Florida Panthers, February 24, 2001


Champ: Mariusz Czerkawski - 2 goals and an assist; recorded his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season; he is coming alive as of late Chump: Duane Sutter - We all ...

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Mariusz Czerkawski - 2 goals and an assist; recorded his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season; he is coming alive as of late


Duane Sutter - We all expected to see Luongo between the pipes and what does he do? Trevor Kidd gets the starting nod! Way to go Duane.

Talk about disappointment.

In what was expected to be the much-anticipated matchup between DiPietro and Luongo we were all thrown for a loop. Duane Sutter decided that Trevor Kidd would get the start. While we did see Luongo for a few brief moments in the second it was just a tease. We were however, treated to an entertaining game that was physical and played at a high tempo.

With Pavel Bure and the boys coming to town I was a little anxious about what would come out of this game. Bure did his usual damage (netting a goal) but Blake, Czerkawski, and Connolly kept the Isles going in the right direction. After roaring out to a 5-1 lead in the second period, the Isles slowly fizzled as the game continued and the Panthers closed the gap with relative ease. Fortunately the Islanders were able to right the ship and play some solid defense to finish off the Panthers for the 5-4 win.

Three Strikes And You Are Out

What was the deal with DiPietro today? Practically every time he tried to relay the puck out of the zone he fanned on the pass. He seemed unsettled in the crease today seeming to lack the confidence we are all used to. He did however make up for the miscues when he started a rush by carrying the puck up through the neutral zone. It is scary to think that he is still only 19 years old.

How About Them Girl Scouts?

Not only do they sell darn tasty cookies, but they sure can sing. We were treated to a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by a group of young girls classified as Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors. And guess what? Even though I have about 5 boxes of Samoas and Do-Si-Dos home, I couldn't avoid buying another box as I left the Coliseum.

Musical Goalies

Kidd, Luongo, Kidd?? We are first caught by surprise when Kidd is in the starting lineup. Then the poor guy is abused and Luongo only replaces him for 53 seconds! Talk about playing with our heads. You have to wonder what was going through Duane Sutter's mind in all of this. Considering that it spurred the Panthers on to make a comeback we all know why Sutter is behind the bench and I am not.

Chara No Chump

Believe it or not, I have nothing bad to say about the way Chara played this afternoon; he actually played a great game. I was particularly impressed with him when he took on big Peter Worrell after Peter had taken some free shots at Taylor Pyatt earlier in the game. Chara showed some team spirit going out there and standing up for the rookie. I particularly liked the wrestling move at the end when he took Worrell down to the ice; he must have learned that move from his father.

Ice Chips

(tid bits you may have missed)

Is anyone else curious about the type of vehicle Vanbiesbrouck drives around in? During the "Get to Know Your Islander's" segment during the game he was unanimously chosen to have the worst car. I can just see him on Hempstead Turnpike using his feet to move his car Flintsones style. I actually thought the Tug of War game was pretty unique. Unfortunately, the crowd didn't really seem to get too excited about it. Hey Tom, did you notice that all of the Islanders chose Gretzky as the greatest player of all time? Mario? Who is that? Mathieu Biron is making his case to stay with the big club. He was a +3 tonight and very smart with the puck defensively. Of all the bands that I have heard at the Coliseum this season, my personal Grammy goes to Sugar. You can look forward to seeing the Beezer and Chara with blonde hair next game.

Until Next Time..."Lace em up!"

- Mike