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|Atlanta Thrashers|| Florida Panthers |
|TV: (none) Radio: 680 the FAN|
|SBNation: Game page, Litter Box Cats|
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|(12-9-4, .916% 2.54)||(19-18-9, .932 2.33)|
Jump for game notes.
Postmortem: T-Day +1
The Thrashers team that took the ice last night was not an eviscerated shell of a hockey club. In fact, the Thrashers team that took the ice last night showed a great amount of character, work ethic, and passion. At the risk of over-simplifying, It's one thing for a team to lose it's captain. It's another thing for a team to lose (arguably) its most potent and explosive offensive weapon. It's yet another thing for a team to lose the one player that most embodied its identity. The Atlanta Thrashers have lost all of these things, and proved they can still compete. There was, however, just one problem - they happened to be playing the hottest team in the league right now.
When a game can be pinned on two very obvious mistakes (both starring our defensemen making some pretty sloppy passes in the offensive zone), I take that as a good sign. These Thrashers can compete. The only question remaining is: will they?
Tim's Notes for the Game
Aaron has it right. Even with Kovalchuk, that game would have been a lost cause. It was interesting to see how the two new Thrashers played, though they hadn't had even a moment to practice with the team. Oh, and there's no practice today, either. (In fact, it'll be interesting to see if the Thrashers manage to make it to the game on time. It's 1pm and, thanks to a snowstorm in Washington DC, the Thrashers are being escorted by snowplows to Richmond.)
The good news is that, after tonight, Oduya and Bergfors will have a chance to practice with the team before the next game. It's pretty rare that players will have to play two games after zero practices with a team, so we'll have to cut them a little slack.
Still, they performed admirably last night against the Washington Capitals. Johnny Oduya logged over 20 minutes of ice time, thanks to an injured Boris Valabik. He looked solid most of the night, minus that one slow reaction to the puck moving into the high slot. I saw him take the puck deep into the offensive zone at least once last night, so it looks like he's already adjusting to John Anderson's system.
Niclas Bergfors managed to get off 4 shots in under 13 minutes of even-strength ice time. Not too shabby. (One shot per 3:15 compares favorably to the team average of one per 7:00 and the forwards' average of one per 4:45. Those are rough estimates...)
So, what can we expect tonight? Well, all four games against the Panthers have been decided by a goal, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say this game will be close. In reality, though, I'm looking forward more to the Town Hall Meeting than to the game. Is that terrible?
I normally don't ask questions at town halls, but I've got a couple I'm itching to ask about Patrice Cormier.
Discuss below, I'll pop in with comments from the Town Hall if there's anything good. Keep an eye on my tweets as well, I'll post pictures there if anything really good happens.
Tonight's Town Hall Meeting...
This poll is closed
...is going to be a firing range starring Don Waddell.
...would be a firing range, but everybody chickens out when they get the mic.
...would be a firing range, but Donny's such a charmer.
...will show how most folks are legitimately satisfied with the direction of this franchise.
...doesn't matter, I want Valentine's Day pucks!