The Thrashers need to post one of those roller coaster warning signs outside of Philips Arena or as a disclaimer on the TV screen prior to each telecast. You know… the kind that informs those with heart conditions or expectant mothers that this might not be the ride for you.
Just like those thrill rides at Six Flags, this team takes its fans on a series of ups & downs, ins & outs and thrills & chills almost every game…most of the time at very high speeds.
Thursday night’s recent Thrasherville Thriller just adds to the recent string of games that kept us all on the edge of our seats. The 6-5 win over the Dallas Stars was the fourth win in the month of December and, just like the prior three, Atlanta needed to work the overtime to get the job done.
There were five power play goals in this game to go with two shorthanded tallies…and a game tying, late period goal by Dallas that deflected in off Loui Eriksson’s face shield and past Ondrej Pavelec.
That’s right folks, this ride…er, I mean…this game had it all!
The Thrashers came back from 1-0, 2-1, 4-3…and then shook off Eriksson’s game-tier with just 72 seconds left in the third before winning this night’s Dancing with the Stars contest in the OT.
And all of this came on the heels of Wednesday night’s agonizing 4-3 loss in Florida in which their hard work to erase a 3-0 deficit was kicked to the curb with a late-game goal.
One things for sure folks…you’d better keep the antacids stocked in plentiful supplies if you are gonna follow this team.
The hero on this winning night was Rich Peverley, who took a pass from Maxim Afinogenov and dispensed the puck past Marty Turco 1:16 into the OT session. It was Peverley’s second goal of the night and 12th of the season. The Peever finished with the 2 goals as well as an assist and a +1 with 2 SOG.
Afinogenov scored in the third to tie the game at 4 all. While on the man advantage, Bryan Little made a great pass to Afinogenov who was all alone on the right post to slam it home…which is only fitting seeing as who it was he who drew the penalty in the first place. Max also had a pair of helpers as well with 2 shots fired on the Dallas net.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored his team-leading 19th goal during the first period. His power play blast from the left point knotted the score at 1-1 and he finished with a goal and an assist on 3 SOG.
Jimmy Slater finally got off the Schnide by scoring his first of the season. It was of the unassisted variety at the beginning of the second to level the score at 2 apiece. Slates won the puck on the left side boards just past the blueline…drove to the net and somehow got it past Alex Auld on his way past the cage.
Nik Antropov slammed home his sixth of the season as well…he now has 4 goals in the last five games and has 27 overall points. It drew the Thrashers even at three all…and chased Auld from the Dallas goal.
Ondrej Pavelec got the start on this winning night and found out what his counterpart Johan Hedberg must have felt like Monday in New York. Opie was subjected to 47 Dallas shots…all during regulation…and though five got past him, many of his 42 saves were highlight film material. Glove saves…blocker stops…sliding from one side of the goal to the other…Pavs was very, very sharp this night.
His record is now 9-8-3 though his GAA increased to 3.18 and his saves percentage is now .912.
“Our goalie was outstanding tonight,” Peverley said after the game. “[It] may be the best performance all year”.
Atlanta’s goaltender even got some props from the opposition as well. “Whatever his name is, he got some incredible saves tonight”, Stephane Robidas said of the 42-save performance.
Um, Stephane…. His name is Ondrej Pavelec.
The Thrasherville Thriller ride continues Saturday night when the New Jersey Devils come to town and Martin Brodeur continues his quest for career shutout number 104.
Waddell Does A Double-Take On Puck Daddy’s Latest Top-Ten List
Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski has posted a top-ten list of the most lopsided trades of the last ten years. As you might guess…the Don Waddell general managed Atlanta Thrashers are indeed a part of this compilation And we aren’t treated to just one Waddell deal here…oh no. Don’s got two …actually, make that three…in the top ten.
One of them good for the Thrashers…two un-good.