The Thrashers travel a few hours down the road for a game against the struggling Anaheim Ducks. Thankfully, the Ducks got some of their scoring woes out of their system Wednesday night, beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Their first three games saw the Ducks score only two goals while having thirteen scored against. Needless to say, that led to a very cranky Anaheim team by the end of their game against St. Louis on Monday afternoon, which saw Ryan Getzlaf run away from Brad Boyes, and George Parros try this unique fighting technique on Blues defenseman Barret Jackman:
One can only hope that is attempted on Dustin Byfuglien tonight, though I doubt that Big Buff'll be quite so restrained (FYI, it was also accompanied by Parros sticking out his tongue, which if you watch his face closely you can see).
Zach Bogosian missed practice yesterday with an injured shoulder that Craig Ramsay won't (or can't) disclose the extent of. Ron Hainsey left before the Thrashers traveled to Anaheim due to the fact that his wife started labor. If Bogosian doesn't play tonight, that leaves both healthy scratches Freddy Meyer and Boris Valabik as the third pairing. Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien will remain together, and Brent Sopel was paired with Johnny Oduya at practice yesterday. Freddy Meyer led Thrashers defensemen in goals during the pre-season with two, and is a legitimate threat at the blueline, while Valabik should provide muscle that will be helpful against a potentially fussy Ducks team looking for something to prove.
Jim Slater has been cleared to play for tonight. Since the league got a special exception for Hainsey to not be on the roster for right now, no moves will have to be made. Upon Hainsey's return, though, one of the defensemen will have to pass through waivers to be sent to the AHL, or a trade will be in the works. Chances are strong that Alexander Burmistrov remains with the squad for now, as he is only four games into his nine game pro try-out period.