Kane and Kozlov switch practice jerseys

I was all set to post this blog with the morning practice lines being the same, but ….

As the skate was about to begin, Evander Kane and Slava Kozlov switched jerseys. That means the lines for practice this morning are:

Kane-Antropov-Afinogenov

Peverley-White-Little

Kozlov-Reasoner-Armstrong

Boulton-Slater-Thorburn

I’ll see what coach John Anderson says about the line change for the practice after interviews. Maybe he’s just trying to mix it up a little bit.

I spent the morning looking to see if there was a statistical reason the Thrashers are so different on the road (5-1-1) and at home (1-5-0). A couple of stats jumped out:

1. They kill 89.7 percent of penalties on the road; 76.2 percent at home.

2. They have 118 hits on the road (two more games); 57 at home.

3. They have 91 blocked shots on the road; 63 at home.

I also came across this about their slow starts:

1. Record when the score first: 4-0; Record when opposition scores first: 2-5-1

2. Recorde when trailing after first period: 0-3-1; Record when trailing after second period: 0-5-1.

Let me know what you think about the cause of the dramatic difference between the team’s performance at home and on the road.

78 comments Add your comment

Jimbo

November 6th, 2009
11:14 am

Good move- Kane with some grit to give Nik some help. To me, the most telling stat is the “hits”. Why in the world doesn’t JA instruct them to remind the visitors that they are entering a hostile, homw ice. He still talks about them being “fragile” but I haven’t seen any of them entering the lockerroom in skirts or pants-suit outfits. All you’re doin John is to give them an excuse and are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Columbus came in here weary, having played the night before. We gave them a free pass in the first period and allowed them to save their energy and stamina to withstand our late rush. JA simply did not prepare this team correctly given the situation. FRAGILE – MY———–!

Brendan

November 6th, 2009
11:31 am

I like trying Kane on the top line. And I like the 2nd line of Peverley-White-Little. Kozlov-Reasoner-Armstrong makes our 3rd line stronger, too.

Let’s see how this works. We are “Road Warriors.”

John

November 6th, 2009
12:27 pm

another stat: 1-5 in games with 1 goal differential (3 pts in the standings) – a stat that is starting to look like last year.

Thrashers27

November 6th, 2009
12:38 pm

Seems to me those stats are a bit skewed due to the fact that there have been more road games played. Either way, they need to get it into gear when playing at home.

GaVaHokie

November 6th, 2009
12:47 pm

Perhaps playing a more physical game at home is what they’re missing, if the hits are substantially more on the road… I’ll pay closer attention to that.

Certainly could have stopped that Brassard goal last night if they had played him more physically than positionally.

One thing, that doesn’t show up on scoresheets, that I’ve noticed the guys doing when they’re playing well is when they’re actively stepping in front of the other player, separating them from the puck.

Chris Vivlamore

November 6th, 2009
12:58 pm

Kane to the Antropov-Afinogenov line is not just a practice move, according to Anderson. He’s hoping Kane will work there – and he gets more ice time. He’s also hoping it sparks Kozlov. Sounds like you’ll see in on the Island Saturday night. Kane said he was looking forward to it.

Brendan

November 6th, 2009
1:00 pm

Any news on Boris Valabik?

Chris Vivlamore

November 6th, 2009
1:07 pm

Brendan: Boris is progressing. He’s been around a lot. Still walking a little gingerly but no longer wears a walking boot. He has a support sock that he calls his “fashion statement.”

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
1:08 pm

That’s 5 more hits / game on the road! There’s your answer! They come out of the gate with a purpose and try to impose their will on the road. For whatever reason, they are relaxing at home and letting the game come to them too much. In fact, they are simply missing that physical element early in games. While everyone talks about getting so outplayed in the 1st period, they are only getting outshot by an avg of 1/2 shot per in the first. It’s the defensive breakdowns and the lack of physical aggression that is making it too easy on the other team when playing at home. Sack up and show some fire and grit!!

C-Viv – you’ve done a pretty good job for us with reporting on the team when they are at home, but this is your best blog so far! Keep the relevant stats coming!

English Teacher

November 6th, 2009
1:10 pm

Tenth!

It’s about time they move Kane up there. That kid shoots the puck.

Don *(Not That One)*

November 6th, 2009
1:10 pm

Kane filled in for Kovy on the first line a lot the night he got hurt. He seemed to gel very well quickly. I’m surprised it took this long to give it a try again. Kane looks like he belongs on the first or second line, Give him the chance to prove it.

