If you are a team that is currently battling for your playoff life…the one team you just don’t want to see next on your schedule is the Atlanta Thrashers. This team is simply hot…and they are out to burn any and everyone they can who is in the thick of the playoff race.
Marty Reasoner returned to Edmonton where he had played the better part of six seasons and scored the game-winning goal to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 4-3 overtime win. Just last week, Reasoner was looked at to be a possible trade deadline mover seeing as he is slated to be a UFA this summer. Don Waddell and the Thrashers decided instead to keep the 6′-1″ 205 lb centerman around…and Thursday night it paid off.
While the goal was scored by a player who is reportedly wanting to stick around here past this season…it was set up by a player who has been vocal in his desire to leave Atlanta, Eric Perrin. It was his flip pass out of the Thrashers’ zone that landed on the blade of Reasoner’s stick who then raced in to beat Dwayne Roloson with 50 seconds remaining before a shootout.
Atlanta scored 4 goals on 33 shots without the help of their captain and leading scorer. After having played only 46 seconds, Ilya Kovalchuk left the game and did not return. Kovy’s ailment was reported to be a strained muscle…either his back or rib area, I believe. So, for the Thrashers to pull one out like this without the help of Kovalchuk speaks well of how this squad has pulled things together of late.
Jimmy Slater got the Thrashers on the board first with an early goal just 2:25 into the first. Slates burried a shot from the the right side after Nathan “Rockie Mountain” Oystrick fed him with a pass from the left. Slava Kozlov was credited with his first of two assists on Slater’s goal.
Bryan Little gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission as the Thrashers unloaded 17 of their 33 shots in the first.
Edmonton’s first period goal came while they were on a 5 on 3 power play and it snapped a steak of 15 straight penalty kill successes for Atlanta. The last time the Thrashers allowed a goal while down a player was back on February 28th when Anton Babchuk netted one at the 1:41 mark of the third period of a 5-3 Thrashers win over Carolina.
When Robert Nilsson scored to give the Oilers a 3-2 lead at 3:16 of the second period, it marked the first time the Thrashers had trailed in a game since the 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers nine days prior. Atlanta then succeeded in killing off the three other Oilers power plays the rest of the game.
But that lead only lasted for but 8 minutes and 52 seconds before Zach Bogosian’s power play lazer blast ringed off the far post to tie the score at 3 apiece! That score held up through the rest of the second and the third period…setting up Reasoner’s overtime heroics in OT. Bogey had himself yet another great game with strong defensive play combined with a very impressive offensive showing that lead to his goal on 4 shots.
Johan Hedberg made his first start since February 16 a victorious one, stopping 29 of 32 shots he faced, incluing all seven taken on him in the third and both in the overtime frame.
Atlanta will now be riding a 4-game win streak into Buffalo Saturday night where they will look to tie the season high mark of five consecutive wins. The Thrashers have come out winners in 5 of their last 6 games…and 6 of their last 8. Since February 15, they have played to a record of 8-3-1. The record for CY2009…15-14-1.
I could get used to this brand of hockey.
But This, However, I Don’t Think I Can Get Used To
Did you guys get a gander at the Thrashers 10-year anniversary logo yet? I saw this a few days back but decided not to make any comment at the time because I wanted to see if it was actually somebody’s idea of a joke. However… it seems a though it’s not.
Folks, that’s the sort of logo you would expect to have seen on television introducing a teen dance show back in the mid-’70s. Hmmm…That would explain the disco music I hear in the back of my head every time I look at it. That, plus the frightful flash-back images of those nasty Houston dis-Astros unis.
The last time I saw anything like that was just after my youngest tax exemption horked down a whole bag of Skittles, a corndog and a Vanilla Coke…then road the Scream Machine at Six Flags. Don’t worry, the car was thouroughly hosed down before the next group of riders climbed aboard.
One question…do they plan on painting this thing at mid-ice for the entirety of next season? Please, for the love of God and all things holy, tell me we aren’t going to have to stare at this for 41 regular season games.
To think…somewhere, there is a highly-paid exec in the Thrashers’ organ-I-zation that looked at this thing, stroked his or her chin, nodded their head and said, “Yes…this is the one”!