Atlanta dropped their last pre-season game of the season, losing 4-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Two third-period goals did the Thrashers in, and the offense - which hasn't been the same line-up any of the pre-season games - failed to gel. Two out of the three goals came from defenseman - Freddy Meyer scored at 2:50 of the first period to start the scoring, assisted by a pass from Tobias Enstrom. Enstrom, aided by Bryan Little and Chris Thorburn, scored on his own with under two minutes left in the first period. Finally, in the third period, Nigel Dawes hit in his own rebound after getting a pass from Alex Burmistrov that was also assisted by Enstrom. It wouldn't be enough, with Columbus' returning sniper Nikita Filatov scoring the game winning goal on the power play with just under five minutes remaining in the game.
Pre-season games luckily do not count for the regular season. Losing streaks such as this six game one that the Thrashers are on are exactly what cost this team in the playoffs, and it did so for the exact same reasons - offense that couldn't take advantage of the chances afforded to them by decent defensive play and goaltending. The regular season doesn't start until next Friday, October 8th, so the team has some time to work out whatever's going on.
Also, cuts will continue to be made, and the final roster for opening night will be set shortly. Scratches and line-juggling makes it difficult for goals to be scored. Thrashers fans can take heart in the improved defense of the team as well as the slowly but steadily improving breakout, but can easily be forgiven if they're concerned about the offense, especially as the Thrashers start the season against the Washington Capitals.