And now it is official…the fat lady has sung, (thank you, Rightshot), and it is officially over.
With the 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils, it is now 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, mathematically certain that the tenth Thrashers season in the NHL will end exactly like eight of the previous nine have…with no playoffs. And the only real question left for these Thrashers is can they find a way to net one or two more points in order to spare themselves of finishing with a sub-.500 record for the eighth time in their decade of play.
Remember…in the NHL, 82 points is “break even” and the Thrashers currently have 81.
The Devils took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to Dean McAmmond’s 7th goal of the season. They upped that to 2-0 just 51 seconds after the break on Zach Parise’s 37th, then they struck again early in the third…like, 10-second early…when Travis Zajac was left unattended through the defensive zone to beat Johan Hedberg.
In between, the Devils defense had their way with the Thrashers “attack”, holding Atlanta to but 19 shots on goal…2 in the final 20 minutes. That is exceptionally un-good, folks.
“We really closed the door in the third”, Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said.
Uh, yeah…more like slammed the door in our faces, there, Marty.
Of the loss, coach John Anderson remarked, “We just played hard but we didn’t have any savvy around the net”.
Savvy? Hmmm…didn’t Don Waddell let him go several years back and now he plays in Boston? Hope he gets well soon, too.
Of course, Tuesday night also marked the return of Ilya Kovalchuk…making his first start in Philips Arena since he was traded away to the Devils last February. The last time Kovy performed in Thrasherville was on Feb. 2 when the Tampa Bay Lighting defeated Atlanta 2-1.
“Half the fans were booing, half were cheering”, he said afterwards. “That’s nice. It happens all the time”.
Well, to be honest…I think there were quite a bit more “booing” him than “cheering”, maybe a 75-25 split. Me…I did neither. But regardless of how the fans felt, he seems to have gotten over the breakup and is dealing with the separation well.
“I move on and I’m exited to part of this organization and I’m looking forward to the playoffs”.
Indeed…and who knows, maybe he’ll even get to find out what it feels like to win a playoff game sometime in the coming weeks. Certainly his chances are help somewhat given the fact that he’ll enter into the post-season with the likes of one Mr. Martin Brodeur on his team.
Marty the Magnificent notched career win number 600 with the win and the shutout was the 110th of hi illustrious career. Number 109 came just last Saturday night when he blanked the canes 4-0. This night’s whitewash was his league-leading ninth of the season.
Of the career wins milestone, Brodeur said, “It was as nice as number 599. A win is a win”.
Yes, Martin…wins are wins. And given that he has that nice round number of 600 under his pads, he has recorded 293 more victories than the Thrashers have all-time in their history.
He also has 98 more playoff wins than do the Thrashers…a number that is now certain to increase.