Forward Mattias Ritola cleared waivers yesterday, but no corresponding transaction has taken place. He remains on the Tampa Bay Lightning roster, and will be scratched tonight. Tom Pyatt finds himself back in the lineup. Pyatt has played around 12-minutes a night in his appearences this season, he's -1 with 1 assist ont he year.
And in net? Dwayne Roloson makes his third start in a row. Rollie is coming off a start against the Carolina Hurricanes where a listless team played in front of him for much of the game, resulting in 4 goals on 31 shots. The inconsistent defense of the team isn't the reason why fans and media people were insinuating there was a goalie controversy in Tampa last month. When perceived #1 goalie isn't playing well (Roloson has a .888 save percentage and a 3.70 GAA in seven appearances this season) and the backup is (Mathieu Garon has a .921 save percentage and a 2.43 GAA in seven appearances), that's going to happen.
But, going into tonight's showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks at Times Palace, one has to wonder which Roloson shows up: The inconsistent goalie that suffers with the team in front of him? Or the lights-out one man show that we saw last week in the 1-0 win over Winnipeg?
The Chicago Blackhawks are playing the second of back-to-back games. They won in the shootout last night in Sunrise, 3-2. While we can appreciate them getting the win over the Kitties, it would have been nice if they could have gotten both points and denied the Cats any. The Panthers are in 2nd place in the division with 14 points.
The last time these two clubs met up at the Forum, the game ended in a shootout... One with it's own controversy by way of Martin St. Louis' shootout goal:
It seems fitting that, ont he eve of a rematch between these two clubs, another controversial shootout goal was scored. This time, the Philadelphia Flyers Daniel Briere was at the center of attention for his attempt against Johan Hedberg adn the New Jersey Devils:
Was it legal? Were either of these goals legal? I'm not even sure the refs know what is legal and what isn't in the shootout. They just know the lamp gets lit, that means they point to the puck and all is well int eh world... Until people boo. Then all is perfect.
The Blackhawks come into Times Palace with an 8-2-2 record, leading the Central Division by four points, and leading the Western Conference with 40 goals scored by the team in 12 games so far.
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