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Sacco Sounds Off - Final Blog from Dallas

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
11:25 pm:

The Jay Bouwmeester conspiracy is officially on at the NHL All-Star Game. After getting gregiously passed over for the Fastest Skater Competition – kind of like making Kobayashi eat dill pickles instead of hot dogs – Bouw got the shaft again during Wednesday night's game.

After getting credit for the second assist on Eric Staal's first period goal against Roberto Luongo, the powers that be in the NHL officiating crew decided the Islanders Jason Blake was more worthy of the point.

In all seriousness though, Cats fans should be proud of the Bouw's performance among the NHL's elite in the West's 12-9 win. The free flowing offensive game was a perfect showcase for No. 4's incredible skating ability and on-ice vision, and it showed in his continual jumpstarting of the Eastern Conference offense.

Unfortunately, Bouw wasn't even the most "visible" Panthers of the week. I don't know what kind of dirt Stanley C. has on the Dallas Game Presentation Director but it must be pretty good because every time there was a stoppage the Cats mascot had his oversized head right in the middle of the video screen.

Stanley giving high-fives, Stanley tight rope walking across rows of seats, Stanley arm wrestling a pee wee hockey player. I hope he doesn't let it go to his head.

As for the debut of the new Rbk Edge uniforms, fans will be happy to know that the small changes in the look of the players are nothing but positive. I know there was a grumbling concern among hockey fans that the new unis would make the players to stop looking like hockey players. Far from it.

Yes, the jerseys are a bit more tight fitting, but from a fan's standpoint the new uniforms make the ice look bigger and make it easier to distinguish players' individual skating and stickhandling moves.

For fans watching the game from home, they got the extra special treat of peanut gallery commentary from Stars goalie Marty Turco – who wore a microphone and earpiece and gave his two cents even while playing goal during the third period.

Turco, who is officially my hero, inspired a number of laugh out loud responses, most notably when he seemed to purposefully allow Sheldon Souray's third period goal so he could get the win.

"I didn't see that one," Turco said. "Must have had my eyes closed."

For Cats fans, Mike "Doc" Emrick had some nice things to say about Bouwmeester, who made a ton of nice defensive plays in a highly offensive affair.

The East's Daniel Briere took home MVP honors but Columbus' Rick Nash gets my goal of the game after splitting three West players and deking around Martin Brodeur for a second period goal.

Along with his MVP trophy, Briere gets a brand new Dodge Nitro – I'm sure he needs it. I never understood why multi-millionares gets cars as bonuses, while Employees of the Week at say, Wal- Mart, get a plaque and a fruit basket.

But I digress.

In case you are all waiting with bated breath, the winner of the Unofficial Online Dallas Food Critic Contest is none other than Andrew Noddin, the self proclaimed biggest Panthers fan in Canada. Andrew will be the envy of you all, once he receives his Fairmont Hotel handsoap, I guarantee it.


- Capitals stud Alexander Ovechkin had a snack on the bench between the first and second periods. Apparently it helped, because after munching on a few potato chips, the high-scoring winger notched his first career All-Star goal.

- Action movie icon Chuck Norris was in the house. For everyone that's seen the movie Dodgeball: "Damn you Chuck Norris."

- Former WWE Champion Edge was also on hand. Fortunately he did not turn heel and distract the referees during any goals.

- The Dallas Ice Girls have nothing on the Cats Ice Dancers by Sziro Jewelry.

- Former Cowboys fullback Daryl "Moose" Johnston inspired a rain of "Mooses" from the crowd...or was it "shoes"? As in, somebody put a shoe in TO's mouth.

- American Airlines Center featured an elevating stage that rose and fell from the rafters of the arena.

- Dallas officially has the friendliest people on the planet. Seriously, I was asked how I was doing so much, that I started saying "pretty poor" just to break the monotony.
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