Here is my game story, with quotes, from the Thrashers loss to Toronto Friday for those who would like to comment:
On Friday night, Philips Arena was Black and Blue Land.
It was the Thrashers who were worse for wear.
Toronto scored six second-period goals — causing the Thrashers to switch goaltenders three times — in a 9-3 pummeling of the Thrashers.
The details of the second period were ugly.
* Four goals came in a span of five shots.
* Three goals were scored in less than two minutes during a five-minute match penalty on Ben Eager after he punched former Thrashers Colby Armstrong. The Maple Leafs added a fourth goal on the same penalty 1:32 into the third period.
* Three goals were scored 3:09 apart. Two others were scored 35 seconds apart.
* Chris Mason relieved Ondrej Pavelec after the fourth Maple Leafs goal. Mason allowed three goals on four shots. Pavelec returned and gave up another with 11 seconds left in the period. Mason started the third period for the third goaltender change of the night.
* The six goals in the second period were a franchise record for goals allowed in the middle period.
Armstrong, who had his right eye completely bandaged after the game, called Eager a “meat head.”
“[Armstrong’s] one of the biggest phonies in the league,” Eager said. “He’s done his fair share of dirty stuff in the league and he’ll never answer the bell. What goes around, comes around. I’m sure some day someone will catch him with his head down.”
Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said he did not condone Eager’s actions. The forward could face a league suspension for the match penalty.
“We don’t condone anything,” Ramsay said. “We want our players to play hard. We want them to play physical with body checks and fight for the puck. We can’t condone that.”
Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur each scored two goals for the Maple Leafs.
The Thrashers (22-16-6, 50 points) suffered their worst loss of the season and had a two-game win streak snapped. They missed a chance to tie Washington and pull within a point of division-leader Tampa Bay.
The Maple Leafs led 2-1 after one period when Kris Versteeg and Grabovski answered Tobias Enstrom’s goal 2:36 into the game. Grabovski’s goal was a power-play goal with Eager serving a double-minor for roughing and cross checking.
Armstrong and Kulemin scored 1:19 apart in the second period to chase Pavelec.
“Everything went wrong,” Pavelec said. “It couldn’t have been worse.”
Grabovski scored on Mason at the 15:15 mark on the first shot he faced.
“We are all pretty embarrassed by this,” Mason said. “I can speak for myself, I wasn’t ready to play tonight. I was terrible when I was in there.”
At the 17:05 mark of the second period, Dustin Byfuglien was called for roughing on a hit to Darryl Boyce. In the melee that followed, Eager received a match penalty for intent to injury when he punched Armstrong. The Maple Leafs scored three times in the final two minutes of the period on the major power play.
The Maple Leafs scored again early in the final period on the penalty for a total of four goals. It was also the fifth power-play goal with Eager in the penalty box.
“The first two penalties I got, I didn’t even know they were penalties,” Eager said. “I guess the league is getting pretty soft. I hardly touched the guy. The match penalty I got hit first and I hit him back.”
The Maple Leafs power play, 20th in the NHL, finished with five goals on three chances.
Patrice Cormier scored his first NHL goal at the 15:09 mark of the third period for the Thrashers.
“The fact is we’ve been winning some games we shouldn’t have because our goalies have been really good,” Ramsay said. “… I expected them sooner or later, [the team is] going to have a game that you don’t understand. I hope that they use it as a wake-up call. We are pretty good when we compete, when all four lines play and are supportive of each other, we are pretty good. We’ve got to understand that our work ethic has to be there every game. We can not play when we feel like it.”