3 starts/4 appearances.
  • “Defenseman” Dustin Byfuglien handily leads the Thrash in points with 41 in 42 games; his 16 goals (including 6 GW!) are three better than anyone else on the roster.
  • Since December 7th (12 games) center Stephen Weiss has collected 13 points (7 goals, +7); the Cats have gone 7-3-2 in that stretch.

And finally, a quick tip of the hat to the Sun-Sentinel’s “Business of Sports” writer Sarah Talalay, who is moving on to new professional challenges. In a very crowded pro-sports market, Sarah never shied away from bringing us top-notch commentary and inside goodies from behind the doors of the BankAtlantic Center. She staunchly treated hockey fans as equals among the higher-profile Dolphins, Marlins, and Heat fanatics, a behavior not often found among the media in this locale. We’ll miss her.