Ben Eager took two high-sticking penalties against Buffalo Wednesday, including a double-minor with 3:46 remaining in the game. The Thrashers played short-handed the rest of the way.
I asked coach Craig Ramsay following the game if that was a concern.
“Benny has played extremely well. With a guy like Benny sometimes he just gets so excited he tries a little bit too hard. We want to be disciplined. We are not condoning high sticking in any way. But he’s such a great competitor that he’ll get over that. That’s a one-time thing. A lot of the things that happened tonight we hope are one-time things. ”
Here are some quotes from on whether the return from a West Coast road trip affected their play:
* “A bad game coming off that trip we had a built-in excuse and we used it,” Ramsay said. “Excuses are not going to be acceptable any more.”
* “That’s a typical excuse you can use,” goaltender Chris Mason said. “The travel in this league, everyone has to do it. There is no reason. Maybe the first couple of shifts, but there is no reason to have a whole game like that.”
* “No. You can look around and find excuses for anything but we just didn’t play up to the point where we need to be,” forward Fredrik Modin said.
Here’s a final quote from Ramsay on the team’s lack of shots on goal. They finished with 18, compared to 42 by the Sabres.
“When players don’t score, they shoot less and not more,” Ramsay said. “They look for something better. I think that’s where some of our people are. They look for one more pass instead of just throwing the puck at the net.”