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Five Game Report Card: Games Thirty-One through Thirty-Five

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This five game report card comes a little late thanks to the busy holiday season. (Yes, this blogger does have a personal life and boy has it been busy...) As you well know, it was a tough stretch for the Thrashers. After seeming nearly invincible in late November, they slipped to Just Very Good in early December and now, in late December, are looking Not All That Good. Curiously enough, over this period the Thrashers got points in all five games. Their 3-0-2 mark was better than the last period's 3-2-0 despite looking much worse as a team (with the exception of the 7-1 drubbing of New Jersey, a game which will skew all of the stats for this period.)

The story lately has been a fall in special teams play but a jump in even-strength play. Honestly, that's a trade-off I'd make. I've shown (in previous posts) that 5-on-5 play is a much larger factor in a team's performance over the season than special teams play. That said, the Thrashers could stand to rework the power play a bit in light of the increased attention toward Dustin Byfuglien.

I am most concerned about Ondrej Pavelec. He is no longer playing superhuman (or like a top-5 goalie in the NHL) and the team has not picked up the slack. No goalie can play invincibly over the entire season, but the best teams step up when their goaltender is in a bit of a funk. The Thrashers have, as best as I can tell, not done that. The question then becomes: can they? Or can Pavelec regain his November form? If either of those turn out to be "Yes," this team could find themselves back atop the Southeast Conference standings.

Over This Five Game Period

  • Record: 3-0-2 (0.800 P%)
  • Goals Scored/Allowed: 20/10 (2.00) [Note: I'm not including SO winners as goals here.]
  • PP%/PK%: 16.67%/69.23%
  • Goal Leaders: Boulton (3), Kane, Little, Ladd, Modin, Stewart, Enstrom (2 each)
  • Assist Leaders: Thorburn (5), Stewart, Byfuglien (4 each)
  • Point Leaders: Stewart, Thorburn (6 each), Byfuglien, Enstrom (5 each)
  • +/- Leaders/Trailers: Byfuglien, Enstrom (+8 each), Hainsey, Slater, Thorburn (+6 each), Burmistrov, Bergfors, Eager, Oduya (each even), Bogosian (-1)
  • Team +/-: Plus-63
  • Shot Leaders: Byfuglien (16), Kane (15), Peverley (13)
  • Blocked Shot Leaders: Enstrom (19), Bogosian (15), Oduya (13)
  • Hit Leaders: Byfuglien (10), Kane (8), Slater (7)
  • Faceoff Leaders: Peverley (50-for-89, 56.2%), Slater (24-for-43, 55.8%)
On the Season Ranks (as of December 28th)
  • Points %: 0.579, 16th
  • Goals Scored: 3.13, 7th
  • Goals Allowed: 2.82, 18th
  • 5-on-5 GF/GA: 1.12, T-10th
  • Power Play: 21.0%, T-8th
  • Penalty Kill: 80.3%, 22nd