Florida Calls Up Garrison

     The ever-alert Bruce Ciskie relates that the Florida Panthers have recalled defenseman Jason Garrison, who is expected to be in the lineup for Friday’s home game with Carolina in Sunrise, Fla. Garrison has been in two NHL games this season and has played in 25 with Rochester (N.Y.) in the American Hockey League, with three goals and 11 assists.

     Here’s a Friday blog entry from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel in Sunrise:

     Defenseman Bryan Allen will sit out tonight’s game, the first of back-to-back games against the Hurricanes, to avoid putting extra stress on his surgically repaired knee.

     Coach Pete DeBoer said there is nothing wrong with Allen’s knee, that he hasn’t complained about pain and it wasn’t his idea to sit ("He would play on one leg if he could," Pete said) but that the team doesn’t want to risk injury with so many games in so few days. So Jason Garrison was called up to replace Allen, who didn’t skate this morning.

     Here’s what Pete had to say about Allen: "Bryan’s knee is holding up real well. Our schedule and the demands on it have been so tough we felt we might get to a point during this string where we might have to give him a night off and we’ve gotten to that point.

     "It’s nothing we’re concerned about, but the reality is it’s been a ridiculous amount of stress we’ve put on him with the number of games and the travel. He needs a night off and we’re going to give it to him.

     The Panthers twice called up Garrison in October to allow Allen to rest on the second night of back-to-backs. Allen has played every game since Oct. 24, logging as much as 22:08 of ice time. However, his ice time the past four games has fallen to an average of 16 minutes, 15 seconds a game.

     "He’s played really well and [the knee] has held up well, but the schedule hasn’t helped," Pete said. "Originally, we felt we weren’t going to play him in any back-to-back situations, maybe even in the first half of the year. We got away from that pretty quickly because it responded pretty well, but the demands of 24 games in 42 nights is a lot to ask of him and that injury."