Dwayne

November 6th, 2009
1:13 pm

Hoping Boris will have a setback. Hoping Kari gets well soon. Hoping Slater heads back up to the press box. Then, in January, package all 3 of them for 4000 fans that can show up before the puck drops on home games.

Sara

November 6th, 2009
1:14 pm

The stats are good but honestly they explain nothing – those are the symptoms of the actual problem. This team does not mentally check in to the game when the first puck drops, at least not at home. And it doesn’t appear to me that anyone on the team or the coaching staff has figured out why that is.

Dwayne

November 6th, 2009
1:15 pm

Slava against other teams 3rd line might get him going too

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
1:21 pm

Um, how do you figure? Stats in this case explain a lot and hopefully this data will drive more decisions such as moving Kane. The stats won’t tell you the “why” necessarily, but they can reveal a lot about the “how”. The road vs home stats are very telling about this team. Regardless of the motivation or psychology behind it, the players need to be reminded of why hitting, giving up the body, moving your feet and playing aggressive man to man D is so important. Sometimes concrete stats to support the coaches’ lessons can do the trick!

Jimbo

November 6th, 2009
1:24 pm

Chris- Have you shared these stats with John Anderson? Looks like the “hits” and lack of physicality in the first period at home jumps out to Thrash faithful. Would like to hear what his reaction to it is?

Chris Vivlamore

November 6th, 2009
1:29 pm

Jimbo: Actually, I shared the hits stats with him this morning. He thanked me for giving him a stat he was unaware of (the numbers, not the actual stat). He said he had some of his own (but didn’t share)that he will add it to. When I asked if he thought that meant the players weren’t as aggressive at home, he went back to his statement that they must initiate the action much more.

Chris Vivlamore

November 6th, 2009
1:36 pm

John: That’s a good stat. I might steal that one.

Chris Vivlamore

November 6th, 2009
1:38 pm

Smoothie: Thanks. I’m trying to use this blog to keep you informed. I’ll let Rawhide handle the fan voice. He does a great job at that. Hopefully, we can soon be reporting from the road.

J.B.

November 6th, 2009
1:42 pm

it got pretty quiet on the Kovy contract discussions all of the sudden. supposedly there were to be more meetings between jay grossman & don waddell over the past couple of weeks. anything new to share on that front or expected soon?

Michael B. Shapiro

November 6th, 2009
1:45 pm

Don *(Not That One)* is right on the money. Was at the game when Kovy got hurt and commented to my oldest tax deduction that Kane fit in very quickly on that line. As for Kozzy, maybe HE needs to see the view from the box, not Slates who continues to stink at shooting (is there a stat Chris for how many times Slates MISSES the net when he shoots, that would really be scary) but hustles and hits every single shift.

Chris Vivlamore

November 6th, 2009
1:54 pm

Mr. Shapiro: Without a goal, Slater’s shooting percentage is 0 (0-for-10).

Sara

November 6th, 2009
1:55 pm

Smoothie – I get your point but all of that stuff is fixed simply by the team showing up to play at the start of the game, not 1/3 of the way through it. These guys don’t have to be told what to do – they already know, hence those road numbers. And they *want* to play better – it’s not like they don’t care because you can tell they are all frustrated. There’s just something … off … when they are at home … thus the “why” that somebody needs to figure out and fix.

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
1:58 pm

Chris, I understand. In this economy and with the struggles of the newspaper biz, it’s not surprise for a team struggling to get hometown support to not have a beat writer on the road. HOWEVER, overall attendance hasn’t been THAT much better on avg over the last 5 years for the Hawks and yet Sekou’s on the road with the team, isn’t he? Of course, if the Thrashers were a playoff contender as of Christmas, I reckon you’ll be travelling a bunch more. At least you won’t have to leave ATL in March though (12 games at home).

Chris Vivlamore

November 6th, 2009
2:06 pm

Smoothie: As a matter of fairness (and transparency) the AJC won’t be covering all of the Hawks’ road games this year. I think we are turning the corner (I hope!) and maybe it will all change.

[...] Vivalamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution takes a look at the numbers to see why the Atlanta Thrashers have been so good on the road (5-1-1), but terrible at home (1-5-0). [...]

