Normally when I make my way back to the twin cities of Kennesaw/Acworth after a Thrashers game at Philips Arena, by the time I park the car in the garage and make my way upstairs to the office I already have something rolling around in my noggin about what to write about. A title…a cutting remark…a pseudo-humorous twist on what played out before us…something.
But tonight, all I really have had before sitting down to the computer was…”Well, that sucked”.
This Thrashers team had spent the past five games working their way back to the point they found themselves in…playing energetic and inspiring hockey…getting to within a point of the Bruins for the 8th spot in conference…and then played about as flat of a games as has been seen around here in quite some time in being blanked 4-0.
“We looked very nervous with the puck,” coach John Anderson said afterwards. “I would say in the two years I’ve been here, this is probably one of the most meaningful games we’ve played. We just weren’t doing things like we have been the last few games.”
They were beaten to loose pucks, out worked and out hustled for the better part of the evening. Boston, on the other hand, looked like a team that came in with a plan, put it to use on the ice and skated like a team desperately wanting to keep hold of there position in the standing.
As Johan Hedberg put it, “They beat us in every situation. They beat is in face offs, goaltending lose pucks. They beat us all over the ice”.
The Thrashers did get one good opportunity to turn their fortunes around, though. Late in the second period, trailing 2-0, Colby Armstrong was awarded a penalty shot after being fouled on a break away chance. However his shot upstairs was denied by the glove of Tuuka Rask…who stopped all 27 shots he faced for his second straight shutout of the Thrashers.
Last December 30 he and the Bruins also blanked Atlanta to the tune of 4-0.
Failing to get the score to within one going into the second break, just minutes later they allowed the Bruins to up their lead to three with just second remaining in the period. The Thrashers had iced the puck with under 10 second left…lost the face off…then the puck was deposited through Hedberg for a 3-0 Boston lead.
With the loss, Atlanta is left 3 points behind Boston and with one fewer game left on the schedule than have that Bs.
Well, At Least YOU Showed Up
I had the pleasure of sitting in section 120 with a “lurker” as well as regular contributor to this on-line forum “Bob” and a friend of his. Also, I enjoyed meeting so many of you who made their way out to Philips, regardless of the outcome.
Nice to see a lot of the fans show up for such a big game…I just wish the players in blue would have also shown up.
A Chat With The Kiss Cam Couple
Prior to the game I, as well as another regular poster on the blog, had the privilege of chatting with the Bennings…a.k.a. “The Kiss Cam Couple”. It was not the first time I got to talk to the charming couple, but it was for my friend who spoke with them in CNN Center.
I can tell you that the Bennings…who have been season ticket holders since the very beginning in ‘99… are flattered by the reaction they get when they are shown on the Kiss Cam. They are equally flattered in learning that so many of you have already sent in letters expressing your desire to see them honored with this year’s 7th fan award. Their ticket rep was present and confirmed they have received a number of nominations on their behalf.
T.J. … who grew up in the Atlanta area… reacted modestly at the concept of winning the award. But his wife Maria…who came here from Cuba after Castro took power…asked my buddy what would happen if they did indeed win.
They were told that they would be presented the award on the ice after the last game of the season, given the jersey of any player she wanted and would be the 7th Fan for a whole year.
She put her hand on her husband’s shoulder and said, “Oh, wouldn’t that be wonderful”.
I hope that my friend who spoke with them will chime in with “the rest of the story”…I’m sure you’d all love to hear it.