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Countdown 10: March 8th vs Chicago

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
The Panthers 2010-11 season is quickly approaching and with that, floridapanthers.com is taking a look at the top ten questions, players to watch and games of the season on a countdown to the home opener on October 16th against Tampa Bay. We'll unveil one of the top ten on a rotating basis each day to help fans get ready for what hopes to be an exciting season.



In today's topic, we take a closer look at the game against the Chicago Blackhawks on March 8th in the Top 10 Games this season.

To be the best, you have to be the best and for the Florida Panthers, there's no better way of putting that to the test than taking on the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Yes we know that more than a third of the team is new as Chicago had to make several off-season moves to put a team in place while getting under the salary cap, but that doesn't matter.

Still there are dynamic young guns Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Toews, named the Conn Smythe winner as the playoff MVP and Kane the playoff hero with his Game 6 overtime clincher, combined for 55 goals and 156 points last season. The best part, for Chicago fans anyways, is that they're just 22 and 21 years old (at beginning of season) so they'll just get better.

The 'Hawks also bring some very talented wingers in Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp and a very deep blueline in Brent Seabrook, Brian Campbell, Niklas Hjalmarsson and defending Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith. While they lost Antti Niemi to San Jose in the off-season, their goaltending didn't take a hit as they signed Marty Turco from Dallas. The netminder isn't too shabby as he has recorded 262 victories in 509 career games to start the season while posting a .911 save percentage and 2.31 goals against average.

This game will also be special for Panthers General Manager as the Panthers take on his former team for the first time. It will be a weird night as his new team takes on a team that he was largely responsible for putting together that won the Stanley Cup.

That's why a game against the Blackhawks is on the Games To Watch list.
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