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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Maple Leafs

by "Hockey Pat" McGrath / Florida Panthers

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. Toronto Maple Leafs

Panthers Maple Leafs
Record 28-44-8 38-34-8
Points 64 84
Place 7th in Atlantic 5th in Atlantic

In the penultimate game of the season, the Florida Panthers will take on the reeling Toronto Maple Leafs at 7:30 p.m. at BB&T Center. While both team’s playoff fates have already been decided, the Cats will have an opportunity tonight to take three out of four games this season against their new Atlantic Division rivals.

Here is tonight’s lowdown:

Picture Day!

Watch Out Randy

If you are confused, here is a bit of background…

Two-time heavyweight championship winning boxer and diehard Leafs fan Riddick Bowe, in an attempt to motivate his favorite team, threatened to knock out Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle if the team lost their late March bout with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Leafs lost, but Bowe never got his hands on Carlyle… although it’s not like he didn’t try:

RED Hot Cat To Watch

Scottie Upshall: Continuing to build on his career year, Upshall added an assist Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers. With the assist on Tuesday, and a goal on Sunday against the Stars, Upshall has pulled ahead in the Panthers scoring race. Speaking of the scoring race (pause to admire the transition…) here is a look at the latest:

Playoff Picture

The Toronto Maple Leafs completed an epic collapse with their 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, a defeat that officially knocked the team out of the playoff hunt. Just a month ago, Toronto looked to be completely in control of their playoff destiny but things spun out of control faster than Sandor Clegane at a roadside tavern.

Following their 3-2 win over the Kings on March 13, Toronto had an 89.68% chance of making the playoffs. They followed that win with an eight game losing streak and losses in ten of their last twelve games.

Toronto’s superstar Phil Kessel, who tallied seven points (3-4-7) during the twelve game stretch, expressed his disappointment following the shutout loss to the Bolts.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed,” said Kessel. “Obviously, it’s not good enough. Obviously, I haven’t been good enough for the last 15 games and I have to be better. I’m really disappointed and I feel like I let a lot of people down that are Leafs fans. It’s pretty disappointing. We started good and we just didn’t end it the way we wanted to.”

I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot like ‘Sad Phil’ to me….

Season Series

Tonight is the last of the four games between these two teams this season. The Cats have gotten the better of Toronto so far taking two of the three meetings. The Panthers dominated the previous contest 4-1 on February 4, at BB&T Center, outshooting Toronto 48-21.

Pick a Panther

(Selecting a Panthers player to score in tonight’s game)

Current streak: 0

A fun way to add some excitement to your Panthers viewing experience is by picking one of the Panthers’ goal scorers for every game. I will be picking players for the remainder of the season and if you want to play along, tweet your picks to @FlaPanthers, #PickaPanther. If you pick right, you might get a retweet (commitment is not really my thing)…

Pat’s Pick: Sean Bergenheim

Just two games left. I don’t want to go out with a streak of zero. It’s time to get one.

Pre-game Tweet of the Day

Enjoy the game.

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