We are back from a three-day holiday break. Hope everyone had a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Thrashers get two good wins on the road.
Here are some tidbits from my interview with coach John Anderson after Saturday’s optional morning skate.
* Johan Hedberg gets the start in goal tonight vs. Flyers.
* I asked Anderson if the Carolina game – and the comeback from a 4-1 deficit – is a game this team would not have won last season. He said that was true and went so far as to say that there was so much confidence in the team’s ability to score that last year he may have considered pulling Ondrej Pavelec to get Hedberg some extra work or playing his fourth line more minutes. What a difference a year makes.
*Eric Boulton was a healthy scratch in favor of Jim Slater the last two games. Anderson wanted to get Slater some ice time. Also, it wasn’t likely that Detroit and Carolina presented a “tough” element.
*Anderson had a very interesting take on Bryan Little’s play – with two assists. Here’s what Anderson said: “Sometimes you have to recognize situations. One play [Little] was on the wing and he has [Brandon] Sutter back there playing defense. To me that’s the green light for a guy to take the puck wide and go. He made a pull up play and we ended up losing the puck. The next time he gets it, he crosses the line, drives the guy out wide and passes to [Rich] Peverley and we score a [game-winning] goal. That’s the type of things we want to see.”
*I asked Anderson about the line switches he made against Carolina, specifically moving Ilya Kovalchuk back with Nik Antropov and Max Afinogenov. Kovalchuk looked more comfortable there (to me, sitting on my couch watching it on television.) Anderson said he would continue to juggle lines when necessary. “If that’s what we have to do all year to be successful, that’s what we’ll do,” he said.