As the Thrashers, along with the rest of the NHL, settle in for the brief Christmas break, we find our team with a record of 18-14-4 for 40 points and sitting in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa has 40 pints as well, but have played one more game than has Atlanta. The Rangers, Montreal and Florida occupy the eighth through tenth spots with 39 points.
So as you can see, things are packed in about as tight as Santa Claus making his way down through a chimney with a sack crammed full of toys.
The Thrashers .556 points winning percentage is 15th best in the NHL…sixth best in the East. Their 3.22 G/G average is second in the league behind Washington’s 3.57. Atlanta’s power play produces goals a sixth-highest 22.2% of the time while the penalty kill unit denies the opposition 80.0% of the time…a figure that has fallen to 17th in the NHL. And they are now allowing goals at an average of 3.11 per game…26th in the league.
Atlanta is allowing a league-worst 34.5 shots per game at this time…a number which has actually been reduced in the past two games.
With a goal and assists in last night’s 5-4 loss to the Bruins, Maxim Afinogenov is now the second leading scorer on the team with 34 points, behind Ilya Kovalchuk’s 39. Max’s 13 goals also put him second on the squad, Kovy has 21. And Afinogenov’s 21 assists tie him with Rich Peverley for third most…behind Toby Enstrom’s 26 and Nik Antropov’s 23.
Pavel Kubina’s +15 is the highest on the Thrashers’ roster…Antropov is a +9 while Evander Kane and Enstrom are a +8.
Johan Hedberg has played to a 9-4-1 record with a 2.44 GAA, a .920 SV%, as well as a shutout.
Ondrej Pavelec is 9-10-3 with a 3.39 GAA and .910 SV%. Opie has two goose eggs to his credit…the first two in his NHL career.
And with that, I would like to take this time to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas…and I also hope that for those of you who have celebrated Hanukkah, it was a wonderful and joyous time for you as well.
If you are travelling, I hope and pray that your journey is a safe and happy one.
Please allow me to also extend a special thank you to all who have made this forum a regular stop in your online reading routine. Whether you are a part of the countless masses who simply read my ramblings as well as the comments posted below…or on of the many who contribute regularly with your timely, insightful, thoughtful, and even humorous, comments…I cannot fully express my gratitude to you.
I also want to take this time to thank you for the wonderful thoughts and prayers offered up on behalf of my father, who was diagnosed with colon cancer just about one year ago. He has come through his surgery and chemo treatments to now be declared cancer-free by his doctor. That I get to spend another Christmas with him is really all the present I could ever ask for.
Many thanks also for the well-wishes expressed for my brother who recently suffered burns to his hands and face this past October. He also has made a complete and full recovery.
For those in our number who have loved ones serving our great nation in the armed forces this holiday season, especially if they are oversees…a special God Bless You to you and yours.
Same to all of our policemen, firefighters, doctors and EMTs that are on duty this Christmas.
Merry Christmas, Thrasherville…may the good Lord smile upon you and your family during this beautiful time of the year and I hope that your every wish during this holiday season comes true. Hope to see you all Saturday night at TJs!