Monday, February 29, 2016

Panthers Trade Brandon Pirri

     The Florida Panthers traded left wing Brandon Pirri to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2016 sixth-round draft pick. Pirri had 11 goals and 13 assists in 52 games this season with the Panthers. He did score 22 goals last season for the club in 49 games.

Lost Weekend For Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played two games on the road this weekend and came out with one point of a possible four overall. The team played against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday and were defeated in a 4-3 shootout. It was followed on Sunday where they fell to the Minnesota Wild 3-1.
     The Panthers played a close game on Sunday in Minnesota. The Wild got on the scoreboard just 5:18 into the first period. Zach Parise connected a pass from the left corner to the front of the net and Charlie Coyle scored from the crease area to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead.
     Florida tied it 1-1 in the second period on the power play at 7:34. Jussi Jokinen performed a back-and-forth pass with Aleksander Barkov in the low right circle. He then sent a cross-ice pass to a wide open Aaron Ekblad in the low slot and he snapped a shot for his 12th goal of the season.
      Minnesota pulled away in the final period with two goals. Erik Haula skated through the slot area and scored an unassisted goal at 10:29. Jason Pominville clinched the victory with a power-play goal with 39 seconds left.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Dino Costa In St. Louis

     Former local radio sports host Dino Costa has joined KFNS-AM in St. Louis as their new morning host. He has done a sports show on the internet in recent years and will continue that role. He did work as a mid-afternoon co-host with Pat Paolini on WAOC-AM in St. Augustine from November 2014 until late 2015.
     Prior to his arrival in South Florida, Costa was a sports talk host in Denver during the early 2000s. He landed in Jacksonville and was employed at WNNR-AM as an afternoon host from June 2003 to February 2004.
     Costa then moved to South Florida and joined 1400 The Fan WFLL-AM when the radio station launched into a sports format in April 2004. His stay was brief and he left the organization in July 2004.
     He returned to Denver for a second stint in the late 2000s. He was a midday host at KCRN-AM from May 2005 to August 2008. Costa added duties as a television studio host for Fox Sports Rocky Mountain. He founded and contributed as the program director along with being a talk host. He later founded the website.
     Costa became part of SiriusXM Radio in January 2010. He was the evening host on Mad Dog Radio and held that spot until September 2013. Costa shifted to the morning shift of Sports Zone channel and stayed in that role for one month before he departed that organization.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Florida Panthers Make Several Trades

     The Florida Panthers completed several acquisitions on Saturday as they begin the final 20 games of the regular season. The trade deadline for the National Hockey League is 3p.m. on Monday.
     The Panthers first picked up right wing Jiri Hudler from the Calgary Flames for a 2016 second-round draft pick and a 2018 fourth-round draft pick. Hudler played the last four seasons with the Flames and won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 2015. He was with the Detroit Red Wings from 2003 until 2012 and captured a Stanley Cup championship in 2008. Hudler had 10 goals and 25 assists in 35 games this season with Calgary.
     Florida followed that when they acquired defenseman Jakub Kindl from the Detroit Red Wings for a 2017 sixth-round draft pick. Kindl has played the last seven seasons with the Red Wings and had six points in 25 games this season.
     The Cats finished their day of trades as they got right wing Teddy Purcell from the Edmonton Oilers for 2016 third-round draft pick. He has played for the Edmonton Oilers over the past two seasons and had compiled 11 goals along with 21 assists in 61 games this season. He was with the Los Angeles Kings from 2007 to 2010 and the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2010 to 2014.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Panthers Roll Over Coyotes

     The Florida Panthers finished a six-game homestand with a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers completed the home stretch with a 3-2-1 record. They begin a five-game road trip on Saturday in Columbus and end it in Arizona.
     In the first period, longtime Arizona(27-28-6) captain Shane Doan gave his club a 1-0 lead at 7:02 on his 23rd goal of the campaign. He got the puck at the right point, skated forward and slipped a slapshot between the pads of Roberto Luongo.
     Florida(35-18-7) tied the game at 12:04 as Vincent Trocheck connected for his 18th goal of the season. He had the puck on the right wing and sent a cross-ice pass to Brian Campbell on the left point. He returned it back to Trocheck in the high slot and then he snapped a high shot past Louis Domingue. Campbell compiled his 400th career assist on that play.
     The Panthers took their first lead of the contest on the power play at 10:18 of the second period. Dmitry Kulikov passed the puck from the top of the zone to Nick Bjugstad in the left circle for a one-time slapshot. Aleksander Barkov pounced on the rebound and scored from the top of the crease.
     The Cats extended their margin to 3-1 at the four-minute mark of the third. Jaromir Jagr carried the puck around the Arizona cage and centered it. Barkov, who missed the last six games, followed with a wrist shot in the low slot for his 18th goal.
     The Coyotes cut the gap to one goal with 5:53 remaining in the final period on the power play. Oliver Ekman-Larsson blasted a slap shot from far range for his 18th tally of the season.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Heat Fall To NBA Champion Warriors

