THE LOWDOWN is a gameday preview produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. The contents of THE LOWDOWN and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read the LOWDOWN, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.
Florida Panthers vs. Phoenix Coyotes
|Panthers ||Coyotes |
|Record ||26-35-8 ||33-25-11 |
|Points ||60 ||77 |
|Place ||7th in Atlantic ||4th in Pacific |
The Florida Panthers’ Western odyssey continues tonight as the Cats take to the Glendale desert to face the Phoenix Coyotes. The ‘Yotes currently occupy the last wild card spot in the Western Conference with 77 points but they have the Stars, Canucks and Jets all nipping at their tails.
The Cats are coming off an impressive 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks highlighted by a signature performance by Roberto Luongo, who made 52 saves in the victory.
It should be a good one tonight, let’s get to the Lowdown.
RED Hot Cats To Watch
Brandon Pirri: Scorching hot since he was acquired from the Blackhawks earlier this month, Pirri is coming off back-to-back multi-point performances. He was the driving force behind the Panthers’ two goals in 17 seconds outburst against the Sharks on Tuesday and he now has seven points (3-4-7) in his last five games.
Scottie Upshall: The Panthers’ scoring leader fired home the game winner on Tuesday, connecting on a one-timer late in the second period. He now has three goals in his last four games, bringing his season point total to 34 (14-20-34).
Coyotes Players to Watch
#11 Martin Hanzal
The Coyotes’ alternate captain returned to their lineup in Monday’s 4-3 win over the LA Kings. Hanzal recorded an assist in the game, his first since missing seven games with a lower body injury. In case you missed it, this is more or less how his return went:
#14 Jeff Halpern
When I did my 'Coyotes Players to Watch’ before the game on March 11, I selected defensemen Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. What happened? The duo made heavy contributions on two of the Coyotes’ three goals.
This time I am playing it safe and trying to avoid motivating someone, so I’ll go with Jeff Halpern as the guy to watch. The 37-year-old center has ten points (4-6-10) in 56 games this season, but keep an eye on him….could be a big game.
Dingo, Coyote…close enough. I just wanted to throw in this classic Seinfeld clip.
Apparently the Coyotes play at jobing.com arena….not gobing.com like I originally thought….
It would be a lot cooler if it was gobing.com….
The Panthers and Coyotes will face off tonight for the second time in the last ten days. Before their matchup last week, the Cats had not played the ‘Yotes for over two years. That’s an awful lot of time together after a long time apart. Kind of like the crazy uncle you had not seen for five years until he pops up one day and says he is moving in with you.
Anyway, the last time these two teams met the Coyotes came away with a 3-1 victory in Sunrise. Pirri scored the only goal for the Cats while Luongo stopped 20 of the 23 shots he saw.
Word of the Day: Sauce
Definition: Sauce is slang for saucer pass. A saucer pass involves the passer elevating the puck a few inches off the ice so as to avoid pesky opponents’ sticks occupying passing lanes. The saucer pass gets its name because the elevated puck flying through the air has a distinct resemblance to a flying saucer.
Hockey players like to say sauce instead of saucer pass because sauce sounds cooler and being a hockey player is 57% talent and 43% acting cool.
Example: “Whooaaahh man did you see the sauce Pirri put on that pass to Trocheck last night?”
Sauce in Action:
Enjoy the game tonight. Go Panthers!