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
2:36 pm

While we’re talking numbers, I’ve gleaned some stats from the first 12 games last season when we started out 3 – 7 – 2 and endured a miserable 6 game losing streak in which we were outscored by a whopping 29 to 12 margin. Ouch! Looking at the numbers you will see that we have made progress year over year, but we still have a number of issues that are keeping this team from accummulating points. To wit:

Pertinent stats from beginning 12 games of 2008-09 season:
1) negative goal differential of -15 (31 versus 46)
2) goals allowed average of 3.833
3) goals scored average of 2.5 (1 of 31 was a S/O “goal”)
4) even strength goal differential of -10 (ouch)
5) negative shot differential of -53 or avg of -4.42
6) Kozlov recorded 6 goals, 3 assists and a -4 in 12 gms
7) Little recorded 6 goals, 3 assists and a +2 in 12 gms
8) Kovy recorded 5 goals, 4 assists and a -3 in 12 gms

Pertinent stats from beginning 12 gms of 2009-10 season:
1) positive goal differential of +5 (includes S/O loss)
2) goals allowed avg of 3.00 (without S/O loss “goal”)
3) goals scored avg of 3.50
4) even strength goal differential of -2 (ATL has 2 S/H goals)
5) negative shot differential of -78 or avg of -6.50
6) Kozlov has 0 goals, 5 assists and a -2 thru 12 gms
7) Little has 2 goals, 6 assists and a +5 thru 12 gms
8) Kovy has 9 goals, 1 assist and a -1 thru 7.067 gms

So, are we a better team? I’d say yes, but only in certain respects namely special teams efficiency and goaltending / team defense. However, as far as being a more well-rounded, complete team, the jury is still out. The fact we are getting outshot so dramatically with better personnel in our Top 9 is a bit sobering. Perhaps it is due to the numerous new faces (Nik, Max, Kane) that is causing more fits and spurts this season.

Last year, JA demonstrated that he could fix things, sometimes only temporarily like the 5 game winning streak we went on after losing 6 in a row. But the team improved in just about every facet of the game from the 1st half to the 2nd half. Will that be the case this season or will the chemistry issues and lack of toughness continue to plague this team?

Bob

November 6th, 2009
4:07 pm

good move with Kane to the first line. That line was horrid, but that’s Max for you. Kovy can’t get back quick enough. Peverly-White-Little is our top line and a pretty darn good one.

Brendan

November 6th, 2009
4:19 pm

Thanks for the Valabik update, Chris V. I hope he’s feeling better. He’s been out since … the 8th of October?

Hockeyfan

November 6th, 2009
4:59 pm

What’s the stat on wins-losses when we wear the red jerseys?

Chris Vivlamore

November 6th, 2009
6:07 pm

Hockeyfan: 0-3 this year, 6-11 all-time.

jerry

November 6th, 2009
6:55 pm

Before a home game, have each player drink a pint of Pride. Oh that’s right, they don’t sell it. It comes from within and is free, if one has it. Have them go jump on a redneck in front of his family and they’ll get the idea.

The Earl of Bud

November 6th, 2009
7:39 pm

Why not have Kane & Peverley together? They started out great together and can be considered the top line anyway. Then stick Antropov with Little. Either way, make the Kane-Peverley-Army our top line and go from there. You each know who I don’t want on the top line, but I won’t go there. If Little and Antropov are together they can get used to each other, build some chemistry, and be set when Kovalchuk comes back and can join them on the left wing.

Chris, what’s the timeline on Kovalchuk’s return?

The Earl of Bud

November 6th, 2009
7:44 pm

Dwayne (& Brendan), I am with you that I don’t want Boris back, but I am not missing Kari either so I don’t see eye-to-eye with you on him.

Nice stats Smoothie, I like ‘em. While Sara is right that we need more heart for all 60 minutes, the stats are very telling.

Sam

November 6th, 2009
7:54 pm

Hey, the bad starts are obviously because the guys are sleeping in hotel rooms the night before. At least, that what the coach said last night.

Seriously, tho…I think its asking the coaching staff about their own bad starts with bad line changes…D-men..that directly lead to goals. Hainsey pointed out last night that the 2nd goal came off a bad D-men line change. And the same thing accounted for the first 2 goals vs Washington in the earlier game with them a couple weeks ago,

Accountability all around, men.

