It’s Christmas Day and everywhere around the world, people are celebrating with good tidings of comfort and joy. For several NHL teams and players, their wishes may be for more cheer and joy in 2019. It seems some got off to a rather poor start in 2018. Looks like some NHL franchises and players had a Christmas list.
My Old Blackhawks Dear Santa, Chicago Blackhawks fans just want their team back. Somehow, the Blackhawks have gone 26-44-10 in 2018 (including last season). The best coach in franchise history – and maybe in the past decade or two – is gone. The Blackhawks managed to get Joel Quenneville fired. With Chicago’s Bears making a statement in the NFL this season, the Blackhawks are becoming an afterthought in city sports. And Chicago has won three Stanley Cups in the last 10 years.
No 0-fer! Dear Santa, Please just give Cory Schneider a win. The New Jersey Devils goalie had a rough 2018. He went 0-14-2 with a .857 save percentage and a goals-against average of – wait for it – 4.30. In the calendar year of 2018, the Devils are just 1-16-2 in any game in which Schneider has played. Schneider has not won a game since Dec. 27, 2017. He is just 0-15-3 in his last 18 decisions. It’s the longest winless streak since the shootout era began. He could really use a win.
More Goals Please Dear Santa, can you please help Milan Lucic and Peter Chiarelli of the Edmonton Oilers? So, Chiarelli decided to sign Lucic, who is usually good for about 15 to 20 goals per season, to a contract worth $6 million annually through 2023. The problem? Lucic has scored exactly two goals since Jan. 1 of this year. That’s two goals in 77 games. Lucic’s shooting percentage is a mere 2.9. He needs to hit the net or Chiarelli might need to get out of Dodge.
Raising Arizona Dear Santa, can Rick Tocchet just get a break? Tocchet’s Arizona Coyotes finished last in the Pacific Division last season. It was expected and the team finished on a little bit of a high note. Their star Antti Raanta was injured, so Tocchet and Coyotes figured a healthy Raanta and a new season would bring hope. Not a chance. Arizona has gone from .427 points percentage to just .455 this season. Not a big difference. They got rid of Max Domi who has turned into an All-Star in Montreal. Raanta? Yeah, he lasted 12 games before a season-ending injury. The Coyotes need help. Badly.
Sunny Side Up Dear Santa, it’s been a tough year in Florida. I know the weather has been nice, but the Florida Panthers missed out on making the playoffs last year by a single point. Florida headed into this season with high hopes and a lot of hype. Many pundits said the Panthers would be a 100-point team. Through 35 games, they have the third-worst save percentage (.887) in the NHL and are a very mediocre 15-14-6. Please send a second-half surge to the postseason.
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