Another game where Atlanta fired in excess of 40 shots on goal. Another game – the tenth in a row – where the Thrashers have outshot their opponents. And another loss in almost two months straight of losing efforts, and another of games that they could have won, or should have won, where they came up short.
It wasn’t for lack of trying, as the Thrashers had 43 shots on goal. The Senators had twenty seven. Unfortunately, one was banked off of Dustin Byfuglien’s shin by Colin Greening for his first NHL goal. The team tried, and tried, and tried – but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and the Thrashers weren’t playing at either tonight. The lone goal was by Dustin Byfuglien in the third period – an attempt to redeem himself – but that came when the Thrashers were already down 2-0 after a goal by Bobby Butler made it past Chris Mason. Nick Foligno scored with a deafening clang off of the pipe to make it 3-1 Senators, sealing the Thrashers’ fate.
One has to give the captain, Andrew Ladd, credit. His assist (along with Tobias Enstrom’s) gave both of the aforementioned players 47 points on the season, which is the team lead. He absolutely did not quit tonight, getting three shots on goal in just under eighteen minutes on the ice, with countless other attempts either blocked or wide. He crashed the net, tried to set up plays – anything to get his team to win. He is trying almost singlehandedly to drag this team back into the hunt kicking and screaming. Regardless of what the other guys say about thinking too much, or holding the sticks too tight, Ladd is doing the right thing, and the rest of the squad needs to take notice.