Tonight is the NHL preseason game between the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins at Blue Cross Arena and if you’re still undecided about going, I thought I’d share some reasons to go. If you decide you want tickets, call the Amerks office at (585) 454-5335. Ticket prices? Yea, you can see those here.
10. It’s hockey!!!! After a long summer of dealing with other sports where people run around on the grass we finally have the return of the greatest sport on earth.
9. Dimtry Kulikov and Erik Gudbranson. These two will likely anchor the Florida Panthers defense for many years to come. It’s still unknown whether Gudbranson will stay in the NHL this season but if not he’ll be back next year. You don’t care about Panthers players you say? I understand that. I’m sure many people said the same thing years ago when Ovechkin played in Rochester for the Capitals but today would love to see him play. As a hockey fan it’s great to get the chance to see players who bypassed the AHL completely.
8. The return of Andrew Peters and potential for a great preseason hockey fight. Peters is working hard to try and hold on to a job full time in Florida and I think we’ll be guaranteed a strong game from him. The Bruins offer McGrattan, Lucic and Thornton as potential opponents.
7. Two great goalies in Tim Thomas vs Tomas Vokoun. Vokoun is playing for the Panthers and I imagine since Tim Thomas had off on Wednesday night he’ll dress tonight. For hockey fans in AHL cities we often get to see goalies on their way up but not in their primes. Sure, you can debate that Thomas is past his prime
6. The third line of Kenndal McArdle, Marty Reasoner and Byron Bitz. These three are a potential force together. McArdle had shoulder surgery at the end of the 2009-2010 season and is looking to make the jump to the show full time. He’s almost always played hard but with “the show” on the line we should see a great game out of him.
5. Keaton Ellerby. Ellerby was called up to the Panthers at the end of last season but was barely given a look by Pete DeBoer. He has put on some weight over the summer and hopes to be considered a great first round pick like Kulikov and Gudbranson. It’s a fresh start for everyone, including Ellerby. Like McArdle, he knows there’s a lot on the line. This game could be his chance to stay with Florida a little longer or be left behind here in Rochester.
4. Bill Thomas. When Bill Thomas was signed many of us said, “who?” Those who have seen him play before say that he’s a great player to have in an Amerks uniform. His best professional season was 2007-2008 when he scored 24G + 28A in 75 games with the San Antonio Rampage. It’s a new season, time to be optimistic and look forward to seeing the potential talent that will be in an Amerks uniform.
3. The beginnings of the Dale Tallon era of the Florida Panthers. The Panthers have been “rebuilding” for a long time but based on the way Tallon constructed the Chicago Blackhawks into Stanley Cup Champs we could see the beginnings of that tonight.
2. Pete DeBoer told George Richards, “They are our farm team and I think it’s important they get to see our big players.” A concern heading into the game was that it was going to be a bunch of players we’ve seen the last two years but that’s not the case. The Panthers are going with their A squad for the game.
From Kevin O, here’s the lineup of forwards:
David Booth-Stephen Weiss-Michael Frolik
Christopher Higgins-Steven Reinprecht-Cory Stillman
Kenndal McArdle-Marty Reasoner-Byron Bitz
Andrew Peters-Adrian Foster-Bill Thomas
The defense will have:
Bryan Allen-Erik Gudbranson
Bryan McCabe-Dimtry Kulikov
Keaton Ellerby-Dennis Wideman
Goalies will be Tomas Vokoun and Tyler Plante
1. It’s hockey!!!! After a long summer of dealing with other sports where people run around on the grass we finally have the return of the greatest sport on earth.
See you at the game!