Just around the corner from Philips Arena, just a block or so to the east on Marietta Street, is a Georgia Historic Marker with the header of “THRASHERVILLE, Where Atlanta Began”. Passers-by that stop and read learn how, at that very spot, in 1839 “Cousin John” Thrasher built a settlement called Thrasherville. At that time it was forested area near the peg marking the planned terminus point of the Western & Atlantic RR. The area’s first settlers, religious service and birth of a baby happened in this settlement.
In 1842 the terminus was changed to the place where Atlanta’s Zero Mile Post can now be found and Thrasherville became Terminus…both unofficial names given to the stop by the railroad. In 1843 the settlement became incorporated and the name of Marthasville was given…it was then reincorporated in 1847 under the name of Atlanta.
But it all began as Thrasherville…and it seems as though everyone and everything has come to and/or through the area ever since that time.
Now, is it just me…or does it seem as though we last gathered in Thrasherville round about the time Cousin John began the work inscribed upon that marker?
Serioulsy though, it has been just 19 days since the schedule teased us with an opening night gathering at Philips before taking the team away from us for so long…it just seems longer.
Alas however, tonight we…the residents of Thrasherville…are able to return to our official cathedral of hockey, Philips Arena, to welcome back our hometown ice combatants and to make a glorious noise unto the hockey gods as we’ve done for over a decade now in that hallowed building. I hope that you all remember how to get there…I mean, it has been a while after all. It’s the nice building next to the big covered stadium with the letters A-T-L-A-N-T-A on the front.
Yeah, you remember that.
After a most successful crusade through the foreign lands of five NHL territories, the Thrashers return home to face a pair of tough foes in Washington and San Jose…both atop their respective divisions. The Caps are 4-2-2 and sit a mere one point ahead of Atlanta. We’ll see them not only tonight, but next Thursday as well. Saturday the Thrashers will look to ward off a Shark attack from the team who currently sit atop the Pacific Division at 5-3-1 and play in Tampa tonight. Dallas’ 4-2-3 record equal San Jose’s 11 points.
A win tonight in regulation, of course, will catapult the Thrashers into sole possession of fist place in the Southeast…I know, that has a nice ring to it….and an overtime win will draw us into a tie.
A loss, no doubt, will cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth and prompt the inhabitants of Thrasherville to mass at the town square to openly lament the absence of Kari Lehtonen… call for the head of it’s Mayor, Don Waddell…demand the return of Garnet Exelby, Andy Sutton, Niko Kapanen, and J.P. Vigier …pitchforks and torches in hand.
OK…maybe I exagerate just a might, but you get the point.
As for tonight’s game against the Caps…here are the statistical matchups:
G/G: Atlanta 3.50, Washington 3.50
GA/G: Atlanta 2.33, Washington 2.88
S/G: Atlanta 24.5, Washington 31.6
SA/G: Atlanta 35.2, Washington 29.9
PP: Atlanta 30.0%, Washington 21.6%
PK: Atlanta 88.0%, Washington 84.6%
FO: Atlanta 54.3%, Washington 54.3%
Now, here’s the real matchup:
Ilya Kovalchuk: 7 goal, 1 assist, 20 SOG, +1 vs. Washington’s defense.
Alex Ovechkin: 9 goals, 7 assists, 61 SOG, +9 vs. Atlanta’s defense.
I hope you’ll join us tonight…and Saturday night…down in Thrasherville. If you’ve been waiting for the organ-I-zation to ice a quality product before you return, they have. If you have held back to cheer on players that perform at a level worthy of your support, these are. If haven’t already procured your tickets, do so.
Get on board and don’t let this train pass you by, Thrasherville!