Anssi Salmela will play for Team Finland in the World Championships being held in Switzerland. That brings the total number of Thrashers playing in the tournament to eight. Also wearing their country’s colors are…Ilya Kovalchuk for Russia… Tobias Enstrom, who’ll play for Sweden… Colby Armstrong who will suit up for Canada… Boris Valabik will do battle for Slovakia…and Colin Stuart, Zach Bogosian along Ron Hainsey will each represent the red, white and blue for the good ‘ol USA.
What sticks out to me in that count is the fact that no less than five Atlanta defenders have been selected to compete in the tournament.
Congrats to them all and we’ll be following their success in the weeks to come.
Hey Caps Fans…We Can Relate
The Washington Capitals are in a bad, bad position right now. They had the luxury of playing the first two games of their series with the New York Rangers on home ice …and dropped both of them by one goal margins.
Game-one went 4-3 to the New York. In game-two, played last Saturday afternoon, Lundqvist and the Rangers found a way to make one single goal stand up, giving them a 2-0 series lead heading back to Madison Square Garden.
If all this sounds painfully familiar, there’s a reason for that. Two season ago the Rangers were a lower seed matched up in a round-1 playoff series with the Southeast Division winners…the Atlanta Thrashers. Game one played in Philips Arena was a 4-3 Rangers win and game two… also an afternoon affair… was a low-scoring, one-goal win by the Blue Shirts. 2-1 then, 1-0 this past Saturday.
Also like the Thrashers of two seasons ago, Washington’s head coach Bruce Boudreau made a change in goal for game-two and now is faced with the decision of whether or not to go back to veteran goalie Jose Theodore who allowed four goals on only 21shots in game-one… or stick with 20-year old Simeon Valamov who stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced in game-two.
As I’m sure you’ll recall, Thrashers’ coach Bob Hartley decided to keep the revolving door in front of Atlanta’s net spinning and switched netminders yet again…returning to Kari Leghtonen.
The result was a 7-0 game-three mugging at MSG, Kari allowing all seven on 35 SOG.
So, if history is any guide here…I’d say Broudreau should stick with Valamov.
Thank God For Los Angeles
The Falconer reports that the Atlanta Thrashers spent $44.1 in salaries that went toward the cap. That places them at 29th in the league with only the Kings spending less.