So now that the All Star game has come and gone, tell me what you think of the new format they used this go around. I’ll be honest with you, when I first heard of it I sort of rolled my eyes…thought it was a bit gimmicky. But watching how they performed the draft then how it all played out on the ice, the whole concept kinda grew on me.
It was neat seeing the Sedin brothers skate on opposing teams as well as teammates split up as well. It certainly made for an interesting time.
By all accounts, the city of Raleigh, North Carolina represented themselves well by hosting the event. That’s really not a surprise at all as the Hurricanes are a fantastic organization and Caniacs are among the best of hockey fans. So, hats off to them.
As I’m sure you know, the Thrashers Dustin Byfuglien notched his first ever All Star Game goal. It was his only shot on goal during his 22:18 TOI and he finished a –3.
But with All Star weekend now finished, Big Buff will return to Thrasherville for the final 30 games of the season. They’ll start things off tomorrow night when the New York Islanders come to call. Cal-GARY makes there way to town Thursday and then the Thrashers finish off the week by heading to Raleigh for what is sure to be a huge game with the Hurricanes.
Carolina is but one point behind Atlanta and their 56 points after 50 games played have them currently on course for 92 for the season. For the Thrashers to reach the 92 point mark, they’ll have to net 35 points in their final 30 games played…say a record of something like 15-10-5.
Just ahead of the Thrashers in the Eastern Conference standing is Montreal with 59.
The big issue right now for the Thrashers is health issues of certain key players. Toby Enstrom will continue to be out for a number of games with a broken hand, but also on the shelf of late has been Evander Kane, Jim Slater and goalie Chris Mason.
Still yet to be seen is if the team will be calling up someone from Chicago to take Toby’s spot on the roster. Personally, I’d like to see Arturs Kulda get a few games in up here in Enstrom’s absence. Last year he played in two games and played a very well on our blueline.
Above and beyond that, sometime between now and the trade deadline I look for general manager Rick Dudley to make some sort of deal to bolster this team’s roster as they make a push from the playoffs. Yes I know Dudley recently told C-Viv that no such trades were on the horizon, but I’m taking that quote with a grain of salt. I don’t think he’s going to tip his hand with respect to any impending deal and, quite frankly, something needs to be addressed, specifically on defense and/or on wing.
I would think finding a way to bring in a left wing to replace Fredrik Modin would be a decent way to start. Also, if Duds can find a way procure a top-four defenseman, this would go a long way to getting this team where they need to go. If that’s the case, then we could see a defensive corps looking like Byfuglien-Enstrom, (upon return)…Oduya –[insert name of new D-man here]…Hainsey-Sopel/Bogosian.
Question is, what do the Thrashers give up in return for such a player or players? Sure there are replaceable parts such as Modin…maybe some would say Hainsey. But what do you really expect to get in return for either of them straight up? I would think that along with a Modin or a Hainsey, the Thrashers will need to part ways with a prospect or two to make this happen.