The lines are the same from Saturday night, and honestly, why in the world would you change them after winning 7-1. Ondrej Pavelec is also starting in net against the Leafs. Pavs has a 1.44 GAA over the past 12 games, and still sits second in the league behind Tim Thomas in both save percentage and goals against average.
Niclas Bergfors is a healthy scratch yet again. Bergie has seven goals so far this season, but has been scratched five times in the last six games in favor of Tim Stapleton. Thrashers Coach Craig Ramsay has been emphasizing Stapleton’s defensive play and play without the puck when asked about him, telling the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore:
“Stapleton is very good without the puck. He’s going to score, but he’s been good defensively. He made a couple of solid plays the other night. You look at him and know he’s going to score goals, but if he’s good the other way that gives [the line] more opportunities. I thought as a line, that was Burmy’s best game in awhile. That line was very effective and they played quality minutes for us."
Bergfors had this to say about his recent scratching:
“They haven’t said anything,” Bergfors said. “I know I haven’t played my best hockey. I’m trying to focus to do my best and do the small details and everything that will help the team win the game. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish my next chance.”
Speculation is starting to rise on if the team has been holding Bergfors out of the line-up to protect him from injury incase of a potential trade. I won’t go as far as to guess what’s happening in the locker room, or with the coaching staff, or guess if Bergfors fits on the team or whatnot, because I frankly do not know. If traded, Bergfors could yield a healthy return, but the former rookie star and highlight of the Ilya Kovalchuk deal is probably more than likely not going anywhere.