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Game Day: Attack of the Quack! Ducks vs Thrashers, 7:00 PM

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Before we get to the standard game preview stuff, I wanted to return to a question I asked at the end of December: should we be worried about the Thrashers? (For reference: A Long December for the Thrashers) At the time, they were falling precipitously in the standings.

January hasn't been much better. The Thrashers are 4-4-4 this month - I had to double-check my counts, but that's correct - and hopes of a second playoff berth for this franchise are dimming every game. Folks, 0.500 hockey will not get us into the post-season.

Some Thrashers stats for January, just in case you thought things were going better now than in December:

  • Power Play: 5-for-55, or about 9%
  • Penalty Kill: 37-for-47, or about 79%
  • Games with 2 Goals Scored or Less: 7 of 12
  • Games with 3 Goals Allowed or More: 7 of 12
  • Average Attendance at Philips: 11,326 (or 61% of capacity)
  • Average Attendance at Philips excluding the Washington Capitals Game: 10,238 (or 55% of capacity)
  • Games Against Teams Currently Outside the Playoffs: 6 of 12
  • Record in Those Games: 2-2-2

So we're all feeling pretty good, right? Standard game preview stuff after the jump.

Here's NHL.com's quick stats breakdown:

STATS
52 GP 51
24 W 22
21 L 21
7 OT 8
55 P 52
0.529 P% 0.510
2.79 G/G 2.98
3.08 GA/G 3.18
19.2 PP% 17.7
80.2 PK% 79.5
29.0 S/G 29.5
32.5 SA/G 33.4
48.3 FO% 50.9
I really like those. It saves me lots of time. Look! We're pretty evenly matched with the Ducks!
The good news for the Thrashers? Since the Ducks are in the Western Conference, an overtime win is just as good as a regulation win. This is one in which it's okay to give up the garbage points. You want more good news, you say? The Ducks will be without the services of a couple of guys named Joffrey Lupul, Teemu Selanne, and Saku Koivu? Heard of them? Me neither.
The bad news? They are also 8-2-0 in their last 10 with 7 of those wins coming in regulation. Much of their recent success has to be attributed to goalie Jonas Hiller who has won 13 of his last 18 starts. Hiller has a 0.922 save percentage over that run.
I would talk about some keys to the game or important questions or something else, but the truth is this: the Thrashers need to play better hockey in all facets of the game. The power play needs to be better. The penalty kill needs to be better. They need to pass better and get to loose pucks faster and take the puck through the neutral zone better and maintain possession into the offensive zone better.
What we have right now is not a very good hockey team. That's something we can prove with statistics here at Bird Watchers Anonymous, but it's also something we can verify with our eyes.
Discuss below.