If the Capitals can’t handle what the Thrashers threw at them last night, I will be shocked to see the less potent (but still dangerous) Lightning be able to knock the team off pace. Steve Yzerman’s repaired a lot of what was wrong with the Bolts much like Rick Dudley has repaired a lot of what was wrong with the Thrashers, but to base a team’s status in the league on their new GM and his reputation as a solid player is inane. The Bolts are improved, but if pundits think that Dan Ellis will get the job done there behind the still weak defense that they have, they’re about to get a wake-up call.
Thrashers line-combos and defensive pairings remain the same; Mason will start in goal. No word yet on what goaltender gets the call-up to act as Pavelec’s temporary replacement (also no word on Pavs’ condition).