A couple of notes from Monday’s practice before flying to Montreal for Tuesday’s game against the Canadiens.
It looks like Jim Slater, Freddy Meyer and Patrice Cormier won’t play again this season. With only seven games remaining, Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said he doubted they would be able to return from various injuries.
“I don’t expect that, even if they were suddenly cleared, they could mount any kind of comeback,” Ramsay said. “I wouldn’t think so. It just wouldn’t make any sense.”
Slater has missed 38 games with a concussion. Meyer has missed 21 games with an upper body injury. Cormier has missed 16 games with an upper body injury.
I asked Ramsay if by starting Chris Mason in goal the past three games he was trying to send a message to Ondrej Pavelec. The coach said the message was not just for Pavelec but for the entire team.
“Everything we do at this time of year has a purpose,” Ramsay said. “It doesn’t matter what happens. Chris Mason is a professional. He went through long stretches without playing. He’s been a great practice player, a great teammate and he shows up with his battle and puts his game face on. I think it was important that everybody sees that.
“It’s not just for Pavs to see, but for everybody to see what an old professional guy does, how he shows up. Three games in three and a half days and he played in all of them. When we needed him in the shootout [Sunday vs. Ottawa] he was ready and raring to go. This is just a good message for everybody.”
All healthy Thrashers skated Monday prior to the team departing for Montreal. The line combinations remained the same.
I will report from Montreal Tuesday. Also look for a story on Bryan Little on the website later today.