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Five Game Report Card: Games Eleven through Fifteen

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Alright, so it's a week late, but here's the latest edition of the Five Game Report Card. This report covers the October 30th game against the Blues through the November 9th game against the Senators. The next report, covering games 16-20, should hopefully come out this weekend or early next week.

This five game series was not a good one for the Thrashers: they gave up 18 goals while only scoring 13. You won't win many games being outscored by a goal-per-game average over the long haul. In fact, the Thrashers' 1-2-2 mark could well be considered lucky based on some of the statistics we'll see after the jump.

Over This Five Game Period

  • Record: 1-2-2 (0.400 P%)
  • Goals Scored/Allowed: 13/18 (0.722)
  • PP%/PK%: 35%/60%
  • Goal Leaders: Bergfors, Modin, Peverley, Antropov (with 2 each)
  • Assist Leaders: Byfuglien (4), Ladd (3)
  • Point Leaders: Byfuglien (5), Ladd, Bergfors, Peverley, Antropov (4 each)
  • +/- Leaders/Trailers: Eager (+2), Slater (+1), Bogosian, Ladd (-5 each), Kane (-6), Antropov (-7)
  • Team +/-: Minus-41
  • Shot Leaders: Kane (20), Byfuglien (17), Peverley (15)
  • Blocked Shot Leaders: Oduya (11), Hainsey (10), Burmistrov (9)
  • Hit Leaders: Byfuglien (17), Slater (12), Eager, Boulton 98)
  • Faceoff Leaders: Slater (34-for-58, 58.6%), Peverley (53-for-92, 57.6%)
Because I'm so far behind on getting this post done, I'll save on-the-season stats for next week. Instead, I'd like to comment a bit on the numbers above.

First, we've seen a huge shift in the special teams numbers toward more goals, both for us and opponents. Compared to last week, we have both a significant drop in our PK% and a significant jump in our PP%. Interestingly, our PK was perfect through the first 3 games of this series but gave up 2 goals while a man down in each of the last two. The good news? Only 10 penalty kill situations total. Craig Ramsay identified penalties as a problem and the team took FAR less during this series.

Concerning: the numbers of our "scorers." Antropov, Ladd, and Kane combined for a -18. Ouch. Ladd's play seemingly suffered without Bryan Little as he saw his goals drop (from 2 in each of the past periods to 1) and his plus-minus deteriorate (+3, +1, -5).

I made reference to team plus-minus in the last report card. Specifically:
Despite the 2-2-1 record over this period, there are problems. The Thrashers won (or stayed close) in these games thanks to strong special teams, but they are giving up far too many goals against and are playing very poorly at 5-on-5. The team's -33 was shockingly bad and the 5-on-5 GF/GA ratio - perhaps the best predictor of a team's place in the standings over the long haul - was 0.69, good for just 27th in the NHL. Ouch.

Well, the good news? I saw something important there. The bad news? With the further deterioration of the team's plus-minus came less points. Our 5-on-5 GF/GA is still not good. In fact, it was TERRIBLE: 0.429. Again, if we were EVEN with the teams we were playing, that would equal 1.000. We are getting doubled (and then some) at even-strength. You cannot expect to get far with numbers that bad. Special teams will not carry you that far.

The Thrashers need to get better at even-strength if they are going to win games. Much, much better.