Glad Boris is progressing. He’s as good as Schubert and better than Pops. His game is totally different than Salmela’s. They might compliment each other. IMO, Boris just needed to settle down. He was trying to do too much…trying to impress. He actually put on good muscle weight in the off-season and came to camp prepared. I give him big points for that. And after a shaky start last season, he was very helpful on the blueline. The man’s size commands attention. And his reach on the PK comes in very handy.

Sam

November 6th, 2009
7:55 pm

AREN’T sleeping in hotel rooms. That’s what I meant the problem is…not sleeping in hotel rooms.

KLS1

November 6th, 2009
8:13 pm

Those maroon jerseys are ugly and look amateur, it may be spilling over into their play.

Hockeyfan

November 6th, 2009
9:25 pm

Thanks Chris. Didnt know it was as high as 6-11. Wow

Fact Man

November 6th, 2009
10:21 pm

Change in subject..I notice that the AJC hockey reporter is not assigned to cover all Thrashers’ away games. Apparently, based on games this week, the AJC Hawks reporter is attending and reporting on all games. Since the Thrashers came into the league in 199-2000, they have outdrawn the Hawks EVERY season except one..last year. WHAT GIVES? Have the fans of Atlanta not spoken?

JLH

November 7th, 2009
1:01 am

The Braves hired a sports psychologist to get John Smoltz on track toward a HOFame career. He was a mess. Why not try it with the Thrashers? There is a lot that he could do. And if nothing else maybe it would embarrass the guys into getting it together.

Brendan

November 7th, 2009
4:26 am

EOB, I think it would be great if Kari could play 15-20 games this year, given his set of circumstances. I am hopeful that Kari can resurrect his hockey career. I see him as a goaltender who still has value as a back-up. But, at this point, the most important thing for Kari is to rehab successfully. He’ll be an RFA next July and, by then, I think the organization will have a better idea of what they want to do with him, moving forward. If they choose to re-sign him, I think he can be had rather inexpensively. That is, actually, what I think they’ll do. They’ll file this season under “missed opportunity.” Then hope Lehtonen can rebound … and at the trade deadline in 2011, they’ll either trade him for what they can recoup or they’ll re-sign him, if things are going very well.

From Kari’s perspective, I’m sure he just wants to return to the ice and attempt to reclaim his job. He ought to be plenty motivated to do that. It is also his ‘contract year.’ And he’s got to do something to show that he is an elite, pedigree goaltender. And if he cannot do that, he’s got to at least show he’s still viable at the NHL-level. With respect to Kari’s draft position, I think we’ve reached the point where we have to try to overlook that in favor of examining what he can STILL DO for this team. Pretend, for a moment, that Lehtonen was some 5th round draft pick. Does that change things? Sure. It changes your expectation level. If he were a 5th rounder, we’d all be saying, “Hey, wait a minute. For a 5th rounder, this guy’s still got potential. Let’s not ditch him just yet.” Unless Kari comes back and hangs the moon, he simply cannot stand there, with his palm out, tapping his foot like Marisa Tomei in “My Cousin Vinny,” saying, “Gimme my high-dollar contract.” What’s Kari’s agent supposed to do? Wrap his arm around Waddell’s shoulder and say, “Now, I don’t know what it says in this here NHL Yearbook. Toss that in the trash. Kari actually played 68 games, posting 39 wins, 5 shutouts, and a save percentage of .928 in the 2009-10 season, plus he led the team to the playoffs, and won six games once there.” And no matter how low people’s opinion of Don Waddell might be, Don’s not going to buy into anything Kari’s agent might be selling. There’s no way to sugarcoat what has happened. Kari is an injury-prone goalie who has yet to deliver on the potential that NHL Central Scouting projected for him. But like I said, “forget about his draft position … and look at what he can still potentially do to help this hockey club.” If Kari Lehtonen is a team’s back-up goalie, I’d think that team is in “decent” shape. If Kari Lehtonen is a team’s #1 goalie, I don’t know what to say, other than, “it’s risky.” It’s “risky” because he’s never played a full season, completely healthy.

Brendan

November 7th, 2009
4:42 am

WBF, do my eyes deceive me? The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, in regulation time, in Raleigh, to INCREASE their lead over the 30th-ranked ‘Canes? Carolina is 0-8-3, for 11-straight losses, and I cannot rightly recall their last win. Can you? So, let me ask you … what should the response be? Trade someone? Bench someone? Bring guys up from the minors, and put the offenders in the presser or dangle them out on waivers? Or is something much more drastic in order? Is Paul Maurice’s job on the line? GM Jim Rutherford??

