The last time the Buffalo Sabres were here, they outshot the Thrashers 42-18, and outscored the Thrashers 4-1. It seems like ages ago (maybe because watching that game live was like watching paint dry), but it was only last Thursday that the Thrashers put on their worst offensive showing of the year thus far. Six penalties on the Thrashers did not help their cause much.The Thrashers' powerplay has scored in six straight games, but it's been the games where penalties have been limited that've been the most successful for the team
Wednesday night was like night in day in comparison to what happened the Wednesday before that. The Thrashers lit up the Rangers for six goals, only had one penalty called on them, and fired off 26 shots on goal. The defense also limited the Rangers to 28 shots on goal, finally managing to not allow more than thirty. The powerplay has been clicking recently, moving up as high as to seventh in the NHL, now 9-for-42. Coach John Torchetti has finally been getting through to the team's powerplay unit, and it should benefit tonight as Zach Bogosian returns to play the point with his booming, dare I say MacInnis-esque, slapshot. With Bogosian's return, expect Noah Welch to be tonight's healthy scratch on defense.
The Thrashers' goals against a game is still high at 3.67, though they're scoring an average of three goals a game, which is not bad. Special teams are performing better than Buffalo's, and the team needs to take advantage of this.
According to Ben Wright of the Blueland Blog, Jim Slater will be back in the line-up tonight, making Freddy Modin the healthy forward scratch. Slater has one goal and is a -3 through five games played, and Modin is a -8 with one goal scored through eight games.