Last night’s game wasn’t a terrible affair, what with scrums in the second and third period, and marginally better shooting, but the Thrashers still didn’t have what it takes to beat Marty St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, and the rest of the Lightning. My advice to keep the puck away from those two was apparently unheard, since Stamkos had a hat trick and St. Louis had two assists on the night.
Goaltender Chris Mason was pulled after the first period, in which he allowed three goals on 16 shots. Mason had played every minute of every game for the Thrashers up to that point, since Ondrej Pavelec’s collapse during the home opener. He was replaced by rookie goaltender Peter Mannino, who allowed just one goal on 16 shots faced.
The Thrashers need to play much more disciplined tonight. Their penalty kill had to be sharp last evening, and it wasn’t up to the challenge. Two of the goals allowed were power play goals, and the PK had to be out there eight times. The box-score reads like a who’s who of Thrashers’ forwards. The most notable penalty getter was Ben Eager, with fourteen minutes worth (one game misconduct), whose indiscretions on the ice allowed for the first Tampa power play and goal.
“I think it’s one of those things that’s mental right now because it’s something we stress before every game. We are shooting ourselves in the foot by taking these penalties and falling behind early. We’ve had a couple of comebacks but that’s definitely not going to happen, as we’ve seen the last two games. You get behind and it’s too hard to come back on teams. It’s something that’s been addressed, it just can’t happen anymore.”
Tonight the Thrashers are facing the less than impressive Washington Capitals, who are just 4-3-0 and second in the Southeast. Controlling penalties will be key, as Washington’s power play is improving and the Thrash really don’t need to allow as many chances for them to practice that improvement.