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Boston Game in Review

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It was pretty obvious that the trades gave this team "great jump" as Curt Fraser used to say. The guys were excited and it was obvious that there is more talent on this team now. Perhaps some of the guys were a little too excited actually, I think Exelby was trying to do too much in the 1st period but seemed to settle down as the game went along.

The Thrashers defense pinched more in the offensive zone that they have all season and put great pressure on BOS at times. I remember three different defensemen skating all the way into the BOS corner at some point in the game.

The Tkachuk-Kovalchuk duo didn't quite click but you could see that they are not that far off. After the game Tkachuk said that Ilya needs to just shoot and he will drive the crease for the rebounds--music to my ears! He needs to tell Ilya it is crucial that he actually hit the net/goaltender and not shoot wide and clear the zone.

I thought Zhitnik looked solid, but Kari Lehtonen waxed enthusiastic in the AJC about how great his positioning was and what a difference he made. Kari was probably going wild just knowing that Sutton wouldn't be screening him 7-8 times a game when he is trying to make a save.

Havelid still looks like a guy struggling to regain his past form, but playing with Zhitnik should help. I also thought Kari looked average, he had one terrific save but otherwise I didn't think his body language exuded confidence.

The special teams were special. Perfect on the PK and BOS barely got a sniff around the net. Thrashers got 2 PP goalsPublish which is a welcome change. I like seeing two defensemen on the blueline. It was time to give the opposition a different look on the PP.

The top line with Belanger-Hossa and Kozlov had numerous scoring chances and they seem to be really clicking now after a few games together.

Bottom line: Huge win to break the losing streak and get the guys some confidence. If the team lost that game they would have had 4 more days to stew over it, but now they head to practice with a bounce in their step and the expectation that better days are ahead. Confidence is so important in hockey. When you have it, you just react on the ice instead of pausing to think about what to do out there. Now they get a couple of days to get to know each other on the ice.