TAMPA–The Florida Panthers play five games in ten days leading up to the All Start break starting with a late afternoon start with the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amelie Arena.
Then the Panthers will spend two weeks getting reaquainted with home life as the remaining games before the break will be played at BB&T Center. Edmonton visits South Florida Monday, followed by the sizzling Chicago Blackhawks Friday, a return game with the Lightning Saturday, and a pre-All-Star finale when Toronto visits Tuesday, Jan. 26.
Florida is mostly healthy with the exception of Aaron Ekblad. The second-year defenseman is recovering from concussion symptoms from a check from behind when the Panthers beat the Oilers one week ago in Edmonton. Ekblad is expected to be out at least a week and may not be available to the Panthers until February. His absence has been felt as the Panthers lost in overtime to Vancouver on Monday and were pasted by Calgary 6-0 Wednesday night.
With a few days to readjust to east coast time Florida must hope they adapt adequately to the loss of a rising star among NHL defenseman.
A few busy days see the Panthers still on top of the Atlantic Division.
#ChasingGordie1850 #ChasingHull741: The return to action means the resumption of Jaromir’s Jagr’s chase to match Gordie Howe’s 1850 career points, third all time. Jagr has 1834 points. He is also four goals short of tying Brett Hull for third all-time in goals scored at 741. Keep up with the legend on the Jagr-O-Meter, updated after every game here at JAGRometer.com.
Games for all Panthers home games are available at panthers.nhl.com.
All-Star News Brings out Opposing Views
The Florida Panthers are well-represented at this year’s All-Star game in Nashville with Jagr, goalie Roberto Luongo, Coach Gerard Gallant and Ekblad, if healthy, one of the defenseman from the Atlantic Division, set to round out the squad. These are excellent choices and the first-place team of the Atlantic Division will be well-represented by their Florida Panthers delegation. This year saw three dominant players (Jagr-Atlantic; Alexander Ovechkin-Metropolitan and Patrick Kane-Central) elected as captains of their division’s teams.
Due to a renegade campaign orchestrated by bored people with limited respect for the sport, a journeyman player, John Scott, was selected as captain of the Pacific Division for the entire purpose of seeing how a less-skilled player would compete in a competition where skill will be at a premium. Scott was traded by Arizona to Montreal Friday, and promptly demoted to the minor leagues, meaning he is not eligible to play in the NHL All Star game.
Some fans and media members are outraged at the tactics of the NHL in this matter, which only came to fruition after Arizona and the NHL gave Scott the chance to decline the honor, which was the result of a ridiculous on-line election process that allowed voters up to 10 ballots per day, and more if they set up alternate users through different emails at nhl.com.
At last check the cheapest upper level seat for the game on Seatgeek.com is $243. It is doubtful people paying a premium price for the event are going to be dumping their tickets in sympathy for John Scott.
When a replacement is named the integrity of the mid-season showcase will indeed feature the best and brightest of the NHL and creating a memorable experience for the fans and viewers of the three-on-three tournament style set up for this year’s all-star weekend.
Assorted Jagr-related links:
Florida Panthers 2015-16 Media Guide
Florida Panthers Team website: http://www.floridapanthers.com
Some Jagr-related social media accounts:
@68Jagr This is the real site, the one and only official Jaromir Jagr twitter account. Postings are rare, but worth the wait. Jagr has been more active on Twitter this season.
The two best Jagr facebook pages are:
This is the page Jagr posts on, if he is going to post at all.
Another good facebook page is one produced by someone in the Czech Republic. It has more than 100,000 likes. This is not the official page, but it is very good.
@FlaPanthers and @FLAPanthersPR The official twitter accounts for news about the team.
@dougielarge Doug Cifu, few owners in sports relate to the fans as much as this man who interacts with fans and media on twitter.
@goldieonice — Steve Goldstein, TV play-by-play of the Panthers. Brings all those exciting highlights to life.
@DenisPotvinFox — NHL Hall of Famer Denis Potvin works along side Goldstein in the booth.
@HeyRedDeer color man Randy Moller who left the radio booth to help Goldstein and Potvin on TV.
@GeorgeRichards Panthers beat writer for the Miami Herald.
@HFialkov Panthers beat writer for the Sun Sentinel
@AntwanStaley Includes Panthers coverage in his all sports all the time reports
twitter for Cats On the Prowl, offering detailed reviews of Panthers games and more.
@SunshineSkate twitter for The Sunshine Skate, another blog with special emphasis on advanced stats and charts that will make you dizzy.
@Zdenek_Janda US-based Czech reporter who covers the NHL and reports on other news for the people of the Czech Republic.
@Jsmidcro Jan Smid was a US-based Czech reporter who collaborated on “Jagr”, an autobiography in the late 90’s detailing Jagr’s early life and career in the NHL.
@NHLHistoryGirl This hockey loving woman shares interesting informational tidbits about hockey and the NHL in general. How does she do it?
@MyRegularFace She’s another gem. Watches lots of games and gets up GIFs faster than nhl.com or anyone else out there.
@HockeyCzech National organization for hockey in the Czech Republic.
@68isgr8 is the twitter for The Traveling Jagrs. Clad in different Jagr jerseys and hair styles from 68’s career, they gained league-wide recognition when they caught Jagr’s attention during a pre-game skate of a Dallas Stars game in Canada during the 2012-2013 season. Since then, they convene at games in Western Canada and make a road trip or two every year, playing street hockey with locals, posing for hundreds of pictures, and having a good time with fans while honoring an all-time NHL legend.
Ray Haluska aka Kladno Jagr, curator of the Jagr-O-Meter