     The Miami Heat hosted the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors and were defeated 118-112 on Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat have lost their last four home games against the Warriors. Stephen Curry led Golden State with 40 points while Dwyane Wade had 32 points for the Heat.
     Miami(32-25) moved out to a 20-12 lead seven minutes into the contest and led 30-21 after one quarter. The Heat stayed up throughout the second quarter and following a late Golden State 10-2 spurt were ahead 55-51 at halftime. Wade and Curry led their clubs in scoring with 18 points each at the half. 
     Golden State(51-5) came out with a vengeance to begin the second half as they went on a 12-4 run to get the lead 63-59 four minutes into the third. There were several lead changes during the frame and Miami was up 83-80 after three quarters.
     In the fourth quarter, Klay Thompson scored 15 consecutive points for the Warriors as they pulled ahead 104-100 with 3:25 remaining. Miami responded with six straight points capped by a Hassan Whiteside field goal to regain the lead 106-104 with 1:42 to go. Curry hit two consecutive three-point shots to give Golden State a 110-108 advantage with 39 seconds left.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Florida Panthers To Honor 1996 Team

     The Florida Panthers will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1995-96 Eastern Conference championship and Stanley Cup finalist team on March 12 as the club will host the Philadelphia Flyers. A ceremony will be held prior to the start of the game.
     13 Players who were announced to participate includes John Vanbiesbrouck, Brian Skrudland, Scott Mellanby, Gord Murphy, Ed Jovanovski, Bill Lindsay, Tom Fitzgerald, Mike Hough, Jason Woolley, Ray Sheppard, Johan Garpenlov, Radek Dvorak and Terry Carkner. Seven people from hockey operations who will show up are Doug Maclean, Bill Torrey, Bryan Murray, Chuck Fletcher, Duane Sutter, Dave Smith and Scott Tinkler.
    The season that the club was involved in became known as The Year Of The Rat. On opening night against the Calgary Flames at Miami Arena, Mellanby killed a rat that was running around the locker room. He would score two goals in the game and Vanbiesbrouck characterized it as a rat trick when speaking with the press after the game. Fans started to throw rubber rats onto the ice whenever the Panthers scored a goal during the regular season and it accelerated more as the postseason began. Commissioner Gary Bettman eliminated the practice several months later due to the game being delayed and player safety.
     They became the first team in franchise history to appear in the NHL playoffs and it happened in just their third season. They stopped the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal and defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Semifinal. They upset the Pittsburgh Penguins in a seven-game series during the Eastern Conference Final and were swept in four games for the Stanley Cup by the Colorado Avalanche.   

Alpha Media Now Operates 640 Sports

     Alpha Media will take over on Wednesday to operate 640 Sports WMEN-AM under a local marketing agreement along with 850 WFTL-AM. A group headed by Mark Jorgenson still owns both stations. Alpha Media acquired all radio stations owned by Digity Media nationally in August. They had to wait for the approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the United States Department of Justice.
     640 Sports currently has only one live local program on the radio station as Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach have hosted the morning show since early January. The station pipes in Fox Sports Radio from Los Angeles for the remainder of the day. They also have the Florida Panthers radio broadcast rights in Palm Beach County and Nova Southeastern University buys time to broadcast their men's basketball games.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Jaromir Jagr 3rd All-Time In Goals

     Jarimir Jagr passed Brett Hull for 3rd place  all-time in NHL history as he scored his 741st and 742nd goals and led the Florida Panthers to a 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at BB&T Center on Saturday night. It was the fifth game of a six-game homestand for the team. Jussi Jokinen also played in his 800th NHL game.
     In the first period, Winnipeg(25-29-4) would convert on their second power-play attempt at 14:35. Dustin Byfuglien flipped a high wrist shot from the right point which grazed off the uniform of Nicolaj Ehlers and by Roberto Luongo.
     Florida(34-18-7) found a way to tie the contest at 4:53 of the second period as Jagr compiled his 19th goal of the season. Dmitry Kulikov snapped a shot from the top right circle which was redirected by Jagr in the low slot over the right shoulder of Michael Hutchinson.
     The Panthers took their first lead of the game at 3:58 of the third period on the power play. Kulikov passed the puck from the top of the zone to Reilly Smith in the right circle and he blasted in a slapshot for his 19th goal of the campaign.
      Jagr would pass Brett Hull for 3rd all-time in NHL history with 6:23 left in the third. He turned around in the crease area and scored from close range after a feed by Jokinen.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Toast New WSFS-FM Morning Host

