Dear Florida Panthers,
I know our relationship has been tenuous at best, but I felt the need to write you this letter to share with you how important a win would be against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. We know how good of a team you are. We saw flashes of that amazing run you had late in the year, matching the Caps and the 'Canes game for game. We know you can do it again, one more big win.
I want to say I have always loved your logo since you were inducted in to the NHL, I used to have a Panther t-shirt I used to wear (to clean the bathroom in, but hey, it had purpose). You guys had that tremendous run in the playoffs back in '96 and who could forget the rats pouring down from the rafters after every goal at home. Channel the John Vanbiesbrouck and Scott Mellanby inside of you. You may be out of the playoffs, but this is for pride and you want to send a message to the 'Canes for next year.
I want you to know that I have the utmost faith that you can take a game from Carolina. Don't be intimidated by the "'Caniacs" or distracted by their cheerleader girls (who aren't the best dancers). And who wants to watch a playoff series at Carolina and hear Rick Flare's "Whooooo!" after every 'Canes goal, I might have gouge my left eye out. So please, use every tool at your disposal to screw that last nail in the coffin and keep the 'Canes from tasting the post season.
Not only would you be helping the Capitals by giving them home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but think of the NHL in general. Do we really need to hear all this silly stuff about the Staal brothers in the playoffs? No, I don't think so. Or think of team USA, who really needs Peter Laviollette to be coaching team USA at the World Championships rather than Torts who has a bug up his butt.
Let's face it, the Hurricanes just coasted this year to a division title. If it weren't for you and the Capitals knocking on the door late this season, I doubt they would have had enough points to even qualify for the playoffs if they weren't division leaders. Don't let them coast on this. Don't let them just have it. Make them earn it. Let them sweat it out like you had to in March.
Do it for yourselves, do it for Miami, for the state of Florida, for the rest of the Southeast Division, for the eastern seaboard, for the United States of America (enter patriotic music here and a hearty salute), and do it for the western hemisphere. You can do it, I believe in you. This is your night, be heard. Keep the pressure on. Go, Panthers, Go!
P.S. And if you could lay down the following night against the Caps that would be great. Happy hunting!