Follow Michael On Twitter
What a Halloween weekend it was for the Florida Panthers and the BankAtlantic Center. Not only did the ‘Center of it All’ host over 7,000 people for the incredibly innovative Star Wars: In Concert event on Friday night, but the Cats also managed to win two straight on the road ahead of an exciting week of games coming up.
I wasn’t in South Florida for the Star Wars show on Friday, but I’m told by staff and by fans that it was absolutely incredible. Not only was the live orchestra and choir a huge hit, as well as the giant LED screen specially created for the show, but I’m told the atmosphere – with most of the crowd dressed up on Halloween eve – was like nothing they’ve ever experienced before.
The reason I wasn’t at the BankAtlantic Center was because I was in Dallas for some sponsorship meetings, and then at the American Airlines Center for one of the most exciting Panthers wins in recent memory. It was a 6-5 shootout win for the Cats, and it was most certainly a “shootout” from beginning to end with Steven Reinprecht notching a natural hat trick for the first time since David Booth did it against Anaheim last year, and Rostislav Olesz scoring two pretty goals – one in the third and the other in the shootout – to secure the two points.
Then, one night later, Tomas Vokoun shut down the St. Louis Blues while the offense put four more goals on the board in a 4-0 win. As Randy Moller said to me this morning, one of the hottest lines in hockey right now is the Reinprecht-Nathan Horton-Cory Stillman trio that combined for five goals and six assists over the weekend.
I’m excited to see what they can do this week in two big divisional games against Carolina on Wednesday and Washington on Friday – both at the BankAtlantic Center. Amazingly, our 4-7-1 record is the same as it was through 12 games last year when we missed the playoffs by virtue of a tiebreaker.
Certainly, our team’s success this weekend made it a lot easier for me to enjoy Halloween with my daughter, who dressed up as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, complete with ruby slippers and her little dog too. Excuse the cliché, but I’m hoping that there’s no place like home for our Panthers this week against two division rivals.
I also got a chance to watch some of the World Series over the weekend, which has offered some exciting games from start to finish. I grew up in Jersey as a New York Yankees fan and they actually gave me my first job in the pro sports business. So while I don’t get to games that often, the pinstripes will always have a special place in my heart. But as much as a 27th World Series Title for the Yanks would be nice, I am more excited to see if our company can continue this hot streak we are on both on the ice and in the entertainment world.
I’m betting we can. Thanks for reading and see you at the “Center of it All” sometime soon.