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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Sharks

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. San Jose Sharks

Panthers Sharks
Record 25-35-8 45-17-7
Points 58 97
Place 7th in Atlantic 2nd in Pacific

After 3,000 miles by air, the Florida Panthers find themselves out west where they will be at the Shark Tank, taking on the San Jose Sharks tonight.

No not this Shark Tank:

This Shark Tank:

Tonight’s game at 10:30 p.m. kicks off a four-game west coast road trip that will continue Thursday in Phoenix before wrapping up with a weekend back-to-back in Los Angeles and Anaheim.

Just to be clear, the Cats will be taking on these Sharks:

Not these ones:

Captain Nemo

On top of San Jose’s considerable offensive bite, (Joe Pavelski (34-32-66), Joe Thornton (10-55-65) and Patrick Marleau (28-32-60)) the Panthers will have to deal with the recent infallibility of San Jose Sharks’ goaltender Antti Niemi. The man fondly referred to as Nemo by the Silicon Valley Computerati has been on a tear pitching two shutouts in his last four games including a 41-save blanking of the Rangers on Sunday; a performance that included this beauty against Mats Zuccarello:

Let’s Hope They Don’t Get Their Hands On Any Rats

Vinnie and the Mighty Quin

The newest batch of young Panthers to reach the NHL have been making waves in South Florida with their impressive production and work ethic. Quinton Howden, the 22-year-old speedster, has tallied a point in each of his three games since being called up last week (2-1-3). Meanwhile Vincent Trocheck executed a tasty wrap-around goal on Eddie Lack for his second goal in as many games. Who got the assist on Vinnie’s goal? None other than the Mighty Quin….take it away Bob!

Young Gun Lead Pipe Lock of the Night

(Where I pick a young Panther to have a strong game and give a totally foolproof reason to back up that pick.)

The Pick: Jimmy Hayes

The Reason: Hayes scored two goals in the Panthers Sunday afternoon game against the Vancouver Canucks. The multi-goal performance was impressive seeing as Hayes was really busy accepting awards this weekend:

Welcome Garrett Wilson!

Yesterday the Cats called up LW Garrett Wilson from the San Antonio Rampage. The 23-year-old has accumulated 24 points (12-12-24) in 60 games for San Antonio this season. Wilson has never played an NHL game so we could be witnessing a debut tonight in the Tank!

Enjoy the game!

Let’s Go Panthers!

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