Following Friday night’s loss to the Rangers it will take a monumental effort for the Thrashers to make the playoffs. In the words of Ron Hainsey, they’ll probably need to win 12 of the final 15 games to get in. Considering they have not won more than four in a row all season that seems like a tall task. Although Hainsey pointed out that Carolina has won 13 of 15.
Who would have thought this just a week ago. The Thrashers had beaten the Islanders, were 4-0-2 in the past six games, held the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference and had games in hand. Five straight losses and all that is gone.
Coach John Anderson said before the Friday’s game that “pressure does funny things to you.” I asked several players after the game if they felt the team was not responding to the pressure. They all said no. I asked the same of Chris Chelios, perhaps unfairly since he’s only been with the team for two days. Here is what he said: “I haven’t been here long enough to comment on that, but there is definitely a pressure there. You get down by two goals. I think when they made the trade [of Ilya Kovalchuk] before the break they got off to a pretty good start there. This can turn around just as easily if we win three games in a row and someone else in the division drops a couple. We’re right back in the fight. So that’s your mindset.”
The Thrashers are now in 11th in the conference – six points behind the Bruins, who have a game in hand on the Thrashers. Perhaps as troubling is the Panthers and Hurricanes are only two points behind the Thrashers. Another loss and the Thrashers could be staring at 13th place.
The Thrashers did not practice on Saturday. There will be no morning skate on Sunday with a 5 p.m. start against the Coyotes. I will be back at in Sunday night.
I will try to get an update on Zach Bogosian’s hand. He had a preliminary X-ray following the game. Not sure the severity of the injury but as a follower posted on my Twitter account: “Cake, meet icing.”