     Former South Florida sports radio host Toast has been elevated from evening host to morning co-host on 104.3 The Shark WSFS-FM. He has worked at that station since October 2015.
     He is one of only four people to host a sports show on four different radio stations in South Florida. The others are Jorge Sedano, Jeff DeForrest and Hank Goldberg.
     Toast, real name Greg Lamega, was a weekend co-host with Jon Weiner, a.k.a. Stugotz, at Fox Sports Radio 940 WRFX-AM in 2003 and early 2004. He was also a morning producer for the Kenny and Footy Show on Y100 WHYI-FM from 1997 to 2004 . Toast left there to join 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM in August 2004 as the evening co-host with Marc Eisenberg. He was eventually promoted to early morning co-host with Steve Brancik in 2005.
     He would reunite with Kenny Walker on Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM in 2006 and 2007 as the morning show producer and morning sports anchor on the Kenny and Bo Show. He moved to Big 105.9 WBGG-FM as a midday disc jockey and morning producer for Paul and Young Ron Show.
     Toast was a fill-in host at 940 The Sports Animal WINZ-AM for several months in early 2010. He later joined South Florida Sun-Sentinel sports columnist Dave Hyde to co-host a weekend show on 640 Sports WMEN-AM from January 2013 until August 2013.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sharks Get By Panthers

     Jaromir Jagr scored his 740th NHL goal as the Florida Panthers lost to the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in a shootout on Thursday night at BB&T Center. Jagr is now one goal behind Brett Hull for 3rd all-time in NHL history. It started a stretch of seven of the next eight games against Western Conference opponents for the Panthers. 
     After a scoreless first two periods of the contest, Florida(33-18-7) scored early in the third period at 2:23 as Jaromir Jagr picked up his 18th goal of the season. Vincent Trocheck passed from the high slot through the middle and it was stopped by a Sharks defender. Jagr controlled it in the slot and put in a snap shot by Martin Jones.
     San Jose(31-20-6) tied the game 1-1 at 8:56 on a takeaway. Joe Pavelski recovered the puck on the right wing and pushed it ahead to Joe Thornton on the end wall. He found Logan Couture in the slot area and he fired a slapshot past Al Montoya for his seventh goal of the campaign.
     The game would go beyond overtime and into a shootout. Former Panthers draft pick Joonas Donskai scored on the Sharks first attempt as he slipped a forehand shot through the legs of Montoya. Both squads converted in the second round as Nick Bjugstad scored on a wrist shot for Florida while Pavelski got the game-deciding goal for San Jose when he snapped in a shot.

Andy Slater Show Adds Tommy Hutton

     The Andy Slater Show announced that former Miami Marlins television analyst Tommy Hutton will join the program heard on Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM every Monday as of February 29. Slater has hosted a show at that station since January 2014.  
     Hutton was the television analyst for the Marlins franchise from 1997 until 2015 and worked alongside play-by-play announcers Joe Angel, Dave O'Brien, Len Kasper and Rich Waltz. He had done prior television work with the Montreal Expos, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Miami Ratings January 2016

     The four-month reign of Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM alone on top of all sports format radio stations in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region ended as they tied with 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM in January. All three local competitors saw a change in the landscape.
     WQAM, who had been the leader in the local area since September, went from a 1.1 to a 0.9 in the month of January as they fell for the third straight month. The University of Miami Hurricanes basketball team began to play the tougher opponents in the Atlantic Coast Conference while the Florida Panthers marched on following a franchise-high 12-game winning streak.
     The Ticket slightly increased from a 0.8 to a 0.9 this month. It was the third time in the last four months that they have improved since Entercom Communications eliminated the FM simulcast of the station back in August. It is no coincidence that was the last time the station was on top of their competitors. It will be the final ratings period in which Joy Taylor co-hosts the morning show with Jonathan Zaslow and Brett Romberg. 
     After getting their best monthly ratings since October 2013 back in December, Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM dropped to a 0.3 in January from a 0.5 and lost a third of their audience. It is the lowest their numbers have been since September. The absence of Miami Dolphins football broadcasts certainly determined things. WINZ and iHeartMedia Miami just finished a six-year deal as the Dolphins radio rights holder and now the broadcasts are in play to the rest of the market.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Miami Heat Trade Birdman

