The Marlins have been signing star shortstops and chasing Albert Pujols. The Heat are readying themselves for another title run. The Dolphins are doing that thing where they're terrible every year. Meanwhile, our local pro hockey team has been silently kicking some serious hockey ass this season. You probably haven't heard, but the Florida Panthers are in first place in the Southeast Division and are off to one of the best starts in franchise history. They've been especially ass-kicky during face-offs thanks to center Stephen Weiss. The Weissinator is winning face-offs at a 54.2 percent clip, making him the fifth best in the league. It's little things like that — and scoring goals and beating up dudes in fights — that has the Panthers among the most feared teams in the NHL. So wash away the bad aftertaste of our shitty football team by starting the new year right — watching the first-place Panthers take on the high-flying Vancouver Canucks Monday at the BankAtlantic Center.
Mon., Jan. 9, 7 p.m., 2012