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Lack of Execution Against Carolina--A Playoff Killer?

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Short but sweet: the Atlanta Thrashers played with urgency last night but their execution was lacking.

  • Atlanta had three Grade A scoring chances in the slot area and couldn't put home any of them.
  • The Thrashers recognized that Carolina was not going to let them skate over the blueline and dumped the puck in--that was good.
  • The Thrashers forwards and defense were totally out of sync regarding which corner or the timing of the dump ins (which was bad) allowing Carolina to recover and clear the puck too often.
  • Dump and chase ONLY works when the forwards hit the offensive blueline with speed and go to the same corner that the puck is headed towards. It is about coordination and Atlanta was clearly lacking it in the 3rd period.
  • A terrific penalty kill when Thorburn nailed Staal and was in the box for 4 minutes. The Thrashers did a solid job of protecting the slot area and preventing high quality shots against.
  • Slater again turned heads with several crunching hits. But also lost out of the puck on one of the Carolina goals against.
  • Antropov with yet another goal. The best Thrashers ES skater all year.

Barring a total collapse by either Boston or Philadelphia the playoff race in the East is practically over. Both Boston and Philly have tie breakers which makes the gap larger by one point than it might appear in the standings.

Some nights you play hard and still lose--that's just hockey. What really hurts is thinking about those precious points that were given away earlier in the season in half-hearted efforts against say the Islanders.