As the Thrashers are in Boston for tonight’s game, I thought I would share some an item from Ron Hainsey that I had leftover from the shots-on-goal story I did this week.
I asked Hainsey about why the team has been so successful in third periods. The Thrashers lead the league in third-period goals as we know.
So … if they play that way in the final period, thus limiting the opponent’s shots on goal, why can’t it be done all game.
Here is part of his answer about the Thrashers playing from behind:
“Our forwards skill level, and our defense too, if the other team backs up, which happens in this league when you have a lead, we get more time in the offensive zone,” Hainsey said. “Our skill level is just as good as anybody. It’s in the top five in the league forward-wise. If we get more time in the offensive zone, our guys are just that dangerous.
“That’s why we’ve been able to get into it late, because our guys are too good, especially the forwards and the D jumping up, causes the other team a ton of trouble. It’s harder to sustain that early in games because they [the opponents] are not sitting back. Other teams get a lead and they sit back. That’s when we look at our best because we are getting offensive zone time.”
After today (filling in for a colleague on some administrative duties), I’m off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We’ll let this blog stand until Sunday, when Thrashers return home for practice. (I have some college football stories to work on Saturday.)
Look for the Art of the Shootout story sometime this weekend. It’s the first part, from the goaltender’s perspective. Got some good stuff from Johan Hedberg. Also, there should be a story I did on the father-daughter relationship between GM Don Waddell and Chelsea. Some interesting tidbits in that, as well.
I sincerly hope that everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season and all the blessings of family and friends!
I will leave you with a (non-hockey) question. Ilya Kovalchuk was giving me crud the other day about wearing blue jeans without a belt. What’s the verdict – belt or no belt with jeans?