Two points are two points, regardless if you’re in first or last place. The Thrashers will take them tonight, as they try to claw back up the slippery standings slope that is the last two and a half weeks of the season.
Chris Mason stopped 14 of 15 shots on goal for the Thrashers’ first regulation win since February 11th. His counterpart Al Montoya played an outstanding game tonight as well, stopping an excellent 32 of 34 Thrashers shots.
The power play ended up with a goal (Rob Schremp’s in the second period), and the penalty kill was a perfect three-for-three after allowing three goals on Saturday night. The entire team’s play was significantly tighter and smarter, which could be their response to a bad game, or it just could be the fact that the Islanders did not play a particularly good game – especially on the power play). Whatever the reason, the gap is down to seven points with nine games to go.
Tomorrow night the outstanding Vancouver Canucks will give the Thrashers a run for their money. Regardless of how well they played tonight, Atlanta is going to have to ramp it up a notch if they want to beat a Stanley Cup favorite.