     The Miami Heat have made a three-team deal and have traded center Chris Andersen and two second round draft picks to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Heat will receive point guard Brian Roberts from the Charlotte Hornets while guard Courtney Lee goes from Memphis to Charlotte.
      Andersen, who was known as Birdman, played four seasons with the Heat and helped the club win an NBA title in 2013 along with being Eastern Conference champions on two occasions. He had previous played for the Denver Nuggets and the New Orleans Hornets prior to joining Miami as a free agent in January 2013.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Panthers Skate By Penguins

     Jaromir Jagr celebrated his 44th birthday as the Florida Panthers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in a shootout at BB&T Center on Monday night. Florida is now 28-4-4 when they score first in a game.
     It was the third game in four nights for the Cats who are in the middle of a six-game homestand. The Panthers face against Western Conference opponents in seven of their next eight games.
     Florida(33-18-6) pulled out to a 1-0 lead at 7:30 of the first period. Alex Petrovic placed a diagonal pass from the right point. It went to the low left circle where Nick Bjugstad snapped a shot by Marc-Andre Fleury for his 10th goal this year.
     Pittsburgh(28-19-8) outshot the Panthers 8-0 at the beginning of the second, however neither team was able to score in the period.
     The Penguins waited until 3:19 left in the third period to tie the contest. After they won the face-off in the right circle, Chris Kunitz cycled with the puck around the circle and scored on a wrist shot past Al Montoya for his 11th goal this season.
     The shootout went five rounds and Florida prevailed. Sidney Crosby snapped in a shot between the legs of Montoya on the Penguins first attempt. Florida got a reprieve on their third attempt to tie it as Nick Bjugstad faked a forehand shot and scored on a backhand shot. Former Penguin Jussi Jokinen won it for the Panthers in the fifth round as he delayed and then roofed a forehand shot over Fleury.

Kevin Kiley Leaves Cleveland

     Former South Florida radio sports host Kevin Kiley has left his position as a morning host at WKRK-FM in Cleveland. He left Miami and joined them in August 2011 to co-host a program with longtime on-air partner Chuck Booms.
     Kiley was a midday host at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM for one year from 2010 until 2011. He had made numerous stops in his broadcasting career which included working as a sideline reporter for NFL games.
     He worked in several cities as a sports talk host during his radio career. Kiley was an afternoon co-host heard nationally on Fox Sports Radio with Booms in the 2000s. He moved on to KSPN-AM in Los Angeles followed by KESN-FM in Dallas before he landed in South Florida.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Predators Tame Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played the second game of a six-game homestand and fell to the Nashville Predators 5-0 on Saturday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers are now winless in four of their last five games. Nick Bjugstad played in his 200th NHL game and Brian Campbell played his 350th consecutive game with the club.
     Nashville(26-21-9) pushed the action and scored at 6:18 of the first period. James Neal carried the puck into the right circle and dropped a pass to Calle Jarnkrok and he snapped a shot by the left shoulder of Roberto Luongo.
     The Predators struck quickly again at 8:24 and made it a two-goal margin. Austin Watson recovered the puck in the right corner and fed Mikka Salimaki. He put in a high wrist shot from the right-circle dot.
     Florida(32-18-9) surrendered a power-play goal to the Preds at 10:24 of the second period and were down 3-0. Ryan Johansen fired a shot from long range which was saved, however Neal poked in the puck from the blue paint for his 21st goal of the season.
     In the third period, Nashville scored on their second attempt on the power play at 7:59. Mike Ribeiro passed the puck from the right wing to Roman Josi at the top of the zone. He pushed it to Shea Weber in the left circle where he blasted a one-time slapshot for a 4-0 lead.
     Jarnkrok added his second tally of the game for the Predators as he scored shorthanded at 13:48. He was able to perform a give-and-go pass in the slot area with Josi.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Blues Step On Panthers

