The Cat Call: You are about to enter…The Stillman Zone.

Updated: January 3, 2010 at 1:24 pm by Patrick Minor


Well Panthers and hockey fans I hope you all have had a good holiday – I myself have returned after a long family hiatus just in time for this past week’s New Years Eve hockey extravaganza and….the Twilight Zone marathon (c’mon puck heads…it cannot be hockey all the time).

So what has happened in the past ten games?  A 5-4-1 record…that’s what happened!  This looks pretty plain jane to me – but there were some major offensive triumphs including, Stephen Weiss’s offensive ballet (see guys ballet can be cool).  Or my personal favorite – the night against Carolina when our defense played like the best scoring blue lines in the league.  All in all, after the big expectations I gave in the previous article I find myself looking at 1-1-1 record, in reference to my predictions.

I gave myself two points for the Stephen Weiss explosion…well because I am a horrible self promoter.  The record also represents the loss because we have not seen too much from Dmitry Kulikov this season – due to a knee injury.  However, guess what boys and girls, there is a point for the Steve Reinprecht outlook.  With the return of Cory Stillman this past Thursday came a whole new set of predictions and possibilities for Reinprecht and the Panthers scoring lines – this prediction has gone into overtime.

Last time we saw Reinprecht go on a tear was, coincidently, when he was lined with good ole’ Cory Stillman.  So why not expect more of the same?  In a recent article from Steve Gorten, of The Sun Sentinel, Gorten highlights the connection these two players had before Stillman went down with injury.   If you do not feel like furthering your Panthers digestion…shame on you…but I will spell it out:

– Reinprecht had nine goals in eight games and Stillman had seven points in eight games.

Pretty nice.  Now this time around, Coach Pete DeBoer added the speedy Radek Dvorak – who has six assists and three goals in the past ten (including that shouldhave-been-a-goal assist on New Years Eve).  That’s nine points – for those who did not want to read before (I assume you won’t do math either).  Joking and…abuse…aside it looks like the Cats might once again have two strong scoring lines, and that goal with six minutes on the clock only helps to prove this self promoter right.

So what does this mean for Sunday’s match-up with the Penguins?  Well, perhaps Tomas Vokoun will not have to get any assists for this game.  Not that it worked out so great…however, with the top line having numbers like this in their past ten:

Player Goals assists
Michael Frolik 5 5
Stephen Weiss 5 8
Nathan Horton 6 9

Total Points (that your fantasy team could use right now):  38

…the Panthers New Years Resolution is probably to take some pressure off of Tommy-Boy…“Who’s your favorite little rascal…?” Look guys…I tied in a random movie quote…ahem…Randy Moller…ahem…

Tell me something I don’t know –

Nathan Horton – C, RW (81% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – Horton hears a who?…oh ok I admit it…predictable…I am sure you guys can think of a better team name than that.  In any case, I should not have to say this but, Horton is nasty!  This guy really heated up in the past couple weeks.  And what about that assist run between Dec 11th and 18th where he racked up 10 points and a hat trick for good measure.  Add this with the fact he is eligible in the RW position and he should be even more enticing to you struggling Mike Knuble owners (well even though he forced one in Wednesday night).  If you are looking to move him you might find the beginnings of a workable deal.

And now for something completely different –

Those of us glued to our fantasy leagues know those player updates are a bit ridiculous sometimes – mostly because sports players can be a bit…ridiculous (Two Words: Ocho…Cinco…).  Here is the December 28th Yahoo! update for Martin Havlat that made me laugh:

RW Martin Havlat typically plays poorly at Staples Center. He entered Monday’s game with five points and a minus-11 rating in eight games in L.A but left with a big second-period goal, loads of scoring chances and an overall gritty game. Havlat said before Monday’s game, “I changed a few things up yesterday and today, but I won’t share them.” Two things for sure: He ate with his agent, Allan Walsh, at a different restaurant Sunday night than usual, and Walsh’s wife, Stephanie, was banned from attending the game. Havlat is minus-6 in two games Stephanie attended. (Yahoo! Sports)

In his defense…he was doing awful.  In her defense…it probably had to do more with him…doing awful.  However…I am starting to feel pretty good about getting him for Brenden Morrow in my 16 team league.

Till next time children.  I leave you with this…The Cow says, “Moo!”… The Pat Minor says, “Go Cats!”

Florida Panthers