To answer Rodney Dangerfield’s memorable query in the classic comedy “Caddyshack”…yes indeed somebody did step on a duck.
His name is Ilya Kovalchuk…and don’t wait for a polite “pardon me” for what was left behind.
Powered by Kaptain Kovy’s hat trick and a 43 shots on goal O-fensive performance, the Atlanta Thrashers skated away from Anaheim 8-4 winners on Sunday. That’s a pretty darn nice way to start off a week-long 4-game raod trip!
That’s right, the same team that had scored only 12 goals in the first 8 games after the All Star break…two of those being shutout losses…was able to build a snowman on the Ducks’ pond. Anaheim came into the game tied with the Rangers and and Sabres with the NHL’s 9th lowest GAA…2.74.
Apparently, after visiting with friends and relatives in Roswell, New Mexico, the aliens have returned and they decided to catch up with the Thrashers out west. We can only hope that they continue to stick around for a while.
In a very nice reversal of fortunes, the Thrashers were the team that jumped all over their opposition early on…taking 19 shots on goal in the first period. Rich Peverley and Bryan Little scored on two of those shots, giving the Thrashers a 2-1 lead going into the first break.
The way shots were coming in on J.S. Giguere in the first 20 minutes, he must have felt like he was on a hunting trip with former Vice President Dick Cheney.
A one-goal lead wasn’t the only thing Atlanta took into the first break. They also took a 5 on 3 power play opportunity into the locker room with them and, when play resumed in the second period, Kovy made the Ducks pay. His power play goal at 1:23 was only the beginning…before the period ended, Kovalchuk’s duck hunting trip had netted him a hat trick along with a 6-2 Thrashers lead.
Kovy’s second goal ended Giguere’s night after allowing 5 goals on 25 shots. 37 seconds into Johan Hiller’s call to duty, Kovy greeted the Swiss keeper with a very timely laser blast from the left side to complete the hat trick.
After outshooting the Ducks 35-17 through two, Anaheim tried to make a game of it in the third. They scored twice on 18 shots, but those were offset by Colin Stuart’s second of the season…both of the short-handed variety…and former Duck Nic Havlid’s nifty shorthanded, empty-net job that he launched from behind Atlanta’s goal. Havelid whipped the puck around the boards and it coasted it’s way the length of the ice for Atlanta’s 8th goal. Havelid finished with that goal and a +1.
Mathieu Schneider, another former Duck, assisted on The Peever’s goal to open the scoring. Schneids took 5 shots on goal, was a +2 for the night and played a very solid defense in front of his former home crowd.
Proud Papa Producing Points
Since the birth of his son Philipp a week ago, Kaptain Kovy has scored in all four games played…6 in total as well as a pair of assists.
Duck Hunting Comes With A Price
Thrashers blueliner Ron Hainsey left Sunday’s game about halfway through the third period with what was described as a “lower body” injury. Hainsey finished the game with 2 assists, 4 shots on goal and an EVEN +/- rating.
Penguins Throw Out Therrien
A year ago Michel Therrien was coaching the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup Finals. Saturday, he was shown the door. Dan Bylsma, who had been behind the bench for the Pens’ AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, was inserted as Pittsburgh’s interum coach for the remaining 25 games.