     The Florida Panthers started a six-game homestand with a 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues at BB&T Center on Friday night. Roberto Luongo passed Glenn Hall for sixth place in NHL history with 907 games played in net.
     The Cats, who have now gone 1-7-0 in their last eight games with the Blues, began a stretch in which nine of their next eleven opponents are from the Western Conference. The Panthers also lost for the first time in regulation this season when they scored at least three goals and moved to 23-1-1 in that situation.
     After being outshot 5-0 in the first four minutes of the contest, Florida(32-17-6) took a 1-0 lead at 5:05. Shawn Thornton put a slapshot from the right wing on goal which was saved by Brian Elliott. Derek MacKenzie swept in the rebound from the blue paint for his sixth goal this season.
     St. Louis(31-17-9) tied the game 1-1 at 12:16 of the period. David Backes had the puck at his own blue line and banked it off the side boards and went around Aaron Ekblad. He recovered it and snapped a shot from left circle that trickled by Luongo.
     The Blues took their first lead of the game at 15:58 of the first. Colton Parayko fired a shot from the top right circle which was stopped, however Jaden Schwartz skated through the crease and put in the rebound. Schwartz had missed the last 49 games due to a fractured left ankle and last played on October 23.
     The Cats surrendered a power-play goal with 18.9 seconds remaining in the first and fell behind 3-1. A pass by Paul Stastny from the end wall went off the skate of Alex Petrovic. Robby Fabbri got the puck in the low slot and he scored from close range. Al Montoya replaced Luongo in net following the end of the first period.
      In the second period, St. Louis made it a four-goal cushion at the eight-minute mark. Former Panther Jay Bouwmeester fired a wrist shot on net from the slot area which was saved, but Vladimir Tarasenko poked in the rebound inside the blue paint for his 27th goal of the season.
     The Panthers attempted to crawl back into the game midway through the stanza and pulled to 4-2. Ekblad blasted a slapshot from the top of the zone following a feed across by Jonathan Huberdeau at 10:44.
     Florida cut the gap to 4-3 at 10:47 of the third period. Brian Campbell connected a pass to Huberdeau in the left circle and he scored on a snap shot.
     The Blues stopped the momentum at 12:17 as they regained a two-goal lead. Backes passed the puck around the Panthers cage to Alexander Steen in the left corner. He brought it to the left of the crease and lifted a backhand shot over the right shoulder of Montoya.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Miami Heat To Retire Shaq's Number 32

     The Miami Heat announced on Tuesday that the club will retire the No. 32 worn by center Shaquille O'Neal. He will be the third uniform number that the franchise will display at the top of the rafters at American Airlines Arena. O'Neal will join the previous retired numbers of No. 33 Alonzo Mourning and No. 10 Tim Hardaway.
     O'Neal was acquired by the Miami Heat from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004 for Lamar Odam, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and a 2006 first-round draft pick. At his introduction ceremony on Biscayne Boulevard in front of a packed crowd, he promised Miami that he would bring an NBA title.    
     He accomplished it in his second season with Miami in 2005-06 as he teamed up with Dwyane Wade, Mourning, Udonis Haslem and Gary Payton. He was traded by the Heat to the Phoenix Suns in February 2008 for Shawn Marion.
     O'Neal began his NBA career with the Orlando Magic and led them to an Eastern Conference championship back in 1995. He joined the Lakes in 1997 and helped them win three consecutive NBA titles from 2000 until 2002.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Panthers Knock Off Sabres

     The Florida Panthers stopped a two-game losing streak with a 7-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night at First Niagara Center. The Panthers, who have won six of their last eight games, are now 23-0-1 when they scored at least three goals in a game.
     Florida came out strong in the first period as they scored two goals in a three-minute span. Reilly Smith rocketed a shot from the top right circle at 7:40 and Brian Campbell followed with a shot from the left wing at 10:45.
     Jussi Jokinen make it a three-goal margin with 24.6 seconds left in the period. Vincent Trocheck backhanded a pass from the end wall to Smith in the right circle. He make a touch pass across to Jokinen who swept in the puck from the low slot. 
     The Cats exteneded it to 4-0 just 22 seoncds into the second period. Nick Bjugstad won the right circle draw and Alex Petrovic blasted a slapshot from the right wing. The Sabres replaced Robin Lehner in net with Chad Johnson after the tally.  
     The strategy worked as Buffalo scored a power-play goal at 1:09. Sam Reinhart recovered the puck after in bounced off the end wall and scored from the right side of the crease.
     The Sabres cut the margin down to 4-2 at 5:04 when Reinhart collected his second power-play goal while on the doorstep. Jack Eichel sent a cross-ice pass from the left side to Ryan O'Reilly in the right circle and he one-timed a pass to the crease.
     The Panthers moved it back to a three-goal cushion when Brandon Pirri deflected in a Campbell slapshot from the left point at 7:39. 
     Jaromir Jagr would get his 739th NHL goal with 2:07 remaining in the frame. He made a give-an d-go pass with Jonathan Huberdeau in the right circle and finished the play. Jagr now stands two goals behind Brett Hull for third place in NHL history.
     In the third period, Buffalo added two goals by Evander Kane from the right wing at 10:14 and Mike Weber at 17:17 from the left wing.
     The Sabres pulled their goalie for an extra attacker, however Smith rolled the puck in on a shot from the red line with 1:57 to go.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Red Wings Fly Over Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played the Detroit Red Wings for the second time in five nights and lost 3-0 at Joe Louis Arena on Monday night. The Panthers, who have fell in their last two games, had their five-game win streak in Detroit snapped.. Jaromir Jagr became the tenth person to play in 1,600 NHL games.
     There was no scoring in the first two periods. Detroit was able to break the tie at 4:19 of the third period. Tomas Tatar scored his 16th goal of the season as he put the puck in from close range.
     The Red Wings extended their margin to 2-0 on the power play with 8:34 remaining. Pavel Datsyuk skated from the left point to the top left circle and snapped a shot over the left glove of Al Montoya.
     Florida fell behind by three goals just over one minute later. Alex Petrovic lost the puck near the neutral zone. Justin Abdelkader sent a cross-ice pass at the blue line to Henrik Zetterberg. He backhanded the puck ahead to Datsyuk in the slot and he finished the play with a backhand shot in the crease.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Panthers Shocked By Penguins

