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The Kiddie D Corps?

Well I'm looking forward to tonight's contest between the Thrashers and the Stars for two reasons. First, it will be the first Thasher home game in half a month where I will be able to watch the entire game in person. My work and rec hockey schedule have conspired to keep me away from Philips Arena far too much lately, but the work conflicts are over for the rest of the season woo-hoo!

The second reason I'm anticipating tonight's game is the arrival of Braydon Coburn and Mark Popovic. I'm not sure if both will play tonight but at least one of them will. Now, I'll admit that in the past I've said some not-so-nice things about Coburn's decision making, but I'm hoping to see some improvement over last year and I'm keeping an open mind. Personally, I like Popovic when I've seen him play for either the Thrashers or in the AHL (I've seen him play for both the Wolves and the Cin. Ducks). I've been rooting for him to get a shot at the big leagues for a while now.

The Stars should provide a good test for either of these young defensive pups. They have forwards who are both quick (Modano) and tought (Morrow) and they are very solid western conference power.

Some other things I'm curious about include how the Thrashers stack up against some of the western teams. This is the first "inter-league" game for the Thrashers and their next one will not be until January 13th versus the Ducks. (Random thought: Do MLB play a higher percentage of interleague games than NHL teams play inter-conference games? I should go look this up.)

How will this team start? They looked mentally tired the last few games so the 5 day break should have done them well (unless that paintball contest wore them out). On the other hand, I did a post last season that showed that the Thrashers had a higher winning percentage when there games were closer together. The team tended to struggle when they were off for a while. So my prediction is another slow start in the first period and then a furious 3rd as they use those rested legs.

I'd had some inquiries about the penalties drawn data. I hope to update the chart his weekend. I will try and update every two weeks or so.