Another Season with No Playoffs

Last night the Thrashers were mathematically eliminated from the playoff race. In reality they were knocked out in mid December when their playoff odds fell under 10%. They dug such a deep hole they would have needed to transform into the Wings or Sharks overnight to climb out of that hole. They did transform later in January but became more like the Sabres or Oilers which are playoff bubble teams.

With less than 10 games left in this regular season, time to bring out the big board to see where this season stacks up to previous Thrashers seasons (I missing some data for the inaugural 1999-2000 season).

The Big Picture

Out of the playoffs, low in the standings, low in player payroll, low in attendance. Obviously all three are somewhat related to one anther can the Thrashers escape this vicious trap?

Season Standings Rank Salary Attendance
1999-2000 28 27 ??
2000-2001 28 28 23
2001-2002 30 28 28
2002-2003 23 28 28
2003-2004 21 26 22
2005-2006 20 2 23
2006-2007 12 17 21
2007-2008 27 23 22
2008-2009 27 22 28

 

Scoring

The offense was remarkably good for a low salary team. Coach Anderson deliver on producing offense. The defense is on track to finish dead last in goals allowed for 5th time in 10 seasons. The team cannot score it's way to contention it must reduce the goals against to make any additional progress.

Season Goals For Average
Goals Against Average Net Goal Differential
1999-2000
2000-2001 27 29 28
2001-2002 26 30 30
2002-2003 10 30 27
2003-2004 13 25 22
2005-2006 6 24 16
2006-2007 15 15 16
2007-2008 22 30 30
2008-2009 11 30 25

 

Team Efficiency

The goal tending was simply not good enough in the 1st half of the season. A remarkable 2nd half by Lehtonen pulled the team out of dead last in SV%. Hedberg is a great person, but he's holding the team back with performance in net. The Thrashers were extremely efficient in coverting shots, they will likely struggle to repeat that next year.

Season Save Percentage
Shot Percentage

1999-2000
2000-2001 24
23

2001-2002 27
17

2002-2003 30
7

2003-2004 27
5

2005-2006 24
6

2006-2007 13
12

2007-2008 19
11

2008-2009 26
4

 

Shots

The Thrashers have always struggled to prevent shots against, nothing has changed there. The team scored a lot of goals while not taking a ton of shots. Was that "luck" or something caused by Coach Anderson's system (i.e. does his system produce low shot totals but higher percentage shots)?

Season Shots For Average
Shots Against Average Net Shot Differential
1999-2000
2000-2001 12
30
26
2001-2002 29
30 30
2002-2003 25
27
26
2003-2004 27
23
24
2005-2006 5
14
13
2006-2007 11
25
19
2007-2008 30
30
30
2008-2009 26
28
29

 

Power Play

The Power Play was well above average and the team was better than average at drawing PP Opportunities. Credit the players and the coach for this one.

Season Power Play %
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
1999-2000
2000-2001 25
24
7
2001-2002 29
30
24
2002-2003 13
10
13
2003-2004 23
10
2
2005-2006 4
1
1
2006-2007 23
19
10
2007-2008 23
26
28
2008-2009 10
8
11

 

Penalty Kill

The Penalty was simply awful last year and it was simply awful this year. The Thrashers were acutally very disciplined in terms of taking few penalty--but the PK unit was so terrible that they STILL will finish last in Power Play Goals Against--that's simply horrible.

Season Penalty Kill %
Penalty Kill Goal Against

Times Short Handed

(higher ranking is better)

1999-2000
2000-2001 30
30
26
2001-2002 25
27
21
2002-2003 24
21
17
2003-2004 8
19
28
2005-2006 27
29
28
2006-2007 26
21
10
2007-2008 27
28
15
2008-2009 30
30
8

 

Conclusion: "Better luck next year"?

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