     The Florida Panthers were unable to hold a two-goal lead in the third period as they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime at BB&T Center on Saturday night. The Panthers had their five-game winning streak snapped and it ended Roberto Luongo's franchise record nine-game win streak at home.
     There was no scoring until the second period when Florida(31-15-6) scored on a power play at 6:03. Vincent Trocheck connected a cross-ice pass from the right wing to Jussi Jokinen in the low left circle and he put in a sharp angle shot past Jeff Zatkoff for a 1-0 lead.
     The Panthers extended their margin to two goals on a shorthanded goal at 9:15 of the third period. Aleksander Barkov came through the slot on a breakaway after a lead pass through the neutral zone by Jokinen and he scored on a backhand shot for his 16th goal. It was the third shorthanded goal by the Cats this season.
     Pittsburgh(26-17-7) was desperate and started their comeback with 5:04 remaining as Kris Letang scored from the slot off a feed by Sidney Crosby on the right-wing wall.
     The Pens added an extra skater and pulled their goalie with two minutes to go. They tied the contest with 1:15 left when a Letang slap shot from long range went off the right leg of Crosby and by Luongo.
     Jokinen had to take a penalty nine seconds into overtime on a Penguins breakaway following the opening draw. Pittsburgh got the game-winner on the power play at 1:27 when Crosby sent a cross-ice pass from the low right circle to Letang in the low left circle for a one-timer.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Joy Taylor Leaves The Ticket

     Joy Taylor has left her position as the morning co-host on 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM. She co-hosted the program for several years with Jonathan Zaslow and was the morning sports anchor along with being the morning sidekick when Marc Hochman co-hosted the show until December 2013. Taylor will be joining Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles as a sportscaster.
     Taylor, a Pittsburgh native, began in South Florida radio with Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM. She worked in several capacities at that station which included producer, show sidekick, sports anchor and sports host. Her brother is former Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Jason Taylor.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Panthers Slam Red Wings

     The Florida Panthers extended their winning streak to five games as they defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-3 on Thursday night at BB&T Center. Roberto Luongo passed Tony Esposito for 7th place all-time in NHL history with his 424th career win.
     The Panthers, who have won 17 of their last 21 games, improved to 26-3-3 when they scored first and 22-0-1 when they scored at least three goals in a game. 
     Florida(31-15-5) hit the Red Wings with an avalanche of goals in the first period. They got on the scoreboard at 8:30 of the stanza. Jaromir Jagr was on the right wing and placed a pass to the top of the zone. Alex Petrovic blasted a slapshot that was deflected in by Brandon Pirri. Jagr compiled his 1,100th NHL assist on the play and became the sixth player to reach that milestone.
     The Panthers then connected with two goals in a 24-second span. Aleksander Barkov ripped a slapshot from the high slot by Jimmy Howard for a power-play goal at 10:41. He extended his goal-scoring streak to three games and his point streak to five games. Vincent Trocheck followed as he raced through the middle of the ice and scored on a snap shot from the low slot at 11:06. He moved his point streak to four games with that tally.
     Detroit(25-18-8) attempted to climb back into the contest as they scored on the power play with six seconds left in the period. Dylan Larkin was alone in the low slot and received a pass from Henrik Zetterberg in the right corner. He put a wrist shot by Luongo for his 16th goal of the season.
     In the second period, the Red Wings pulled to 3-2 at 1:01. Larkin came out of his own zone, carried the puck across center ice, went to the top left circle and scored his second goal of the contest and 17th goal of the season.
     The Cats regained a two-goal cushion with 3:47 to go in the second. Pirri made a spin-around pass from the left corner and the puck went off the left skate of Derek MacKenzie at the top of the crease.
     Jagr got his 738th NHL goal at 3:45 of the third period to give the Panthers a 5-2 margin. He nailed a one-timer from the right circle following a backhand feed by Trocheck in the high slot. Jagr is now three goals behind Brett Hull for 3rd all-time in NHL goals.
     The Red Wings had a power play midway in the period and brought out an extra attacker. It worked as Mike Green rocketed a slapshot from the top of the zone for a score at 12:36 after he got a pass from Justin Abdelkader from the right point.
      Detroit pulled their goalie from the net again, however this time Florida was able to find the twine with 5:41 remaining in the third. Reilly Smith made a short pass in the neutral zone to Trocheck and he placed the puck into the empty net.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

