The Southeast Division standings are close:
It's almost uncomfortably snug between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Atlanta Thrashers, who both have the exact same records. The difference here, is the Lightning started the year off on a tear, and the Thrashers (8-2-0 in their last 10) are continuing to play franchise-best hockey. The momentum's clearly behind the Thrashers, and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.
Pavelec gets the start tonight versus Craig "Hide the Ice Girls!" Anderson. Here's your goalie comparison:
|2010 - Craig Anderson||11||621||4||4||30||2.90||325||295||.908||0|
|2010 - Ondrej Pavelec||18||981||9||5||28||1.71||528||500||.947||2|
Pavs' stats are a liiittle better, to say the least. Lines remain the same as they've been for the past several teams - all players are healthy and good to go save for Freddy Modin, who is still nursing some bruised ribs.
If the Thrashers win the game tonight, they will set the franchise record for consecutive home wins at seven games. The last time these two teams met, the Thrashers won 3-2 in overtime, with Anthony Stewart scoring the game winning goal. Stewart played that game without facing his brother, Chris, who was out with a broken hand. Unfortunately, he'll have to do the same tonight. The elder Stewart will be out for another week or two.
The last time the Avalanche played at Philips Arena, which is not a regular occurrence, was February 24th, 2009. The Thrashers took that game 4-3 after scoring three goals in the first 11:20. It would be exciting if a repeat performance, sans the extra three Avalanche goals, could happen tonight.