We catch up with our pals at Litter Box Cats, asking them three burning questions leading into tonight's contest.
The Winnipeg Jets can't buy a win at this point and have subsequently been railroaded in their past two games, the first coming by way of the Florida Panthers last Thursday night.
As part of our gameday coverage, we had a few questions relating to the Panthers before puck-drop later this evening.
With that, here's Donny Rivette of Litter Box Cats in today's instalment of Gameday Questionnaire:
1. The Florida Panthers have exploded for ten goals in their past two games. What can be attributed to this recent surge?
Simply stated: good health. The roster is finally inching its way toward appearing as we figured it should way back in September. Being without any one of the top line's trio of Versteeg/Weiss/Fleischmann through the season's first week or so made for seemingly endless player jockeying up front, with poor results.
Beyond that, depth at the forward positions has become a prime factor of late; consider the efforts of Shawn Matthias and George Parros (on the scoresheet!) Sunday in Buffalo. As well, the speed and skill on display with the Mueller/Shore/Huberdeau line is just exquisite.
2. After Kris Versteeg and Marcel Goc made recent returns to the line-up, Scottie Upshall was injured in Thursday night's game by James Wright. How does Upshall's absence affect Florida's roster and will Wright have to atone for his actions?
Upshall could be out up to a month. Had fellow LW Sean Bergenheim (team suspension) been available, such a loss could likely be tolerated without management losing too much hair. He was playing fourth line minutes in any case, so his the absence will probably cause few ripples, despite the renewed sense of energy he appeared to bring on a more consistent basis.
The James Wright thing...well, I wouldn't venture a guess as to a "revenge factor" going into this evening, at least from the Panthers' dressing room. Certainly something could crop up, but I personally don't think such a goal is terribly high on Florida's To-Do list. As a fan, I want them focused on a victory. If some blood is spilled so be it. D Erik Gudbranson could well be making his season debut, and chances are he's probably trending a bit more ornery than usual.
3. If you were a member of the Florida Panthers, being treated to -25C Winnipeg weather would make you feel _________?
...Thankful for the NHL's southern expansion!
Ed. Note: We thank Donny for giving us his time in this edition of Gameday Questionnaire. Look for our next edition Thursday with our pals at Pension Plan Puppets.