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Thursday, July 1, 2010

We Have Moved!

Completely forgot to do this. Sunshine State Hockey has moved to a new site. Please follow us over there.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Stanley Cup Final

Hello everyone, I hope you all are as excited as I am for the Cup final to begin tonight. In just a little over an hour two teams will go head to head for the chance to hoist the cup. Neither team has one Lord Stanley's hardware in at least thirty five years.

I just wanted to stop in and give my pick for the series. I will admit I didn't do too well in these playoffs, but I hope to make up for it.

After all is said and done, the Chicago Blackhawks will be the 2010 Stanley Cup champions. Not only will they win, but I say that the Hawks will end this series in five. Bold prediction? Maybe, but only time will tell.

I hope everyone enjoys game 1 and the entire series. Check back later this week for another installment of What Really Grinds My Gears followed by a new poll.

If you have any comments or questions please post them on SSH's facebook page or send them to

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Time For The AHL To Come To FLA?

The Florida Panthers rocky relationship with their farm club, the Rochester Americans, will most likely be coming to an end after the 2010-2011 season. The main reason for the split, among others, is because the Panthers never forked over some money to help pay for the veteran players on the Amerks after they promised they would.

With the partnership ending that will leave the Panthers prospects without a place to officially play. I am sure the Panthers will fine another farm team out there, but before they go sending the boys off to play in Alaska or some other far off place why not consider staying close to home? Why not give AHL hockey a chance in the sunshine state?

Minor league hockey is nothing new to Florida. The Florida Everblades of the ECHL has a very strong following on the west coast in Fort. Myers. Orlando also had the Solar Bears, an IHL team that won the Turner Cup in 2001, the last year of the league before it folded. The issue with the Solar Bears though was attendance. Even though they had a good product on the ice, the people in Orlando didn't seem that interested.

There are plenty of other places in Florida that an AHL team might work. Let us forget Sunrise and Tampa since both areas already have NHL teams. Some other spots that come to mind would be Jacksonville, Miami, West Palm Beach, or maybe even give Orlando another chance. Of course the Panthers will have to help out and show interest in their farm club, which one has to think that the Panthers will do so and learn from their mistakes they made with the Amerks.

Time to bring back the Bears?

Not only will an AHL team in Florida be a good gauge for the growth of hockey in the sunshine state, but it will also help out with the traveling of prospects called up and sent down. Many times you hear from Panthers staff and players that traveling from Rochester to Florida and Florida to Rochester is taxing on guys, especially when they arrive on the day of the game. If you want a good example, look no further then Shawn Matthias.

So what do you all think? Would you like to see an AHL team in Florida? Do you think that one of the areas listed would be a good choice, or would you pick somewhere else? Or would you just like to see the Cats create a partnership with an already established AHL team?

Leave your feedback on SSH's facebook page or send it to

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dale Tallon The New GM of Panthers

Reports from George Richards of the Miami Heralds "On Frozen Pond" claim that Dale Tallon, former General Manager of the Chicago Blackhawks, will take over the GM role for the Florida Panthers.

This is a bit surprising to say the least. I for one felt that Sexton was doing a good job, especially with all of the prospect signings this off season.

If such reports are true the press conference to make the announcement will be held tomorrow at 11 A.M.

You can read GR's story here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Conference Finals, Who Would Have Guessed?

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you all are enjoying this years playoffs, I know I am. Thanks to Montreal and San Jose we are guaranteed a new match up for the cup this year. The playoffs have been wild though to say the least, especially the second round. Who would have guessed, aside from fans of the respected teams, that the Habs would knock off the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the same fashion as the Presidents Trophy winning Washington Capitals? Who would have guessed that the Boston Bruins would lose their series against the Philadelphia Flyers after being up 3-0 in the series, and 3-0 in game seven?

You couldn't write this script even if you tried.

On the western side of the fence things shaped up as they should have based on regular season standings. The #1 and #2 seed will battle for the right to go to the cup final. The Hawks goaltending has held up and Antti Niemi is doing an admirable job, but this is the series that will make or break Chicago's young netminder.

