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Five in a row!

  • The streak started on the road as the Thrashers took on a red hot Boston Bruin club that still had playoff dreams and gutted out a big time 3-2 win. Hossa with the game winner.
  • In the first home game versus Ottawa it was apparent that the club lacked chemistry with all the recent additions to the roster. They looked bad in the 2nd period and seemed rather confused at times about who should take the puck. The power play was 0-5 and the PK gave up a goal. Ottawa came into town on a roll. Despite all that the Hossa-Belanger-Kozlov line got this team back into the game and they managed to get a win.
  • Then versus Carolina (a team in desperate need of a win after back-to-back losses to Ottawa) they played hard and physical. The Hurricanes played them tough and the game could have gone either way, but Lehtonen made some HUGE saves and again the offense found a way to convert scoring chances at the right time. The PK was perfect and the PP chipped in a goal.
  • Versus Florida (a team that had been playing very well of late) they overcame a VERY strong start by Ed Belfour. The Eagle looked as sharp as I've seen him in quite a while and I was worried that the Panthers might steal a 2-1 win despite the Thrashers numerous quality scoring chances. But the team stayed patient and kept working hard and the Panthers kept taking penalties and the PP cashed in two PP opportunities. Hossa was an absolute beast this game driving to the FLA net with impunity.
  • Last night against Montreal it started off like a typical ATL-MON contest. The Canadians out shot and out chanced us early and it seemed that my pre-game worries had been justified. But thankfully the Thrashers chemistry seems to be coming around and some aggressive forechecking lead to great scoring chances. The Montreal goaltender looked about like Berkhoel and Garnett did when they came up from the AHL and played in net for us a season ago (i.e. not ready for prime time!) You could say that the Thrashers simply took advantage of a bad situation, but I can remember MANY previous games where the Canadians would start some seldom used back-up goalie and he would stone us. Team chemistry took a further step up after Tkachuk stood up for Hossa after a dangerous knee-on-knee hit.

Here are your team leaders for the last 5 games.

Points Leaders over the Last Five Games
7 Hossa
6 Zhitnik (that one caught me by surprise.)
6 Kovalchuk
6 Belanger
6 Kozlov
4 Mellanby

Plus/Minus Leaders over the Last Five Games
+6 Hossa
+6 de Vries
+6 Kozlov
+5 Zhitnik
+5 Belanger
+5 Havelid
Note: Dupuis is -3 which I find surprising.

SOG Leaders Last 5 Games
19 Hossa
14 Belanger
12 Sim
10 Holik
10 Kovalchuk
10 Tkachuk

Faceoffs Last 5 Games
59% Holik 85 faceoffs taken
55% Belanger 106 faceoffs taken
54% Tkachuk 68 faceoffs taken

Power Play 21% (would rank 3rd in the league over a full season)

Penalty Kill 87% (would rank 2nd in the league over a full season)

Goals Against Average: 1.80 (would rank 1st in the NHL over a full season)

Save Percentage: .943% (would rank 1st in the NHL over a full season)

The positive thing from those team leader stats is that you can see how well the team has played and Kovalchuk-Tkachuk-Sim line is just starting to warm up. You can also see how enormously important the goaltending has been for this team of late. We are getting All-Star level performance out of Kari since his family arrived in town.

I know that some readers think the Thrashers paid too much at the trading deadline, but you have to admit that thus far those moves are yielding very positive results. The talent on this club is better. The confidence of this club is better and the results on the ice are certainly better. The big question is can they ride this wave all the way into the playoffs?