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Fun While It Lasted

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The Thrashers playoff hopes ended last night. No when they lost in the shootout, but when the game went to overtime and Tampa gained a point. The absolutely needed that regulation win. Problems that have plagued this team all year resurfaced:

* Slow Start? Check. The team was outshoot 17-5 in the first.

* Unnecessary penalties? Check. Mark Savard serial offender was in the box for the killer goal that put Tampa up 2-1 in the last minute of the 2nd period. He was joined on the goat list by the usually very disciplined Marian Hossa who was sitting during the Lightning's 1st period PP goal.

* Goal injury? Check. I was worried Lehtonen messed up his knee watching the replay, but they are saying ankle sprain. Most NHL teams are deceptive about injuries so who knows for sure.

* Kovalchuk goal? Check. His one time off a not-so-perfect pass was a thing of beauty. Goal #50 on the season.

* Furious Third Period Comeback? Check. Unfortunately, they only got one when they really needed two goals. Dominated the 3rd period scoring chances and only some great saves by Burke kept them from pulling off the upset.

Watching the third period was like watching a playoff game when you team is in danger of being eliminated. I was standing in front of the TV willing them to score but it just didn't happen.

It is quite disappointing to not be preparing for a playoff round. I'm not going to begin discussing what went wrong or what could have been done better today. We have an entire offseason coming up for that. But I will say that it was very enjoyable to watch some very exciting hockey games since the Olympic Break that and it gives us a taste of what the playoffs in Atlanta might feel like.