I am not going to recap last round, because well, my predictions were off. Can you blame me though? At least I called the Boston vs Philly series, that counts for something. SSH went 1-

For what it's worth, here are SSH's predictions for the Conference Finals.

Eastern Conference Final

#8 Montreal Canadiens vs #7 Philadelphia Flyers.

Old time hockey makes an appearance in the Eastern finals this year. This series is going to be a good one, but in the end the Habs will walk away the winners. The Canadiens have turned into a shutdown team with a no named defense, and if these no names can shut down Ovechkin and Crosby they should be able to shut down Richards and Co.

Montreal wins the series 4-2.

Western Conference Final

#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs #1 San Jose Sharks

The two power houses in the West battle for their shut at the cup. The San Jose Sharks are loaded on offense skill in both their forwards and defense while the Hawks are a more balanced team with the better defense. This series will go the distance, but in the end Antti Niemi will prove he is strong enough to carry his team to the promise land.

Chicago wins the series 4-3.

I hope everyone enjoys the games. If anyone has any comments or questions you can post them on SSH's facebook page or E-mail me at

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Round 1 Done, Round 2 Starts Tonight

The day after one of the most shocking upsets ever seen in the playoffs, people are still asking the same question. What in the world happened?

The Washington Capitals were the favorites of many to win the cup this season, unless your name is RJ Umberger. Something happened though that shocked everyone, including Alexander Ovechkin. The Caps ran into a wall named Jaroslav Halak. Let us not forget that the Washington Capitals had a 3-1 series lead before Montreal won three in a row to take the series. So, the Caps will have questions to answer in the off-season, and the Habs will live to fight another day.

On to my predictions for round 1. I have to admit it was a bit bold for me to say that Nashville would win their series against Chicago, but sure enough I paid for my boldness by getting that series wrong.

Eastern Conference

#1 Washington Capitals vs #8 Montreal Canadiens

SSH: "Capitals take series 4-0."

Reality: Montreal Wins Series 4-3.

Cut me some slack on this one. I am willing to bet that all of you said something similar, unless your a Habs fan.

#2 New Jersey Devils vs #7 Philadelphia Flyers

SSH: "Devils take series 4-0."

Reality: Philadelphia Wins Series 4-1.

This was another shocker in the first round. Hats off to Brian Boucher for coming out of no where and playing better then the quickly aging Martin Brodeur.

#3 Buffalo Sabres vs # 6 Boston Bruins

SSH: "Sabres take series 4-3."

Reality: Boston Wins Series 4-2.

Ryan Miller was not a happy camper after this one. I have a feeling he was banking on a long playoff run to erase the haunting memory of the Olympic finale. Sorry Ryan, now you have two bad experiences to dwell on in the summer.

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs #5 Ottawa Senators

SSH: "Penguins take series 4-2."

Reality: Pittsburgh Wins Series 4-2.

I got one right! The Senators tried their best, and Pascal Leclaire came off the bench and played well, but the Pens were just too strong for the surprise team in the East.

Western Conference

#1 San Jose Sharks vs #8 Colorado Avalanche

SSH: "Sharks take series 4-2."

Reality: San Jose Wins Series 4-2.

Another correct answer for SSH, but it will be the last complete correct answer (team and # games) of the first round. This series was a crazy one that included a goal scored on San Jose by the Sharks own Dan Boyle. The Sharks prevailed but the Avalanche proved that they will be a dangerous team in the West for years to come.

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs #6 Los Angeles Kings

SSH: "Canucks take series 4-1."

Reality "Vancouver Wins Series 4-2."

The Sedin's, and former Panther Mikael Sammualson, handled the young and promising LA Kings with ease. Luongo played well, but never had to be spectacular in this series. The Kings go home with good feelings for the future.

#4 Phoenix Coyotes vs #5 Detroit Red Wings

SSH: "Red Wings take series 4-2."

Reality: Detroit Wins Series 4-3.

Phoenix tried with all their might, but come on, its the Red Wings. The end of game seven proved that hockey is just fine in Arizona as long as the Yotes keep winning. Hats off to the classy fans that stayed and saluted their team with a "Lets go Yotes!" chant.

