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Game Day, Panthers at Thrashers.

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Atlanta Thrashers Florida Panthers
Philips Arena
Radio: 680 the FAN
SBNation: Game page, Litter Box Cats
TSN Coverage
Johan Hedberg
Tomas Vokoun
(5-2-0, .932% 2.33) (7-9-4, .921 2.74)

Blah blah blah, Rich Peverley, blah blah blah.

Jump for game notes.

Panthers Game Notes

Last Game:
On Saturday night, the Florida Panthers wandered into Nashville and took a 4-1 beating at the hands of the Nashville Predators. It was a particulary brutal showing in that Florida's top four healthy point-getters managed a mere 5 shots on goal.

Last Five: 2-1-2

Special Teams: PP - 13.3% (28th), PK - 74.5% (29th)

Notes for Tonight: Notice I said "top four healthy point getters" up there? The shuttle from Rochester has been busy. It wouldn't be so bad if the injury hadn't been hitting some productive players. Overall, Florida has lost 64 man-games to inury - David Booth (concussion, still out), Dominic Moore (nasal surgery, missed 5 games), and Cory Stillman (knee, still out) have all spent time in the press box for the Cats. It's really a question of which Panthers team shows up tonight. Florida has managed to hold it's own against some pretty impressive competition (posting a 1-0-1 record against a hot Buffalo Sabres team and taken both the LA Kings and the Pittsburgh Penguins to overtime), but can still turn in a stinker (like the aforementioned Preds game, and a 6-4 loss to Toronto last Friday night).

Who To Watch Out For:
Let's tag Tomas Vokun as the target tonight (alliteration, FTW). There's a reason why he's lastest over a decade in the NHL - he can steal a game. He's picked up three shutouts on the year, and his save percentage is pretty good at .921%. Yet he leads the league in losses with 9. The watchword here is "consistency." If the Thrashers can come out strong and confident from the start, they should have no problem taking care of Florida.

Thrashers Game Notes

Tim's back!

Hey everybody! You probably didn't notice, but I've been somewhat absent from the site lately. I've been traveling a good bit for work and haven't been able to catch all the games. There's only so much a stat-sheet can tell you, so I've been purposefully quiet for awhile. Well, not so much anymore!

Tonight is a big game for the Thrashers, but it is perhaps an even bigger game for the Florida Panthers. The Panthers have gone 5-2-3 in their last 10, but have shown an inability to hold onto leads. This puts them in a pretty precarious position against our boys in blue; the Thrashers have shown a strong ability to come back late in the game. The Kitty Cats are a game below 0.500 for the year, but they (like the Thrash) have a better record on the road than at home.

Tonight's Three Questions of the Game:

  1. Can Moose get it done again? It's no secret that the Thrashers' defense isn't what we had hoped it to be. Their 35.6 shots allowed/game puts them dead-last in the NHL. Without the strong and relatively consistent goal-tending they've gotten from Johan Hedberg and Ondrej Pavelec, the Thrashers would be sitting significantly lower in the standings. The Moose gets the start in goal tonight after his 34-save shutout against the Philadelphia Flyers.
  2. Can the Thrashers score more than 3 goals again? If you exclude the 3rd period from the recent game against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Thrashers have scored just 9 goals in 14 periods of hockey, or 1.93 goals/game. This is significantly below their season average of 3.44 G/G and, worse, lower than their season-average 2.74 GA/G. A Florida Panthers team that's allowed 10 goals in their last two games could be the ticket.
  3. Can this season's slow-starters keep it up? To start the season, a huge proportion of our scoring came from a few guys: Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Bogosian, and Rich Peverley. They've all slowed down somewhat, as expected, but the scoring void has been filled by the stellar play of Maxim Afinogenov and some supportive scoring from Nik Antropov and Slava Kozlov. If those three can keep chipping in a goal every game or two, the Thrashers can continue to win games.

And one more thing: if you hadn't noticed, the Atlanta Thrashers hold the best record in the Eastern Conference over the last 10 games: 7-1-2.