Before anyone goes nuts, these Hurricanes were Conference Finalists last year. And in 2002, Paul Maurice was the Head Coach and Rutherford the GM, when the ‘Canes reached the Stanley Cup Finals. They lost. But, uhh, we all know who won the Stanley Cup in 2006, over Edmonton. So … we do they go from here? I’ll listen to folks who say, “But Carolina finished DEAD LAST in 2003. And they missed the playoffs in 2007 and 2008. All under Rutherford’s watch.” Truthfully, I don’t think Carolina’s roster is God-awful. But whatever they’re trying … they’ve got to rethink it.

And for those who say, “They’re gripping the sticks too tightly. I’ve never scored a goal without gripping my stick tightly. It’s a prerequisite. (Barring a tip-in)” From the Thrashers’ perspect, let the Carolina losing streak continue! But, uhh, I don’t want the ‘Canes drafting 1st overall, next June, either.

The Earl of Bud

November 7th, 2009
12:34 pm

Brendan, I would love for Kari to get some time in only if it means we trade him, otherwise what’s the point because I just can’t possibly imagine him coming back. The problem with him and his draft position is that regardless of when he got picked, he was the #1 goaltender headed into training camp. And our #1 goalie has yet to play. This is the perenial problem with the oft-injured Lehtonen. Time to move on to someone who isn’t on the shelf every year.

On your other note, the Canes have too much talent to not make some sort of run. Even if it means they go from last to 11th to 12th in the conference. And Cam Ward is not playing bad at all, he is just getting hung out to dry.

CHRIS, any news on the starter tonight? I imagine it has to be Pavelec but with the B2B one can never tell. Thanks. Biron went nuts in the last game for the Isles against Buffalo but I don’t know who is even their #1 at this point.

The Earl of Bud

November 7th, 2009
12:39 pm

Brendan, I meant to say the problem ISN’T with his draft position, because we are now 7 years later and this summer he was our #1 but hasn’t played a game yet. Either way, same problem, different season. I was also going to say to you that I don’t want the Canes getting the #1 pick either. I really want Toronto to get it, just because it is already traded away. Then again it is going to Boston but they are aging so I wouldn’t mind too much seeing them get it.

Smoothie

November 7th, 2009
12:58 pm

I kinda hope its Moose on the front end against the Isles so Pavs gets the xtra day of rest for the return to ATL for the Blues. He normally plays very well with the xtra day to recharge. And Moose should be chomping at the bit after his last miserable performance 2 weeks ago vs San Jose.

The Earl of Bud

November 7th, 2009
3:06 pm

No such luck Smoothie. It is going to be Pavalec vs. Roloson and Salmella is the scratch (per DE). Marinek out for the Isles.

Isles I think have been a little hot lately, maybe Moose gets the lesser Blues team? Or JA is just giving the backup the traditional 2nd start of the B2B?

Brendan

November 7th, 2009
7:14 pm

EOB, why not keep Kari as a back-up? We’d only ask a back up to play 20-25 games a season, anyway? Now, I’ll agree that if a “great trade” presents itself, fine. How likely is that? Even if he DOES make a successful return. The next team that shows any interest in him with have the very same issues that we do with him. So? So, they won’t offer much. And that gaining team will probably just use Lehtonen as their back-up. So, why not keep him, as a back-up?

This is where I’ll bereated by those who do want to harp on his draft position … that it’s best to just “cut ties” with him. Well, if we do that, we’ve got to find a back-up BETTER than Lehtonen. If we can do that, fine. Great. Fantastic. I just don’t want to see us give up Lehtonen for a song. If a song is the return, I’d rather keep him, as the back-up. Now, I’ll listen to the argument that says, “We’ll go pluck a Tier I goalie out on the free agent market. Problem solved.” That’s easier said than done. We won’t be able to do that until July 1, 2010. And that’s the same date that Ondrej Pavelec becomes an RFA, unless Waddell gets his ‘contract writing pen’ out, like he did with Peverley, and re-inks him. Fine with me, if he does that. He might ’start’ to think about it on January 2, 2010. I do realize, Atlanta can match any offersheet for Pavelec. But is there any real reason to even let Pavelec hit the RFA market?

