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Hurricanes At Thrashers: Atlanta Hopes To Continue To Play The Role Of Spoiler

The Thrashers have just two games left to go in this disappointing season. It started out well enough during the first half, but with the team missing the playoffs for the tenth time in eleven seasons, it's ending the way that the years often do. With disappointment. The Thrashers managed a 3-0 shutout of the New York Rangers last night, hurting the Rangers' playoff hopes. If they lose to the Hurricanes tonight, the Rangers are in even more trouble. Can the Thrashers play the role of spoiler and help another Southeast Division team out?

The Thrashers haven't played well against Carolina this year. The Canes are 4-0-1 to the Thrashers on the season, and not being able to get the full two points every game against them hindered their playoff aspirations from the get-go. While four of those five games wound up in extra time, the Thrashers only bested the Hurricanes at their last meeting on March 9th. Three of the four Thrashers' losses have been handed to the team seemingly by Atlanta-killer Eric Cole, who has had an outstanding season against the Thrashers. the game winner on March 9th was scored by Tim Stapleton, who has cooled off significantly after going through a bit of a hot streak in March.

If the Hurricanes win their last two games, they're back in the playoff picture. If not, then the Rangers are in. Oddly enough, the Thrashers "control" the destiny of the 8th overall spot even when they're not in contention for it. Carolina's going to be a tough nut to crack tonight, as they're coming off of an excellent 3-0 shutout of the Red Wings on Wednesday night. Momentum's on their side, and they're looking to have it carry them all of the way into the playoffs.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.