Proteau’s Blog: Dropping like flies

• So much for Denis Savard’s new freewheeling Blackhawks. Chicago had just six shots in the first period under their new coach and were lucky to eke out a 2-1 win over Dallas. If Chicago has any hope of turning their season around, Nikolai Khabibulin is really going to have to earn his keep.

• The NHL can’t be feeling especially chipper this morning, what with the news of a major drop-off in Canadian TV ratings.

Both the CBC and TSN showed nearly a 20 per cent plunge from last year’s numbers to this year’s. Know what I blame for it? Fighting. Just kidding, you pro-fighting nuts.

• Hurry back, Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra. Judging by the Wild’s measly 16-shot total in their 2-1 loss to San Jose last night, your team misses you more and more each day.

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• I like Leafs coach Paul Maurice for a lot of reasons. One of them is his sense of humor, which is on full display in David Shoalts’ Globe & Mail column today. Referring to the crowd at the Air Canada Centre, Maurice uncorked this howler:

“That energy in (our) building is incredible.”

Honestly. That’s what he said. Maybe Maurice is a closet clairvoyant, because the ACC this season is more sedate than ever. I don’t think you could get a reaction from some of those suits if you put electric cattle prods under the seats.