It's about time we give it up for Peter DeBoer. The rookie head coach of the Florida Panthers wasn't exactly a hot name around the NHL when he was hired, and not many people expected him to be able to do much with a team that lost its offensive leader and captain Olli Jokinen. But halfway through his first season, DeBoer has his troops playing their hearts out almost every night. He's making great decisions with his goaltenders and he's keeping the Cats in position to make a late season playoff run. And young players like Stephen Weiss and David Booth are stepping up and making their coach look even better.
If DeBoer can keep developing talent like this, the Panthers will be a team to reckon with for years to come. Check out the Cats as they host their division rivals, the Atlanta Thrashers, at 1 p.m. at the BankAtlantic Center (One Panther Parkway, Sunrise). A game pack including parking costs as little as $17. Visit www.ticketmaster.com, or call 954-835-7825.
Sat., Jan. 10, 1 p.m., 2009