We got a text message from someone with the Florida Panthers on Wednesday afternoon not long after the team landed in Fort Lauderdale.
Went from minus-16 to 76.
As the Fort Lauderdale tourism folks would say: ‘Hello, Sunny.’
The Panthers certainly got a nice taste of winter with their five-game trip to chilly Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg — with a side trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, thrown in for good measure.
While many on the Panthers’ traveling party welcomed a little taste of home — not everyone on the team hails from the tropics, you know — it is always nice to get back to the sun and the fun.
Of course, the Panthers will have to shed their shorts and sandals and get to the arena on Thursday for a pretty critical game with the Detroit Red Wings later tonight.
The Panthers may have their captain back after missing him the past two weeks.
More on that below…
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
Sasha Barkov’s father spoke to a Finnish news outlet and said that his son — who happens to be captain of the Florida Panthers — was waylaid with a bout of pneumonia and, at one point, had a temperature of 103 degrees.
Barkov has been out of the lineup since Thanksgiving due to the illness but could be back tonight against the Wings.
— We’re going to find a lot about these Panthers in the coming days as their schedule is doing them no favors.
Not only do they play three games in four days coming off this road trip, but they’ll mostly be playing teams holding a playoff spot all the way through the Christmas break.
Ho, ho, ho.
— Tonight’s game is one of those streaming only ones so you better have ESPN+ or Hulu if you want to watch it. That, or know someone who does.
— There is a lot of pre- and postgame video up on the FHN YouTube Channel from Tuesday in Winnipeg including not a couple of videos from Paul Maurice as well as Zac Dalpe. We also have Eetu Luostarinen and Sam Reinhart on there.
Check out all of our FHN videos RIGHT HERE or just click on the videos below and enjoy them at your leisure.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
Tage Thompson had himself a night in Columbus, scoring four goals in the first period alone and five total as the Sabres ran through the Blue Jackets.
— Former Washington Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek is happy to be liked in New Jersey.
— Did Ron Hextall get it right with the Pittsburgh Penguins by letting things play out?
— The Dallas Stars have points in 10 of their past 12, but Pete DeBoer sees some habits he does not like creeping in.
— With a lack of scoring from their wingers, can the New York Islanders keep up a push to the playoffs?
PANTHERS ON DECK
DETROIT RED WINGS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- Streaming ONLY: ESPN+/Hulu
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Last season: Florida won 4-0
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 33-19-6, 5 ties