The Thrashers play their biggest game of the year tonight against Boston. Win, and they are back in playoff position with nine games left.
For their part, the Thrashers know the importance of the game, but are not letting themselves think too far ahead.
Here is what some of them said this morning after morning skate:
Todd White: “I think that for us we have to worry about how we play and don’t worry about the result. I think we played a lot better the last four games and the results took care of themselves. We have to get off to a good start. In the other games, we’ve gotten off to a good start and put pressure on the other team. That will be key for us.
“I think the biggest thing is how we start the game. When we were losing those games we were sitting back and waiting for bad things to happen instead of going out there and initiating. Lately we’ve done a lot better job of trying to make good plays and get good chances early in the game.”
Rich Peverley: “We have to focus on having a good first period. We’ve done that in the past and been successful. Right now, we are just looking at having a good first period.”
Johan Hedberg: “It’s an exciting, positive thing for the Thrashers to have this opportunity. We have to be surrounded by positive thoughts. This is what you ask for. You ask for a chance to at least decide your own destiny. I think we do have that chance. It’s up to us to grab that opportunity. It is fun. There is a lot of positive motion. The guys are excited about it. Hopefully, all our fans are too.”
John Anderson: “We don’t think about the implications of the game. We worry about how we play. We need to come out hard and do all the things that we want to do as a team. Whatever happens, happens. I don’t want us to dwell on the fact that it’s a huge game because then you start to squeezing your stick a little tight. We just have to play the game the way we want to play it”
I then asked Anderson if he preached that idea to his team,
“I told them that this morning. I put my collar on.”
Notes from this morning’s pre-game skate (also sent out on Twitter @ajcthrashers):
* Hedberg gets the start in goal.
* Same lineup. Chris Thorburn, Slava Kozlov (both nursing injuries) and Chris Chelios are the scratches.
*Thorburn was on the ice before the skate working with the head trainer on some drills. He is having lower-back issues. He came back for part of the pre-game skate. Kozlov, who was hit in the cheek with a puck at Saturday’s pre-game skate, did not participate.