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Gameday: Thrashers Host Blues

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Atlanta Thrashers

(19-11-5)

versus
St. Louis Blues

(15-12-5)

Blues_logo_medium

ATL - Chris Mason (7-5-2, .897, 3.74) STL - Ty Conklin (3-2-1, .865, 3.48)

7:00PM
Philips Arena
St. Louis Game Time
SBNation Game Page

Again, thanks NHL scheduling department. The always-sharp Dirk Hoag tells us that a team's point percentage drops by about .050 (on average) on the second night of back-to-back games. He also says the percentage drops even more when facing a tough opponent. Thankfully, we don't have to worry about that tonight. Sorry, Hildy.

There are upsides to a compacted schedule; when your team is rolling (as the Thrashers are), you want to capitalize where you can. More consecutive wins equal more confidence for a young team. The downside is an increased injury risk. In the last couple of nights, we've seen Andrew Ladd and Nik Antropov both go off the ice after a wonky fall or brutal hit. Fortunately, the damages have seemed to be limited to equipment. But scary, nonetheless. Especially when facing David "Inglorious" Backes.

The Thrashers and Blues have faced off once already, and Blues forward Jay McClement collected 60% of his total goals on that particular evening. Fortunately, this was game number eleven for the Thrashers, and things seem to be a little different now. Another positive is the fact that the Blues are on the second night of a back-to-backer, and backup netminder Ty "Conkblock" Conklin looks to be getting the start (unconfirmed). The Vancouver Canucks handed the Blues a 3-1 defeat last night at the Scottrade Center, with the Blues managing a paltry 16 shots on goal. For the Thrashers to come away with anything less than two points would be a disappointment tempered by realism.

Standings Watch: The Washington Capitals take on the New Jersey Devils tonight in DC, making tonight's game pretty important if the Thrashers want to stay in first. The Tampa Bay Lightning took down the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 last night in Tampa, pulling them even with the Caps in the SouthMOST Division (sorry, couldn't help myself). The Lightning return to action tomorrow night against the New York Islanders.

It's a dogfight, boys.

Let's Go Thrashers.