Just back from practice and here’s our daily report.
All the players took part in practice. All the line combinations remained the same. Slava Kozlov, a scratch the past four games, skated with Eric Boulton-Marty Reasoner-Chris Thorburn. I asked Kozlov if he knew when he was going to get back in the lineup and he said he has not been told anything.
A couple of notes:
* Chicago Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino was named the AHL’s goaltender of the month for January. Mannino went 6-1-0 with a 1.28 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage. He held opponents to two or fewer goals in all seven games, including his first shutout of the season on Jan. 29, with 32 saves against the Grand Rapids.
* Kari Lehtonen has appeared in three games in his conditioning stint at Chicago. He is 1-1-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage. The Wolves don’t play again until Thursday.
* Coach John Anderson on the importance of Tuesday’s game against Tampa Bay: “It’s one game at a time. We understand the importance of every point, the preciousness of each point. Last game, we got off to a bad start, but we’ve got to play all 60 minutes and grind out points when we can.”
*Clarified a report that said Colby Armstrong was waiting to see what happened with the Ilya Kovalchuk situation before he made a decision on his future with the team. Armstrong said he thought the team was waiting until the Kovalchuk situation was resolved before turning their attention to players such as himself.
Those are the highlights. Working on a story for today/tomorrow on Bryan Little. He admitted his frustration with his play this season. He was very candid. Thanks for the kind words on the Marty Reasoner feature. I really liked the way it came out. He had yet to read it as of this morning, but Thorburn was giving him crud. Looking for the next player to feature. This morning was the photo shoot for the Olympic package to run next Sunday. We took photos of all five Olympians holding a small flag from their country. They will run with a favorite Olympic memory from each player.
It feels like I keep saying that the next game is huge, but it would go a long way if the Thrashers beat Tampa Bay – and goaltender Antero Niittymaki – Tuesday. He is 15-0-0 against Thrashers in his career.