I'll be away on a doctor-prescribed vacation (just kidding Â– the doc actually prescribed electroshock therapy) until Jan. 9. The week of Jan. 2, you'll be treated to the views and blues of THN guest bloggers. Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season, and a great New Year.
Â• But for the Sabres and Ducks, just about every team in the league has had its ups and downs this year. Right now, the New York Rangers are on a major downer. They squandered a 2-0 lead to Florida midway through the third period Thursday and wound up falling 3-2 to the Panthers, giving them their fourth straight loss.
Making matters worse, whispers that all is not peachy in the Blueshirts' dressing room Â– with friction between some the players and coach Tom Renney and also between certain players and their teammates Â– are starting to grow louder. Waiving Sandis Ozolinsh might not be the sole move GM Glen Sather makes this season.
Â• With the Senators in the midst of an early-season tailspin, owner Eugene Melnyk felt the need to offer a genuine vote of confidence in coach Bryan Murray and GM John Muckler. He may have to break that same script out again, because Ottawa has lost two consecutive games (including Thursday's 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay) and six of its last eight.
Not-so-coincidentally, the Sens are also having big-time scoring woes, averaging less than two goals-for over that span. Marty Havlat, wherefore art thou?
Â• The Â“Vote For RoryÂ” campaign shows no signs of slowing, but Globe And Mail reporter James Mirtle discovered some underhanded tactics at work in the process. (Be sure to read the comments at the end of Mirtle's story, as a couple of the Pro-Roryites defend their movement.)
Â• When the Vancouver Canucks look back at the end of the season and wonder why they didn't make the playoffs, they should look to Thursday's 2-0 loss to the Bruins as a perfect example: Another road loss, another total lack of offense (they've now been shutout four times this season) and another missed opportunity to gain ground in the ultra-tight Northwest Division.
That the Bruins could only manage six shots in the final two periods Â– actually, they all came in the second period Â– makes their latest defeat all the more deflating. If this team is to win consistently, does Roberto Luongo have to score goals, too?