The game many had circled following a blockbuster trade for the ages — the Calgary Flames visiting the Florida Panthers — may still be filled with intrigue and perhaps even some drama.
(I would not mind some drama.)
But it is not the matchup of two the NHL’s top teams as perhaps we were all expecting it to be.
Listen, this is not to say the Panthers and Flames stink.
They do not.
But both teams are struggling a bit coming into this Saturday matchup of the ages.
These are not the Panthers and Flames from last season.
At least not yet.
Florida, last year’s best regular-season team in the NHL, is 9-7-1 and currently a point out of the playoffs; Calgary rebuilt its team but are 7-7-2 and also sit outside the playoffs.
Both teams come into the weekend following a loss.
It is still Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar returning to the place they made their bones as NHL players.
It is Matthew Tkachuk facing the Calgary Flames for the first time in his career.
It should be fun.
Just perhaps not what we all hoped it would be.
Or maybe it will be?
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
The Florida Panthers were without captain Sasha Barkov due to an illness and played a man down Thursday night — but at least they had Tua Tagovailoa on their side.
Still, the Dolphins’ star quarterback could not help them claw out of a 4-0 first-period hole.
Although they came close.
— There was definitely a scary moment during the second period when Dallas goalie Scott Wedgewood was down on his back and being treated by medical staff from both teams.
He was taken off the ice on a stretcher as a precaution with Pete DeBoer saying he will be evaluated today in Dallas.
— The view from the Dallas Stars side of things. Nice win.
— The Panthers’ penalty kill had a big test against the Stars on Thursday night. At least that part of Florida’s game was clicking as Dallas went 0-3 with the man advantage.
— New stuff on the FHN YouTube Channel which you can go to RIGHT HERE or just click on the video below.
We have postgame video from Paul Maurice, Aaron Ekblad and Sam Bennett.
If you subscribe to the channel — which is free — you will be alerted whenever new content appears.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
Hey, Huberdeau and Weegar are not the only former Panthers back in town this weekend.
Former goalie Jacob Markstrom — who, some may forget, was sent to Vancouver in the Roberto Luongo deal back in 2014 — says he knows he had to be better in net for the Flames to succeed.
— The Washington Capitals had themselves a night but still lose in a shootout to the Blues.
— It was not pretty, but the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Wild.
— Guess who won again? If you said the Boston Bruins, well, that was easy.
— On the Philadelphia Flyers side of things, Travis Konecny got hurt in that loss to the red-hot Bs.
PANTHERS ON DECK
CALGARY FLAMES AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV: Bally Sports Florida; NHL Network
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Last season: Split 1-1
- All-time regular season series: Calgary leads 22-11-3, 3 ties