Raise your hand if you thought Atlanta was going to bring back with them five points out of a possible eight from last week’s four-game west coast swing. Uh, huh…not too many of you.
As for the game in San Jose itself… really, I didn’t think the team played that poorly. Consider that the Sharks are 40-8-9 overall and 26-2-3 at home and we were knotted at 0-0 going into the third with them…not a bad showing. Granted, I don’t do moral victories here, but I do look for effort…and I saw that Saturday as I did for the entire trip.
Now the Boys of Blueland return back to the friendly confines of Philips Arena for a game Tuesday night with the Colorado Avalanche.
Or are they so “friendly”? Well, not as much as the road has been for the Thrashers.
After going 2-1-1 on this road trip, the Thrasher are 12-16-4 on the road this season. True, that’s a losing record…but that’s not exactly embarrassing either. Look where that stacks up against the rest of the the Eastern Conference team’s away records and compare it to the overal record of 21-33-6 for 48 points after 60 games, which is the second worst in the NHL.
Four teams have fewer road points than do the Thrashers.
Also, the Thrashers have procured more road points so far this year than eight Western Conference teams have. Dallas has 27 points away from home,…Nashville and Columbus have 26… L.A. has 25… St. Louis, Phoenix and Colorado have 23…Minnesota has 22.
Consider all 30 teams together…and the Thrashers have the 18th highest points total in the league.
That’s not too bad of an achievement on the road for Atlanta…not great, mind you…but certainly not too shabby.
However, all that now leads to…the record at home. The abysmal record at home, that is.
At 9-17-2 after 28 games played, their 20 points earned is by far the lowest on home ice. The teams one rung up the ladder tied for 29th place, Tampa Bay and Toronto, have a total of 28 points gained in their home barns. Tampa has done so in 30 home dates, Toronto in 29. In fact, the worst team in the league… the New York Islanders… have a fairly respectable 12-13-4 record on Long Island this year. Out west, there are no teams with sub-.500 home records at this time. The Kings have the poorest such home production at 13-13-8.
Look at it like this, the five points that Atlanta brings home off last week’s roadie in just four games equates to 25% of the entire 20 points earned at home all season long. It also almost matched the whopping 6 points that the Thrashers have gotten in the past 12 games played in Philips Arena dating back to the 6-2 loss to Toronto on December 22.
That’s six home points in two months…five away points in a week.
I enjoyed Saturday’s game at TJs off Holcomb Bridge Road…Tim Ecclestone’s place. Ecclestone, as you know, played for our old Atlanta Flames between 1974 -’78. I had the pleasure of meeting him and his son Mark…as well as a few of the fine young ladies that help make the place rock! It was an honor to have had the chance to chat hockey with Tim and he could not have been a more gracious host.
I was joined by glovesave29, Five_Hole and the lovely Mrs. Five_Hole, DWTOO and the charming Mrs. DWTOO, RStroz and the darling Mrs. RStroz as well as Heat Miser and the enchanting Gretchelby.
Whew…thank God more wives didn’t show up…I was running out of complemetary adjectives.
Anyway…if you haven’t been to TJs, it’s a great place to watch a Thrashers game, have a drink or bite to eat. Then again, it still is all of that even if you have been there.
We’re planning another such gathering there on March 14 when the Thrashers travel to Buffal-blow to take on the Flying Banana Peels. Mark your calendars and plan accordingly.