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Sounds of Sacco

Monday, 01.22.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Florida Panthers
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Sounds of Sacco

Unrestricted Editor-in-Chief and Panthers PR Manager Matt Sacco is Blogging from Dallas This Week

5:04 pm

Hello again loyal readers. I have to say, I think the NHL was trying to make a statement by holding their new jersey unveiling press conference in the posh art-deco designed setting of the W Hotel in downtown Dallas. I could almost hear the announcer from one of those infomercial cooking products like the automatic omelet flipper or the steak knife that can cut nails in half – like anyone's eating a New York Strip with a side of nails.

This was apparently a big shot only affair that featured notable NHL luminaries such as Commish Gary Bettman, anointed one Sidney Crosby, human highlight Alexander Ovechkin and Garth Brooks – who incidentally was wearing a cowboy hat so big I think Aesop wrote a fable about it.

About the jersey...it's made of new material, fits a bit more snugly, and claims to be able to make players 10-percent faster and 25-percent drier. But what I want to know, is can this thing make players 100-percent better smelling?

If you've ever been in the same time zone of a hockey locker room, you know that "aroma" may be as big a marketability hurdle as superstars who don't speak English and hail from towns with two stoplights and a pig farm.

Anyway, the NHL was nice enough to invite some of its more loquacious personalities to the presentation, the leader of which was present Dallas Stars goaltender and future stand up comic Marty Turco.

After a brief q and a session with Crosby and NBC sideline reporter Pierre McGuire, Turco pointed to the twin mannequins behind him and quipped "why don't you do an interview with the Staal brothers?"

(Laugh now).

Ok well I laughed. I laughed all the way to the lobby. That was until I tried to get my hands on an Rbk Edge Uniform media kit, before getting my hand slapped like I was sneaking my hand in the cookie jar.

"They're only for the media," I was told. Did she not know I was blogging?

Anyway, so far we've had about 10 entries in the Unofficial Online Dallas Food Critic Competition. Among them I've got Bob's Chop House, Burger Street and "the Supermarket."

So, since I'm looking for something a little bit more specific, I'm going raise the ante a little bit. How about your very own Fairmont Hotel Hand Soap?

By the way, I highly recommend the Fairmont to anyone who is getting their hotel accommodations paid for by someone else. For exactly $0 a night you get all the amenities that would normally cost you a few hundred dollars a night.

On a side note, its 28-degrees in Dallas and I'm not happy.

I am the essence of blog.


11:11 am:

First a short introduction. My name is Matt Sacco and I am the least important Florida Panthers official on this three-day jaunt through Dallas for the NHL All-Star festivities, miles behind All-Star representative Jay Bouwmeester, but just a hair behind the mascot.

Fortunately for me, however, Jay's got some scheduling conflicts and Stanley C. Panther has to follow the Golden Rule of Mascots and abstain from English language communication.

I repeat, I am the least important Florida Panthers official on this trip, but I am blogging, so I have the power.

Sad isn't it?

Let's get this thing started with a few nuggets of wisdom.

"A flute with no holes, is not a flute. And a donut with no holes, is a Danish."

That thought crossed my mind at around 5:15 am in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, while pondering a very narrow list of breakfast options.

But I digress.

Before I start talking about Dallas, I have to say I'm a bit galvanized by the Cats recent swamping of the Caps in Washington. It's amazing how, when the Panthers come out and play well, they have the ability to simply demoralize the competition. And that's with the Cats locker room looking like a medical ward.

Without the services of about two lines of forwards and Branislav Mezei, the Panthers are still 8-4-4 over their last 16 games. As far as I'm concerned it's time for everyone to start believing this team can make a run, especially if Todd Bertuzzi gets back in the lineup and starts making defenses look foolish again. Paging the Boston Bruins.

Anyway, here's what I'm looking forward to on this current adventure:

First, I'm looking for our man Bouwmeester to take the fastest skater competition during tomorrow night's skills competition – assuming he's entered.

Since human fighter jet Scott Niedermayer went Barbaro on us a few days ago and pulled out because of a nagging foot injury, I say Bouw is the early favorite.

If I'm a betting man, I've got Bouw to win, Teemu Selanne to place and Sidney Crosby to show.

I'm also pretty geeked for the unveiling of the new, technologically advanced NHL jerseys by Rbk. The unveiling takes place this afternoon, while the players will wear the jerseys in NHL competition for the first time during the actual All-Star game on Wednesday. I'll blog on that later.

On a personal note, the ability to use the word blog as a noun, verb and adjective is a highly liberating experience that I recommend to anyone in need of a quick stress reliever. Perhaps there are some Patriots fans out there that could use it.

Speaking of football, I have a feeling I'm not alone in my hope that the score of Wednesday's All-Star game closely resembles that of last night's AFC Championship. I just keep repeating to myself Briere-Crosby-Ovechkin...Briere-Crosby-Ovechkin.

That's going to be like playing NHL 07 on Xbox with the game speed turned up to 100 after downing six cups of Starbucks. Blurry.

Since I've barely been in Dallas for an hour, I'll end blog numero uno here until I have something conceivably interesting to talk about.

But before I go, I wanted to announce my Unofficial Online Dallas Food Critic Competition. Keep in mind, I have absolutely no authority whatsoever to start my own contest through the Florida Panthers.

However, I have the blog and the power.

So here goes. I'm looking for a good place to eat in Dallas and I need some help. So e-mail me your suggestions at saccom@sselive.com. Please include the name and address of the establishment, and if you would like to include a menu favorite by all means do so.

If I like it, I'll reward your support with a prize pack that includes a post-it note signed by me, a copy of a recent Miami Herald signed by hockey writer George Richards, a Jay Bouwmeester signed puck, and a completely antiquated piece of Panthers merchandise that I promise you will have no use for whatsoever. Oh, and a personal shout out on this blog.

Speaking of George Richards, the G Man has got his own blog over at MiamiHerald.com. I thought that was pretty nice of me to plug direct competition by the way. Regardless, voting starts now on whose got the better blog. Just e-mail me whose blog you like better and if you vote for me I'll count it.

Cheers and thanks for reading.




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

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