The latest addition to the Panthers’ injured reserve: Stanley C. Panther?

It seems like Southeast Division mascots are making almost as many headlines as their surprisingly competitive teams have generated this season.

First, the Atlanta Thrashers attempted to spotlight their successful start to 2010-11 by running a comical “Free Thrash” campaign. Now it seems like the Florida Panthers’ Stanley C. Panther is dealing with some trouble, too, although his costume might be found on the injured reserve rather than a fictional police report.

On Frozen Pond’s George Richards passes along word from the Panthers that their mascot is dealing with “an undisclosed injury while attempting to hurdle a folding chair” on December 17th. Clearly, such a report shows just how secretive the world of sports mascots might be, as the team didn’t even say whether it was an “upper body injury” or a “lower body injury.”

Luckily, area mascots have pledged their support for their fallen (fake) furry comrade, according to Richards.

The team says the mascot is “currently confined to a wheelchair” but will still attend home games as he recovers.

“However, in support of his recovery, local South Florida mascots Billy the Marlin (Marlins), Sebastian the Ibis (Hurricanes), Burnie (Heat) and T.D. (Dolphins) will be at the BankAtlantic Center tonight, when the Cats take on the Bruins, and at various other home games while Stanley is still on the mend.”

Fans can sign a get-well card for the big cat at the games.

No word on whether you can sign a card for players Radek Dvorak, Cory Stillman, Rostislav Olesz and Byron Bitz as they recover from their injuries as well.

It never hurts to have a sense of humor, and when you’re in a non-traditional market like Sunrise, Florida, it might be flat-out wise to do so. Now, if the Panthers could follow in the Thrashers’ foot steps and start making a difference on the ice, they’ll really be onto something.

Video: Josh Ho-Sang’s creativity gives Islanders a shot in the arm

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Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?

For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting up John Tavares.

The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.

Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)

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This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)

On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.

William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.

Hnnngmgghh indeed.

That goal could end up being key as the Blue Jackets quickly scored to start the second period, shrinking Toronto’s lead to 2-1 on Wednesday.

Video: Leafs’ Carrick delivers thunderous hit on Blue Jackets’ Anderson

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Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.

So far, it shows, too.

The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.

There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:

Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week

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The St. Louis Blues announced that Paul Stastny is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Stastny was limited to less than four minutes of ice time during last night’s 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche. Initially, head coach Mike Yeo indicated that the issue wasn’t serious.

There are only about three weeks left in the regular season, so it’s tough to tell if “week-to-week” would mean that the Blues will be without Stastny for any playoff time.

With Stastny out for an expended period of time and other injuries affecting Blues forwards, it sounds like Nail Yakupov gets another chance to prove himself:

Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.