Thrashers fans have had a rough week, (duh1).
It started with the 4-3 loss in Nashville last Saturday night…continued with a lack-luster performance Tuesday during a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay…then came the news that general manager Don Waddell had informed Ilya Kovalchuk he’s going to be traded…the promised trade Thursday and we saw yet another star player depart Thrasherville…all of that was then followed by Friday’s 5-2 loss in Washington to the Capitals, the Thrashers third straight defeat and fifth in the last seven.
So it’s understandable that Thrashers fans might just be in a cranky mood as they enter into Philips Arena for the first home game post-Kovalchuk.
And Waddell won’t have to wait for Saturday night’s game to begin gauging the mood of his paying customers. Nope…he’s extended an invite to season ticket holders to attend a town hall meeting an hour prior to face off. And I’m sure there are some who are just chompin’ at the bit to tell Don just exactly what’s on their mind.
I’ll give the man this much…he doesn’t shy away from standing up in front of a crowd of people, many of whom that may be looking for his immediate firing, and take it. Regardless of what you or I might think of his performance as GM, that isn’t an easy thing to do…especially given what the fans of this team have been through recently.
I’m sure later on we’ll hear from those of you who will attend about what was said and discussed in the meeting…but what I would like to know now is what you are thinking of saying to/asking Waddell, should you get the chance tonight.
Are ya planning on telling him you are still behind him regardless of the circumstance?
Are you going to tell him you are sick of the constant “re-building” with little to show for it?
Are you planning on telling him just how much you think the team is closer to the Cup after the trade with the Devils this week?
Will you ask him if he thinks Rick Dudley will make a good replacement general manager?
Inquiring minds want to know…
Oh, And There Was a Game Tonight
As for the loss to the Caps…look, the Thrashers ran into the proverbial buzz saw. In beating the Thrashers, Washington has now won 13 straight and 16 of their last 17…the lone loss coming in Tampa Bay back on January 12. They didn’t seem to be bothered at all from playing in New York the night before, beating the Rangers 6-5.
Washington is now 40-12-6 and are making a joke out of the Southeast Division…their 86 points are tops the NHL. With the loss, the Thrashers are now 24-24-8….and Don Waddell along with the Octocluster are making a joke out of this franchise.
Ondrej Pavelec started and saw 4 of the 31 shots he faced get past him.
Rich Peverley had a multi-point night, assisting on Toby Enstrom’s goal that put the Thrashers up 1-0 early on. He then scored on a breakaway in the third to make the score 4-2. It looked like Washington goalie Kichal Neuvirth had stopped Peverley’s attempt…but his defender helped to knock the puck over the line following the play.
The newcomers that came over in the trade with New Jersey were able to see action with their new team on this night. It’s really tough to judge them after one game…after traveling to D.C. in the morning and having no real practice time with the squad.
Johnny Oduya had no points or shots and was a –1 during his 20:38 TIO. He, along with Enstrom, Ron Hainsey, Zach Bogosian and Pavel Kubina were called on to play more given the fact that Boris Valabik left halfway through the game with what was described as a “lower body injury”.
Nicklas Bergfors had no points and was a –1, but was able to get off 4 shots during his 12:53 TOI. Those four shots tied him with Rich Peverley for second most on the team…Zach Bogosian and Slava Kozlov each had 5.
Nik Antropov and Todd White were each a –2 on the night…White is now a –17 for the year.