Here are my top 3 stories from around the NHL on Thursday:
1. A Wild Slide – It wasn’t too long ago that the Minnesota Wild were on top of the NHL standings. On December 1st, the Wild moved into 1st place overall, and they were the talk of the NHL. They were doing it with stellar goaltending, and their 16-10-3 record was surprising. Fast forward a month and a half, and the Wild are sliding down the slippery slope of the Western Conference Standings, and Thursday’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs has them sitting in 9th place and on the outside looking in. Senators players and fans should take note and hope the Senators do not go into any type of slump because it doesn’t take much to slide out of contention.
2. Sabres Road Woes – The Buffalo Sabres are in serious trouble. They lost their 11th straight road game to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night and new owner Terry Pegula is not getting value for the money he spent in the offseason to make his team competitive. Buffalo has lost touch with the playoffs and rumours of massive changes have started. At the top of the list is Ryan Miller, who is was suggested earlier this week had asked for a trade. He denied it vehemently, but the rumours are still circulating. They have been hit hard by the injury bug, but so have a number of other teams. They can’t use it as an excuse and must overcome the adversity if they want to compete.
3. Flyers Captain Grounded – On a night when they were losing to the New York Islanders at home for the first time in about 4 years, Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren admitted that it is unlikely that Chris Pronger will be returning from his concussion at any point this season. It would be a huge blow to the Stanley Cup aspirations of the Flyers, who count on Pronger for leadership and the nasty edge he brings that is necessary in the playoffs.