Good God, that was bad. It was doubly bad because of what a win could have brought - an easy to surmount two point difference between the Thrashers and the playoffs. This was the "most important game of the season," said the team.
Good thing they played like it. Oh, wait. They didn't. They absolutely imploded and let emotion and irrational play get the best of them. One bad goal - one goal that could have been argued against - and the whole game goes to hell in a handbasket. It's embarrassing. It's unacceptable. The first impulse for fans is to find a scapegoat on the ice. Chris Mason? Awful, awful performance tonight. The usually solid top line? Atrocious. Zach Bogosian? On ice for six of the eight goals against, progressively growing more and more unsure of himself with every shift.
Can you blame him, though? How confident can you be when an entire team basically turns off literally halfway through a game? It's like dominos. One thing happens, and then each player progressively shuts down until you have an entire team on-ice who know that it's a lost cause, and are playing like it.
I say entire team, but I exempt Chris Thorburn, Eric Boulton, and Alexander Burmistrov from that, because the three of them worked the entire game, from start to finish. The rest of the team, not so much.
High points? Two. Chris Thorburn's goal was pleasant in that it was a reviewed goal that went in favor of the Thrashers. Alex Burmistrov's first in 33 games was great to see.
Low points? I could be sarcastic and say "eight, obviously," but there were way more than that. Does it do any good after the game to assess blame? To point fingers and say "YOU! You're the one who caused this!" Do we need to pin a scarlet letter on any one player? It might make us as fans feel better, but it does no good.
Now the Thrashers sit six points out with just ten games remaining. Now they get to fly home on a very quiet charter jet, replaying that game over and over in their minds, dissecting it - trying to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. That must be a familiar thing for this team this season, these game post-mortems that they perform.
The plague cart driver's calling for the dead. I'd like to hear the Thrashers reply "we're not dead yet!" They have ten games to figure out how to bounce back. Get to it.