So counting just the correct teams SSH went 4-4, .500 is not too shabby and I will take it.

Now let us wrap this up with predictions for round 2, which starts tonight at 9:00 PM eastern when the San Jose Sharks host the Detroit Red Wings in game 1.

Round 2 Predictions:

Western Conference

#5 Detroit Red Wings vs #1 San Jose Sharks

The Sharks make it out of round 1, only to run into the Red Wings. The Sharks will try their best, just as the Coyotes did before them, but come on, its the Red Wings.

Red Wings take series 4-2.

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs #2 Chicago Blackhawks

So maybe I shouldn't have went against the Blackhawks in round 1, but I am going to do it again in round 2. Roberto Luongo will have to be spectacular in this series, and I have a feeling he will be up to the challenge. The Hawks goaltending will fall apart in this series, leading to the end of the line for Chicago.

Canucks take series 4-1.

Eastern Conference

#8 Montreal Canadiens vs # 4 Pittsburgh Penguins

Halak will have to stand on his head again to give Montreal a chance in this series. You have to think though that Pittsburgh is ready for the Habs, and that Montreal may be just a little tired after the Washington series. Mix that together with the fact that Crosby is on fire and you will have the Penguins moving on to the Eastern Conference finals for the third straight year.

Penguins take series 4-3.

#7 Philadelphia Flyers vs #6 Boston Bruins

Out of all the match ups in round two this one is going to prove the hardest to predict. In the end though the more offensive team will win this series, making way for a pretty good Eastern finals match up between the Penguins and the Flyers.

Flyers take series 4-3.

If you have any comments or questions please post them on SSH's facebook page or send them to

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Panthers Pick 3rd

The Panthers are no better, or worse, one day after the NHL 2010 draft lottery. The Cats held their spot at 3rd, as did all other fourteen teams in the lottery. The top five shapes up like so:

5. New York Islanders
4. Columbus Blue Jackets
3. Florida Panthers
2. Boston Bruins
1. Edmonton Oilers

Brian Burke may not want to admit it, but you know he is kicking himself for that trade with the Bruins.

One other side note before we get started with the Western predictions. The Atlanta Thrashers have overhauled their front office and coaching staff. The reason I bring this up is because the Thrashers decided to hire former Cats GM Rick Dudley to fill the General Manager role. This is the biggest mistake the Thrashers could make. As all of us Panthers fans know, this guy is a poison to any organization he joins. I guess ATL will find out just how bad Dudley is soon enough.

Alright, now on to more important matters. Here are SSH's predictions for the 2010 Western Conference playoffs.

#1 San Jose Sharks vs #8 Colorado Avalanche

Former Panthers goalie Craig Anderson will get his first taste of the post season, and will have to be spectacular to get Colorado past a very powerful San Jose team. The Sharks will look for Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau to carry over their exceptional play into to post season. Colorado will try their best, but the overall team inexperience will catch up to them.

Sharks take series 4-2.

#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs #7 Nashville Predators

The Blackhawks are going to win the Stanley Cup, at least that's what EA Sports said after their NHL 10 simulation. We here at SSH's are going out on a limb and saying that goaltending will be the downfall of the Hawks, and that their downfall will come quickly.

Predators take series 4-3.

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs #6 Los Angeles Kings

The Kings have finally made it back to the post season, but sadly in the first round they run into a brick wall named Roberto Luongo. I expect Lu will be in full form as the Canucks handle the Kings with some ease, only dropping one game.

Canucks take series 4-1.

#4 Phoenix Coyotes vs #5 Detroit Red Wings

How can you not love the Phoenix Coyotes? A team that was almost moved before the start of this season not only stays in the desert after many months of court battles, but also becomes one of the dominant western conference teams. Sadly for the Coyotes, they get to go up against those pesky Red Wings that just seem to never go away. Phoenix will surprise the Wings and win both games in Phoenix, but the veterans will calm down and pick apart the Coyotes the next four.

Red Wings take series 4-2.

If you have any comments or questions, or want to share your predictions, please feel free to post them on SSH's facebook page or send them to