See, the same probably can’t be said for Lehtonen. He CAN hit the RFA market next July. So long as we make him a qualifying offer at the end of June, or whenever they’re due, we’ll get compensated for his loss. Well, what if Kari signs the qualifying offer? They we’ve got him, at a low price, for one more year. We can still trade ‘im. Or waive ‘im. Or buy him out, in the stupidest scenario. And if an offersheet comes in, Atlanta gets compensation. Depending on the offer, that might be a 1st and 3rd round pick. If Atlanta doesn’t make the qualifying offer, then I believe Kari become unrestricted and can sign anywhere, including Atlanta. Stendec first cheers, then cries.

My whole thing with Kari is this. If the guy still has value … but cannot produce a decent ‘trade value,’ then why not keep him? I don’t even care if it takes salary arbitration. Kari is gonna lose that one. We won’t have to pay him much.

LAC

November 7th, 2009
8:58 pm

Brenden, what are your thoughts on this CRAP game tonight ? Who needs to be moved and Fast ? Do you agree we are sinking fast to the bottom of the NHL ? Your thoughts please !

The Earl of Bud

November 7th, 2009
9:27 pm

Brendan, Lehtonen will be an UFA and I doubt he will sign a backup contract with us. Besides, at the rate he is in the hospital, I’d be surprised if we can get 20-25 games out of him. Then there is the psychological aspect that for HIS sake, if he got one of those “fresh starts”, he will want that otherwise he will always wonder why he’s not the #1 goalie and it will mess his already fragile head.

As for this game now, we are in sad shape. LAC, as for who needs to be moved or what the problem is, I just don’t get it.

Individually, there is great talent. Peverley is on the verge of being an all-star, MSG+ is talking about the guy tonight and every network that I watch talks about Peverley. Bogosian is out of his early season slump and developing into a leader. Both got a point tonight. Kubina scored. Cripes, even Afinogenov is getting assists, he got another secondary PP assist for the 2nd or 3rd game in a row, and now he just moments ago picked up an assist on Schubert’s goal. Antropov is racking up assists. And Pavelec played a good game tonight, he did let in one softie but 3 of the goals he had no chance on and the other I won’t blame him too much for.

But when you add the parts all together, we end up playing most the game in our own zone and I just don’t get it.

Mad at Little not just for leaving a d-man so wide open, but it was Sutton of all people who went in untouched for the easy goal.

I know I told you guys I would tone down the Max bashing, but I will say this – when the lockout ended and the refs were calling the dive penalties, Briere and Afinogenov led the Sabres in dive penalties. Max would’ve made Greg Louganous proud tonight :)

Brendan

November 7th, 2009
9:35 pm

LAC, it’s too soon to panic just yet. There are still 79 games to play. I’m concerned at how invisible Slava Kozlov and Colby Armstrong have been tonight. I’ve noticed Todd White. But honestly, he hasn’t impressed. I thought the “diving” call on Max Afinogenov was CRAP, and turned the tide of the game, into a 4-on-4, then led to two Islander goals, and a 3-1 lead, after one period.

I’m impressed with the offensive capacity of our blueline, LAC. Kubina scored. Bogosian scored. Heck, even Christophe Schubert got off the Island! Not Long Island, “Schneid Island.”

Maybe the WORST thing that happened tonight … was MANDY SCORED. I can’t begin to tell you how insulting that is. Of ALL the players. Jon Sim?? That, I could see. I always liked “Simmer.” I was sad to see him go and even sadder when got hurt so soon into his new contract.

So, Moose came in for relief in the 3rd period. He’s given up one goal. That’s not too bad. But the time to pull Pavelec was after the 4th goal, at the latest. Clearly, JA was trying to preserve Moose for the Blues game tomorrow afternoon. To add insult, Rolosson got an assist on the 6th Islander goal.

Folks, it pains me to say this. But the Islanders are on EQUAL footing with us. Oh, the standings would say otherwise. The Isles are over .500 whereas Atlanta is even, with a game or two in-hand. But honestly, look at the Isles roster. They’re not really inferior to us. They’re about “even.” And I might be “okay” with that, except that … CHARLES WANG is their OWNER!!!

I expected a bit more from Evander Kane tonight. And when are Antropov and Kozlov going to score goals? Schubert got there first, which should tell you something. And where was Bryan Little tonight? He missed some defensive assignments tonight, in a pronounced way.

I’m filing this one under, “law of averages says we were due for a road loss.”