Ya know…it’s too bad that this season is an Olympic year, causing the NHL to skip having an All-Star Game as to allow players to participate in the festivities in Vancouver. Because if this were not the case, I would right now…today…be opining, calling for…demanding… that fans in Thrasherville prepare to go forth and stuff the All-Star ballot box with votes for Rich Peverley.
Stuff the box like a Thanksgiving turkey for Peverley…fill the box with ballots faster than they can print ‘em.
Unfortunately…not this year.
Regardless…the Peever continued his stellar work last night in Montreal, scoring his seventh goal of the season and added two assists. For the season he has 16 points and is a +4. Since the Thrashers snatched him off the waiver wire last January, he has 20 goals, 31 assists and is a +20 in 50 games played.
All for the low, low price of $487,500…but wait, there’s more.
The Pevs Dispenser was busy again dishing out goals and assists Tuesday night as the Thrashers defeated Montreal 5-4…a win that brings the Thrashers road record to an amazing 5-1-1. First, he banked the puck past Carey Price and into the Canadiens goal off Bryan Little’s skate at the 17:34 mark to open the scoring, then took a great behind the goal pass from Todd White to put Atlanta up 2-0 before the first break.
For Little, it was his first goal of the season or, as BG33Brown opined on my Hockeybuzz blog…”Peverley is so good he just scored Little’s 1st goal of the year”.
The 2-0 advantage turned into a 3-1 lead in the second as Mark Popovic netted his first ever career NHL goal. Maxim Afinogenov and Nik Antropov earn the assists after Antropov’s hustle beat out an icing call. But a pair of ugly turnovers in the Thrashers’ zone that left Ondrej Pavelec hanging out to dry led to Montreal tying the score.
The first one came with just seconds remaining in the second period when Peverley, of all people, misplayed the puck and Mike Cammalleri raced in to beat Pavs. Then, shortly after the third period began, Christoph Schubert failed miserably at his backhanded attempt to pass the puck out from behind Atlanta’s goal though the center of the ice. Brian Gionta was the beneficiary of this miscue, scoring his second goal of the game.
But on this night, the Thrashers were able to answer the adversity to retake the lead…not once…but twice.
Pavel Kubina put the Thrashers back on top at the 4:10 mark when Nik Antropov found the defender camped out on the left post while the Thrashers were on the power play…Peverley earned his second assists of the night with the secondary helper. It was Kubina’s first goal as a Thrasher…and Nik’s second assist on the night, giving him 12 on the year.
Eight minutes and thirty seconds later Tomas Plekanic pull Montreal even again…but that’s when Thrasherville sent in it’s Army to win the battle as Colby Armstrong scored off a nifty pass from Marty Reasoner for the game winner just 34 seconds later.
“Every time they scored”, Peverley said after the game, “We seemed to come back and have a good shift”.
Atlanta’s offense…in great part due to Peverley’s efforts…has continued to cruise despite losing Ilya Kovalchuk to a foot injury. In the three games played without Kovy, they have netted 11 goals. Counting the game against the Sharks when Kovalchuk left early on after taking a puck to the foot, the Thrashers have scored 14 times in just under four complete games without his services.
They have Mr. Peverley to thank for a tremendous amount of that production. During those four games, he has 3 goals, 4 assists and is a +2.
As I stated above, the Thrashers are now a very impressive 5-1-1 on the road this season. Both blemishes however… a 4-2 loss in Ottawa and a 2-1 shootout loss in Montreal…were avenged on this short 2-game excursion north of the border. This year’s odd schedule now has us finished with our trips to both Ottawa and Montreal just after 11 games played.
After a game Thursday in Atlanta against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Thrashers will head out on the road again for a visit to Long Island Saturday night. We’ll view that game from the comfy confines of TJ’s bar and Grill…I hope you’ll be able to come out and enjoy the festivities. Keep in mind the game will not be aired on TV locally.
Oh yeah by the way…the Islanders right now own a winning record of 5-4-5.