Thrashers coach John Anderson told me yesterday that dressing seven defensemen was a possibility tonight with the injuries to the team’s forwards. Well, he was true to his word. With Chris Thorburn “not quite ready” to return, all healthy defenseman will be active tonight against the Maple Leafs. Slava Kozlov, still recovering from a puck to the face, took part in the morning skate but will be scratched.
Chris Chelios will be back in after missing the past five games and likely will be paired with Zach Bogosian.
“We’ll have to be thinking,” Anderson said of the strategy to use seven defensemen. “If you smell wood burning on the bench you know I’m thinking too much. … I kind of look at the positives. If one of our main D goes down we have another good D to put out there and kill penalties and visa versa. For special teams it works out pretty good. You might see a D up at forward and see another look.
Ondrej Pavelec will get the start in goal.
I talked to Nik Antropov about the team’s performance against the Bruins on Tuesday.
“I think we thought about [what the game meant] too much before the game. Everybody I think was like ‘It’s a big game, it’s a big game.’ When the game time came up everybody was not ready. I’m not sure how you say it.”
Nervousness, as Anderson said after the game?
“Maybe I would say so, yes. Everybody knew if we win we are in the eighth place. Really, we just didn’t play good.”