Long time readers know that Jim Slater is not one of my personal favorites, but the man has earned some praise. In the last two games Slater has scored 100% of the Thrashers offense. In the Pittsburgh game he was all alone in the slot area and converted on both opportunities. Last night against the Rangers he used his speed and finished off the chance with a five-hole goal.
Rookie Brad Johnson absolutely robbed Rich Peverley with his insane stick save. In fact, the Thrashers had three glorious back door chances created by cross-crease passes and couldn't covert any of them. If you watch this next clip make sure you pause it at the 37 second mark to see what a ridiculous save it was.
It was a rare day in Georgia when snow falls to the ground and actually accumulates. Schools were canceled all over the city. I was afraid that only northern-born Ranger fans would turn out, but they were mercifully outnumbered in the stands. But it certainly felt like hockey season when we exited the building to saw snowflakes drifting down all over downtown--a lovely sight.
Last (and certainly not least) last night's game signaled the end of the 8 games "losing" streak (or 9 losses in the last 10 games). The truth of the matter is that the Thrashers really turned the corner at the start of January with a solid game in Buffalo that ended badly due to a terrible bounce in OT. The team now has 4 points in 4 January games. Now .500 hockey will not get you into the playoffs with the bonus point being awarded in 27% of all games. But .500 hockey is treading water--and after being in a free fall, treading water is progress.