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Thrashers Rally for Late Tie Point on the Road

Since this game was not televised there is little I can add if you listened to Dan Kamal's broadcast. It sounded like Lehtonen was very strong again as the Thrashers got off to a slow 1st period (out shot 18-5) but Atlanta clawed their way into a point with a strong 3rd period outshooting the Lightning 15-8. It was good to get a point, but White and Christensen messed up key scoring chances and Little took a costly penalty in OT, those mistakes resulted in a division rival receiving two standing points.

Speaking of Erick Christensen back at the Pre-Season Townhall Event I was talking with the gentlemen who operate the Blueland Chronicle and I expressed some doubts; "Christensen has been something of a tease so far in the NHL, everyone talks about him being stuck behind Crosby, Malkin and Staal at center (and it's true) but he has done very little with his ES and PP ice time so far in his NHL career."

Christensen is one of those players who shows "flashes" of skill but hasn't really established much of a track record of consistent production in the NHL. Many hoped that with consistent ice time and linemates he would have a break out season. Through six games of the 2008-09 season he is getting a steady diet of ice time at ES and has very little to show for it. This is year is big opportunity for Erik and so far the results have been underwhelming. Frankly Brett Sterling is probably deserving of a look--he has consistently scored at the AHL and the Thrashers 2nd line has been pretty quiet since Little moved up to Kovalchuk's line.

Another struggling players Jason Williams played a season low 11:55. Assuming that he wasn't injured it seems that the coaching staff is sending him a signal. Perhaps Sterling will dress and Williams will sit next game.

Corsi Box Score (ES Thrashers Shots minus Opposition Shots Attempted)
Lehtonen +3

22:09 Schneider +2
13:38 Bogosian +5

22:11 Havelid -1
23:27 Enstrom +0

The Hainsey-Exelby combo and Enstrom-Havelid split playing versus Vinny Lecavalier.

23:12 Hainsey +0
17:14 Exelby +0

22:18 Kovalchuk +4
18:33 White +4
17:40 Little +3

16:29 Kozlov +2
11:55 Williams +0
15:45 Christensen +2

14:20 Perrin -1
14:15 Reasoner +3
18:23 Armstrong +0

Armstrong and Christensen had the heavy defensive work of matching up against Lecavalier most of the night for the Thrashers.

8:12 Thorburn -5
12:08 Slater -5
6:08 Boulton -3

The 4th line was out shot at ES. They played the most ice time against the Recchi-Gratton-Vrbata line not the top line of Lecavalier.

Real Eastern Standings (Points - Games Played)
This controls for differences in games played by teams
+5 MON
+5 BUF
+4 NYR
+3 NJD
+2 WAS
+1 CAR
+2 PIT
+1 BOS
---------- Playoffs
+0 OTT
+0 ATL
-1 FLA
-1 NYI
-1 TOR
-1 TBL
-3 PHI

Right now every single team in the East is just two points out of a playoff berth, except for Philadelphia.