National Signing Day Broward County 2016

     Broward County had national signing day on Wednesday and there was a tremendous amount of high school football talent that will have an impact on the college football gridiron.
     St. Thomas Aquinas, who have won two straight FHSAA Class 7A state championships and three titles in the last four seasons, had a slew of their players who make their decisions to play at the next level. Defensive lineman Nick Bosa went to where he was expected to go as he heads to the Ohio State University. He follows his older brother Joey Bosa who played for the Buckeyes for the last three years and declared for the NFL last month. Their father John Bosa one time played for the Miami Dolphins.
     Wide receiver Sam Bruce will move on to the University of Miami. He also has family roots in the NFL with Issac Bruce who played for the St. Louis Rams. Wide receiver Michael Irvin II is also headed to The U after playing one season with the Raiders. He takes the same path as his father Michael Irvin who played for both St. Thomas Aquinas and the University of Miami Hurricanes. Running back Devonta'e Henry-Cole moves across the country to the University of Utah.
     Three players from Hallandale will be joining the Utes with Henry-Cole as quarterback Tyler Huntley, running back Zack Moss and wide receiver Demari Simpkins head there. The school made the FHSAA playoffs in the last couple of years.
     The Chargers had a core of wide receivers that will go their separate ways. Josh Hammond stays in the state at the University of Florida, Chris Cotto goes to Western Kentucky and Neru N'Shaka lands at Toledo. Defensive back Romelo Webster goes north to Iowa State.
     Flanagan had plenty of players from their FHSAA Class 8A championship squad make a decision on colleges. Linebacker Devin Bush Jr., defensive back Devin Gil and defensive back Josh Metellus go to the University of Michigan. Quarterback Kato Nelson ends up in Akron while wide receiver Jahcour Pearson signs with Western Kentucky.
     Wide receiver Dredrick Snelson moves to the University of Central Florida. He had success in Orlando over the last three seasons winning a state title with the Falcons in 2015 along with two FHSAA Class 5A state championships with American Heritage of Plantation in 2013 and 2014.
     Several of his former teammates with the Patriots made their decisions for college football. Wide receiver Brandon Johnson chose Tennessee, tight end Nick Eubanks selected Michigan and defensive lineman Brian Burns remains in the state at Florida State University.
     Coconut Creek had their lot of quality talent even without a playoff appearance in the last couple of years. Defensive back Trayvon Mullen moves to Clemson, wide receiver Binjimen Victor goes to Ohio State, defensive Malek Young stays local with the University of Miami and linebacker Alexy Jean-Baptiste finds his way to Arkansas.
     The Deerfield Beach Bucks have regularly shown up in the FHSAA playoffs. Defensive back Aaron Robinson travels to the University of Alabama, wide receiver Calvin Ridley signed with the University of Georgia and defensive back James Pierre shifts to the University of North Carolina.

National Signing Day Palm Beach County 2016

     It was national signing day on Wednesday and Palm Beach County had their share of high school football players announce where they will attend college.
     American Heritage running back Devin Singletary decided to stay locally and join the Florida Atlantic University Owls. Offensive lineman Greg Begnoche moves to the Ivy League at Penn while linebacker Lawrence Graham goes to Tulane. They helped the Stallions reach the FHSAA Class 3A state championship games in the past two years.
     Delray Beach had two other running backs from Atlantic to make the next step to college. Shawndarrius Phillips choose to head south to Florida International University while Dontavius Monroe will leave the state and attend Tennessee State. Linebacker Chanler Ferguson stays locally at FAU. Defensive back Antwaine Richardson heads up the coast to Maryland. They contributed for the Eagles to capture the District 10-8A title in 2015.
     Oxbridge Academy running back Travis Homer stuck with his original decision and will join the University of Miami Hurricanes. Homer led the Thunderwolves to the District 7-3A district title over American Heritage in 2015 as the school played their first season within a district.
     The Hurricanes also got Wellington wide receiver Ahmmon Richards. He helped the Wolverines to their best record ever in 2014 with a District 9-8A title and a playoff appearance in 2015. The Canes already had Santaluces linebacker Zach McCloud enrolled at the school.
     Muck City had two running backs from rival Muck Bowl schools make their choices on a future college. Ja'Kevious Vickers of Glades Central is heading to the University of Connecticut. He helped the Raiders win a district title last year. McArthur Bennett of Pahokee, who recently enrolled at the University of Florida, helped the Blue Devils reach the FHSAA playoffs for several years.
     Oxbridge Academy tight end and linebacker A.J. Garson will be joining Vickers at the University of Connecticut. Quarterback Blake Dever, who transferred from St. Thomas Aquinas to Wellington
for the 2015 season, selected Savannah State.
     Dwyer wide receiver Isaiah Johnson goes across the country to play for Washington State. Palm Beach Gardens defensive back and running back Devin Studstill joins former high school teammate Tevon Coney at the University of Notre Dame.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Panthers Level Capitals

