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Bring Down the White Whale

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I have three thoughts after watching the Thrashers win yet again and run their streak to five games.

1) This team deserves your attention Atlanta hockey fans. They work hard, they hustle and they support one another out there on the ice. Last year's squad was shockingly unprofessional in the way they would just fold up like a cheap tent in the 2nd game of back-to-back nights. This club has been competitive in 14 of their first 16 games and have looked very good on the 2nd night of back to back games.

2) The second thought is keep your expectations in check. The Thrashers are in the midst of the easiest month on their schedule--they should be winning more games than they are losing. In fact, it is crucial that they keep rolling through this month of November collecting as many standings points as they possibly can--rough waters lay ahead in December and January! Once the team gets past the two Pennsylvania franchises another stretch of beatable teams is on the docket: Columbus, Toronto, Washington, Nashville and St. Louis

3) The Thrashers must finally slay the dragon. The Flyers have haunted this franchise from day one. It is time for them to break whatever spell the Flyers have over this team and end the string of losses. Time to bring down the Moby Dick of this franchise--the Philadelphia Flyers.

Finally, I'll conclude by saying that in my gut I still don't think this team has sufficient talent to qualify for the playoffs. But with a lot of hard work and a measure of good luck they just might be able to squeak in or at least make things interesting in the spring. Making a serious run at the post-season and playing a smart and entertaining version of NHL hockey is precisely the sort of thing that will help this franchise next summer when they are trying to attract free agents (or re-sign some of their own).

Updated Eastern Standings (adjusted for games played)
+7 NYR
+7 BOS
+6 MON
+6 WSH
+6 PIT
+5 BUF
+1 CAR
+1 TOR
--------------- PLAYOFFS
+0 NJD
+0 ATL
-1 PHI
-2 OTT
-2 TBL
-3 FLA
-4 NYI