With Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh, the Thrashers losing streak now stands at nine straight…the last seven coming on the road. Since defeating the Dallas Stars 6-5 in overtime back when there was still seven shopping days left before Christmas, Atlanta has played to a 0-6-3 record…a level of play that has seen them go from an 18-12-3 record and sixth place in the conference to 18-18-6 and are now but a point away from 12th in the east.
With the win, Pittsburgh snapped a five-game losing skid of their own.
During the nine-game nightmare, the Thrashers have been outscored 19 to 41 despite the fact that the S/G to SA/G ratio has almost been even, Atlanta being outshot by an average 31.2 to 30.1.
Jim Slater accounted for all of Atlanta’s offense, scoring two goals…yes, I said Slater scored two goals. His first tied the game at one after taking a Chris Thorburn pass, broke through up the middle and beat Brent Johnson via the five hole. His second was unassisted and got the Thrashers back to within a goal after Pittsburgh scored twice after his first one.
The loss now brings to an end the seven-game holiday road trip for the Thrashers. The OH!-5-2 record nets them a grand total of 2 points out of a possible 14 available.
The Thrashers will look to avoid making the streak ten-consecutive losses Thursday night when the Ranger head to Thrasherville. Yeah I know…they are going to let ‘em play at home again. The 20-17-5 Rangers will be traveling from NYC after playing the Stars Wednesday night.
Opie Roughed Up…Again
In his first start since being pulled after one period of play last week in Boston… allowing 3 goals on 10 shots…Ondrej Pavelec looked sharp in the first period, stopping all 12 shots he face. But as the second period unfolded, the Penguins were able to capitalize on counterattacks and wide-open spaces in front of Pavelec’s goal.
For the game, Opie allowed the 5 Penguins’ goals on 37 shots and is now 9-12-3 on the season with a 3.58 GAA and .901 SV%.
While I can’t blame the loss solely on Pavelec, he again showed me that he just isn’t ready for prime time right now. I wish John Anderson would simply go with Hedberg on a nightly basis and start Opie only on back-to-back situation and/or spot starts. That’s not a guarantee for success, mind you…but right now Moose gives us the better chance for wins when in the nets, IMHO.
Oh…and the last time Pavs started a game and did not allow at least 3 goals?…The night before Thanksgiving.
And Speaking of Bad Streaks…
Todd White’s personal OH!-fer streak has now reached…hang on while I count the games…30 – 31 – 32…32 games!
That’s thirty-freakin’-two games without a goal from a “top-six” center, folks. He took nary a shot in Pittsburgh and was a –3…which brings him to –15 on the season, which I believe now is the worst rating on the team.
I just gotta be honest with ya here…I have no idea why John Anderson placed him on the front line between Kovy and Afinogenov when learning that Nik Antropov would be unable to go. I mean…Rich Peverley is still on the team, right? Heck…I’d even understand putting Slates there given the situation. But not Todd White.
I do believe White was the centerman on the ice while the Penguins were busy scoring their first two goal…goals that were scored while the center of the defensive zone was so wide open it could be used an auxiliary airport runway.
It time…past time…Todd White finds a permanent seat in the press box.
Congrats to Team USA!
Finally, some good news to discuss! Team USA defeated Canada 6-5 in overtime to grab the gold medal in the World Junior Championship played in Saskatoon. It was a rematch of the overtime thriller won by Canada on New Years Eve and was one of the most exciting, hard-fought games I’ve watched in a while.
What a thrill it must be for those youngsters…I’d love to see the USA Olympic team repeat their success in Vancouver next month.
Congratulations Team USA!!!!