That word best describes how things have been going for the Thrashers. It's not entirely an effort thing: they've put together a few strong games and still lost. Still, there seems to be something missing with this team.
To be sure, the injuries to Toby Enstrom and Evander Kane haven't helped. (Jimmy Slater is another important injury.) Other guys seem to be playing hurt: Andrew Ladd hasn't exactly been himself. Thankfully, Nik Antropov is finally starting to look like his old self.
There seem to be two problems, one minor, one major. The minor problem is that we're getting outscored when playing 5-on-5. This would normally be a major problem, but we're only being slightly outscored: on the season, we're 0.95 GF/GA. Obviously, we want to be above 1.00, but we're close. That's something that can be tweaked just a bit. If there is any reason to be hopeful about this team, it's that this particular statistic is hanging in there. We're 21st overall (which is bad) but 9th in the Eastern Conference.
The major problem? Our penalty kill. A 76.0% success rate is simply not going to cut it. Even with our power play humming along near 20%, we're going to get killed giving up that many goals on the PK. This has been somewhat offset by the low number of penalties we take: the Thrashers take the 5th-least minors (just 201) in the NHL, 7th-least PIMs/game.
Here's the problem: these are averages. So while on average our penalty kill isn't hurting us that badly due to the low number of penalties, in any game where we give the opposition a number of chances, we're taking several shots at our feet...
Of course, over this period, the PK was actually a bit better than normal: 12-for-15, 80%. The power play, however, went 0-for-13. Ouch. I think that's a pretty stark reminder of how much Toby Enstrom does for this Thrashers squad.
Shocking stat: The team was a combined Minus-38 and only four players managed not to end up on the Minus side of the sheet... including Alex Burmistrov's +3. He was not a minus player in any of the five games in this series. You go, Alex!
Over This Five Game Period
- Record: 1-3-1 (0.300 PP%)
- Goals Scored/Allowed: 8/19 (0.421)
- PP%/PK%: 0%/80%
- Goal Leaders: Sopel, Bogosian, Little, Bergfors, Stewart, Meyer, Peverley, Antropov (1 each)
- Assist Leaders: Kane, Little, Bergfors, Antropov (2 each)
- Point Leaders: Little, Bergfors, Antropov (3 each)
- +/- Leaders/Trailers: Burmistrov (+3), Antropov (+1), Oduya, Boulton (Even each), Bogosian, Little, Byfuglien (-4 each), Stapleton (-6)
- Team +/-: Minus-38
- Shot Leaders: Byfuglien (20), Stewart, Peverley (12 each)
- Blocked Shot Leaders: Hainsey (15), Oduya (13), Sopel, Meyer (8 each)
- Hit Leaders: Byfuglien (14), Thorburn (11), Meyer (9)
- Faceoff Leaders: Thorburn (12-for-19, 63.2%), Antropov (20-for-39, 51.3%)
- Points %: 0.526, 23rd
- Goals Scored: 2.84, 11th
- Goals Allowed: 3.14, 26th
- 5-on-5 GF/GA: 0.95, T-20th
- Power Play: 19.8%, 8th
- Penalty Kill: 76.0%, 29th