It was one of those games where…for much of the game… the Thrashers just couldn’t seem to get it going.
The Carolina Hurricanes had blown into town with many fans in tow and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, outshooting the home team 12-6. I had asked Taylor-Bill what she thought the problem was and she surmised that the Thrashers’ passing was not what it should be. Very astute young lady.
During that break, as I was heading out to procure some popcorn and a soda for my youngest tax exemption, I ran into Jamey. He asked me if I thought the Thrashers had it in them to come back from the two-goal hole that they had dug for themselves after 20 minutes of play. I kinda shrugged my shoulders and told him I hoped they could do so…after all, just two nights prior they had done so in Washington before falling short later in the game. They erased a two-goal deficit in Phoenix to gain a point during their west coast road trip. Of course, who could forget the “Alien Abduction”, come-from-behind thriller last month against Toronto.
So…it isn’t like this team is without a history of making a game of it after falling behind…and Jamey was convinced they would.
Late in the second, it wasn’t looking too much better. The Thrashers still trailed by a deuce, were being outshot 23-16 and Cam Ward was turning away pucks with aggravating regularity.
It seemed we would getting nothing…and LIKE IT!
But Ilya Kovalchuk gave Atlanta hope on the 17th Thrashers shot of the game…bringing the score to within one with just 34 second remaining before the second intermission. However, Carolina got it right back on Anton Babchuk’s power play goal only 101 seconds into the third.
Then, the clock went tick…tick…tick…tick…down to about halfway through that final period. As time wore on, The “Let’s Go Canes” chant began to get a little bit louder from the throng of Hurricane supporters that made their way down to Blueland. Carolina is battling Buffalo, Florida, Pittsburgh and the Rangers for playoff positions and the much-needed two points in the standing was all but in their hands…and the Caniacs could just taste ‘em!
But that’s when the Thrashers open a big ‘ol can of Southern Fried Whoop-Ass on the Canes…scoring four times in less than 101 minutes on their final seven shots of the game …silencing the Hurricane faithful and sending them away from Blueland with nothing to show for their time here but very fond memories. In the standings, they got zilch!
See ya…buh-bye! Have a nice trip home…hope you enjoyed your stay, drive safely and thank you for patronizing our hotels and restaurants! You may have those coveted two points sometime later…but you cannot have them now. Not here… not tonight at least!
Much like a mother who caught her sweet little daughter in the forbidden cookie jar…snatching away the object of her with an, “Oh no you don’t Sweet Caroline…you may NOT have these”, then swatting her little bum and sender her up to her room…the Thrashers snatch back the two points and sent the vocal Caniacs home with…NOTHING!
Rich Peverley netted a pair during the Thrashers’ O-fensive explosion, including the game-winner with but a buck-twenty eight left in the game. Todd White had tied the game 4 minutes and 35 seconds earlier and Kovy sealed the deal withan empty-netter with less than three seconds remaining.
Kaptain Kovy factored in on all five Thrashers goals. He had two goals and also assisted on the other three. Since being named team captain during the Thrashers Casino Night, he’s netted a whopping 18 goals and 10 points. Those 28 points in 20 games is a pace that would earn him 115 points over an 82 game schedule.
Lead on Captain…lead on.
The victory gave the Thrashers a winning record in the month of February, their only one all season so far. Atlanta went 6-5-1 in the 12 games played in the month.
Rich Peverley played a big role in Atlanta’s come-from-behind win Saturday night…actually, make that, a HUGE role! He had two goals on five shots and finish +2 during his 17:07 TOI. As a Thrasher, Peeves has 8 goals, 13 assists and is a +7 in 20 games played. Stretched out over an 82 game season, that would be something like 32 goals and 85 points and a +28. Not bad, eh?
The Thrashers are 9-10-1 since snatching him off the waiver wire…they were 14-12-5 prior to his acquisition. He’s signed through next season, but maybe…just maybe…do ya think the Thrashers should work on extending that contract this summer? I do.
After Peverley’s game-winner, Jackie Blue looked over to me and said …actually, she had to yell becuae the crowd was going nuts…that she believes the Peever is the Thrashers’ MVP this season. I said, “Whoa…hang on a sec there Jackie, that’s quite a declaration for a player that has been with the team for only 20 of the 63 games played”.
Personally, I still think that honor… if voted upon today… would be Ilya Kovalchuck. But to her point, take a look at the stats I cited for Kovy earlier in this post and the one’s I just cited for Peverley. What’s the common factor in the two?
Uh-huh…the “20 games” part. The incredible run that the team captain is currently on coincides directly with the addition of the Peever in the lineup.
Cooincidence? I think not.
So, if #47 isn’t the MVP this season, he sure has had a big role in helping the player who, in my opinion, is the MVP. Actually, make that a HUGE role.
As I indicated above, there was a very impressive showing of Caniacs in Blueland Saturday. Those that made the jouney down here seemed to have had a good time…despite the outcome. While I was visiting at the Nasty Nest’s tailgate party that was held down in the gulch some even showed up and partook of the festivities.
Why, one even approached and embraced me once inside of Philips. He’d obviously been visiting the local taverns…a lot! And while that was nice, it made be feel…you know…funny. And not funny -”Ha-ha”.
Now, seeing how I took liberties with them regarding the way the game turned out…truth be told, these are pretty much a fantastic group of hockey fans. Like I said, they apparently had a great time and were able to root for their team without being obnoxious and in-your-face about it. “Mostley Classy” kinda crowd.
As far as visiting fans go…this bunch is not so bad. I mean, hey…I’ll take these guys over Philly or Buffalo fans any day of the week.
But, there is one Hurricane fan in particular that I want to give a shout-out to. Nine year old Thomas came into Blueland…face painted red and black, sporting a nifty light-up Canes cap…and cheered all night for his team. If the outcome was determined solely by his efforts, then it might have been a different outcome.
Well done, Thomas.