You can’t accuse Ondrej Pavelec of not trying. Pavs was outstanding tonight in Atlanta’s 2-1 loss to Florida, stopping 32 of 34 shots. Evander Kane had a team-high eight shots on goal, Rich Peverley won 79% of his faceoffs, and Alex Burmistrov is currently on a four game assist streak. Also, Zach Bogosian scored his first goal of the season, and proved why blocking his shots isn’t the best idea, by taking out two Florida defensemen. Heck, the team shot a season high 39 times, and still didn’t win the game.
Of course, the Thrashers scored first, so that might be why they lost. Or, more simply, the fact that they chose not to play a full 60 minutes this game could have been what shot them in the foot. Coach Craig Ramsay has a very deep hole of poor accountability coaching to drag the team out of, and he realizes that until he gets everyone on the same page and with the same level of motivation, he will have problems. He sounded positively perplexed and tired during the post game press conference:
Things get no easier for the Thrashers, because the Washington Capitals play at Philips on 7:30 Saturday. This will be the fourth meeting out of six already for these two teams. The Thrashers are 1-1-1 against them so far this season, with Chris Mason starting every game.
Dustin Byfuglien left the game early in the second period with an undisclosed upper body injury and did not return to the game. Details of the injury have not been released yet. Interestingly, after the turnover that caused the second goal, Ben Eager’s ice time significantly dropped and he finished with 8:08 minutes of ice time. Jim Slater’s ice time was also horribly limited, with just 6:03 total for the game.
The Thrashers are now 10th in the Eastern Conference and 4th in the Southeast Division, having been jumped by the Carolina Hurricanes tonight with their 7-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. The Tampa Bay Lightning also won, defeating the New York Islanders 4-2.