Thrashers win streak comes to an end but optimistic outlook remains

Three weeks ago I was making my way down for The Blueland Chronicle Perch after the 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. As I made my across the landing area between escalators, I noticed John Kincade preparing for the post-game show. I stopped by to chat with him about the hard-fought, but still disappointing 4-2 loss to the Pens.

“I’ll tell you something”, John told me. “If I wake up on Christmas morning and this Thrashers team is at or anywhere near .500…they’ll be just fine. Probably make the playoffs”.

Despite the 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh, Thrashers fans have been treated to some great hockey this fall. And there's no reason to think that will end along with the 6 game winning streak (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Despite the 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh, Thrashers fans have been treated to some great hockey this fall. And there's no reason to think that will end along with the 6 game winning streak (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Now at the time, the setback had left Atlanta with a record of 7-7-3 after 13 games played and had gone 1-3-1 in their previous five games played. It was still early November and the new players on the roster were still going through the beginning portions of their “getting to know you” phase of the season.

Given such, I didn’t think the statement made by Kincade was off base at all. However, since that time the Thrashers have played to a 6-3-0 mark, including the recent 6 game winning streak in which some of the best team-oriented hockey seen in these parts since…since…since, well, ever.

Unfortunately it came to a stop last night in, of all places, Pittsburgh as Sidney Crosby caused hats to fly. His trio of goals powered the Pens to a 3-2 win over the Thrashers. The third, and eventual game-winner, was a splendid individual effort as Crosby deflected in a knee-high shot from a very sharp angle. Not much Ondrej Pavelec could do about it.

Defenseman Ron Hainsey probably summed it up best in saying, “There are times where you are going to get beat. You can have everybody in position and have everyone there and get beat”.

For the most part Atlanta played well…but not well enough to overcome a powerful Pittsburgh team. The effort was there, but the opposition proved too much on this night.

However, given they way they have played since my discussion with Kincade as well as there current record of 13-10-3… despite the setback in Steeltown, I would be rather disappointed if this team is merely .500 come the time the good little boys and girls of Thrasherville rip open their gifts on Christmas morn.

The important thing after a loss that snaps a consecutive win streak is that the keep it at just that…one loss. Put it behind them and move on, as the cliché goes, and don’t allow it to become anything more than that. Focus must continue to be directed forward and not allow it to become the beginning of a 2 or 3 game slide or a 1-4-1 type of run. That would negate all that was accomplished over the last couple of weeks.

As Ondrej Pavelec put it, “We have to keep our heads up. They’re on a roll; we were on a roll. We just lost one game”.

Looking forward…it isn’t as though they have a bunch of “softies” on the slate either over the next few weeks. The Thrashers play in Washington tomorrow then welcome the likes of Nashville and Colorado next week. In fact, between now and New years, they not only have to take on those quality teams, but they draw Tampa Bay twice, Boston twice, Pittsburgh again as well as a St. Louis team that…despite their recent troubles…still have a winning record.

But given what the Thrashers have just come through and how they have performed, that schedule doesn’t look as daunting as it might have three weeks ago. And that’s to the their credit.

106 comments Add your comment

waffleboy

December 5th, 2010
5:12 pm

Game puck, by the way, goes to Slater. I know Steckel is no heavyweight but he’s got 5 inches and 20 pounds on Slater and Jimmy didn’t hesitate. NHL really needs to do more to get those plays out of the game. Ruined Roenick’s career. Cut Orr’s career short by about ten years. Ended Neely’s. The play is so quick you almost don;t see it happening, but players need to protect each other better.

glovesave29

December 5th, 2010
6:33 pm

“Mike Smith gets by on the arm of Matt Ryan”

Totally disagree. Matt Ryan has developed into the player he is BECAUSE of the great coaching he receives.

No one gets style points on a win. All that matters is that you have more points than the opponent. I will take 2-1 Thrasher wins or 10-7 Falcon wins all season long. Just ask the Colts or Capitals of last season…

Rawhide

December 5th, 2010
8:09 pm

Nice cross-sports talk goin on around here. Very cool…and a great win for the Falcons in Tampa Bay tonight!

Anywhooo….here’s a new blog posted to discuss all the neato gifts we in Thrasherville have already gotten this holiday season.

Is This True?

December 6th, 2010
12:00 pm

“Some of that chatter will concern the Phoenix Coyotes. Prospective owner Matthew Hulsizer is expected to show up and explain his plans to the governors’ executive committee, although an official sale is still not in sight.

Also sure to be part of the unofficial discussions among the governors are the Atlanta Thrashers, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Thrashers are a candidate, along with the Coyotes, to move to either Winnipeg or Quebec. Bruce Levenson, Michael Gearon Sr., and Michael Gearon Jr., the main players in the ownership group, are not happy about all the money they are losing on the team.

Among those who populate the governors’ set, the talk is that the Thrashers are headed for Quebec City, if the former NHL town can pull in enough government and private money for a new arena. Winnipeg is also in the mix, though, and if Hulsizer really does buy the Coyotes, the western Canadian city could shoulder aside Quebec and land the Thrashers.

Word is that Levenson and the Gearons have mused in the past about applying to their fellow governors for permission to relocate. Even NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said publicly in recent days that the Thrashers could move.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/david-shoalts/nhl-salary-cap-expected-to-increase/article1825832/

R. Stroz

December 7th, 2010
10:25 am

Rawhide

December 9th, 2010
9:19 am

R. Stroz – Nope.