     The two divisional leaders in the Eastern Conference met on Tuesday night as the Florida Panthers topped the Washington Capitals 5-2 at Verizon Center. The Panthers extended their win streak to four games and have been victorious in 16 of their last 20 games. The Cats won their first home in Washington, DC after losing their previous 10 games in that arena.
     Florida got out to a 1-0 lead at 10:43 of the first period. Jaromir Jagr took the puck around the Capitals cage, backhanded a pass in front and Jonathan Huberdeau scored from the top of the crease.
     The Panthers made it a two-goal margin with 4:54 to go in the first. Aleksander Barkov passed from the top right circle to Huberdeau down low. His cross-ice pass went off the stick of Nick Bjugstad and Barkov followed up with a score.
     The Cats extended their gap to 3-0 just 21 seconds into the second period as Vincent Trocheck scored on an unassisted goal. He picked up the puck in the neutral zone, skated down the ice and blasted a shot from the right wing by Philipp Grubauer.
     They increased it to 4-0 on the power play with 4:50 remaining in the frame. Huberdeau compiled his third point of the game as he sailed in a snap shot from the top right circle. Reilly Smith fed him with a no-look backhand pass from the top of the zone.
     Washington tried to get back into the contest with two goals in 1:18 early in the third period against Al Montoya. Nichlas Backstrom converted on a power play as he scored from the slot area at 34 seconds and Andre Burakovsky fired in a slapshot from the left circle at 1:53.
     Quinton Howden sealed the victory for the Panthers on an empty-net goal with 1:53 left when the Capitals brought out an extra attacker and attempted to cut the deficit.

MJ Acosta Moves To San Diego

     Former WPLG-TV Channel 10 reporter MJ Acosta will be joining KNSD-TV in San Diego as a sports anchor on Sunday. She had been associated with WPLG since February 2013 reporting on sports, news and the entertainment industry.
     Acosta, a Barry University grad, worked as a sportscaster for Generation Next Youth Sports Network in Miami from 2011 until 2013. She was a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader and finished in top three at the 2011 Miss Florida USA pageant.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Ron Flatter On CBS Sports Radio

     Former Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM producer Ron Flatter is now at CBS Sports Radio Network as a sports anchor. He is also announcing sports updates on WFAN-AM and WINS-AM in New York City. He has been the American sports reporter at RSN in Australia for many years.
     Flatter was the afternoon producer for the Hank Goldberg Show on WQAM during the mid-1990s. He was occasionally heard on-air responding to Goldberg on any sports topic.
     He received a great opportunity during the Florida Panthers playoff run in the 1995-96 season. Jon "Boog" Sciambi was the intermission and studio host for radio broadcasts that season. He had to leave his position a couple of rounds into the playoffs to announce minor league baseball in the Northwest League. Flatter was given the spot and worked with play-by-play announcer Chris Moore and game analyst Alain Chevrier in the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals against the Colorado Avalanche.
     Following his stint at WQAM, Flatter moved on to ESPN Radio as a producer and reporter. He later added duties as a horse racing reporter for ESPN. He recently was an overnight news anchor at Fox News Radio from 2013 to 2015.

Florida Panthers In All-Star Game

     Three members of the Florida Panthers played in the 2016 NHL All-Star Game for the Atlantic Division on Sunday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The new format for the contest involved two rounds of 3-on-3 hockey between four divisional squads. 
     The Atlantic Division defeated the Metropolitan Division in the first round by the score of 4-3. Jaromir Jagr had one goal in the first period and Aaron Ekblad compiled a goal in the second.
     Following that the Atlantic Division lost to the Pacific Division in the championship round 1-0. Roberto Luongo did start in net for both games for Atlantic Division head coach Gerald Gallant.