The Maple Leafs have this thing with waffles…but for the Thrashers, its turnovers.
Monday night in the Air Canada Center, they served up more turnovers than any bakery found in Toronto and were giving them away all night long to those wearing blue jerseys. Taking advantage of the visiting team’s generosity, the Leafs then helped themselves to a tasty 5-4 win over the Thrashers.
While there were many candidates to choose from, this night’s clear winner of the Platinum Pastry Award for the single most egregious turnover of the game goes to…tearing open the envelope…defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.
For those who were not able to see the play that de-knotted a 3-3 score early in the third period, Big Buff attempted to casually backhand the puck over to the right side boards to Johnny Oduya. Unfortunately, what Byfuglien accomplished was a beautiful pass to Toronto’s Nikolai Kulemin…who then neatly tucked the gifted puck under a surprised Ondrej Pavelec.
Kulemin, I’m sure, will do the right thing and follow up with a nice Thank You card to the Thrashers defenseman.
Five minutes later, Tim Stapleton…who should be arrested and charged with impersonating an NHL player…played hot potato with the puck in the corner and lost the puck. That turnover led to a Tim Brent goal, making it 5-3.
An Andrew Ladd jam-in at the 11:01 mark got the Thrashers back to within one, but in the end it was the Maple Leafs that pulled the win out of the oven…even though they failed to put the icing on top by way of an empty-netter.
Forward Fredrik Modin left the game in the second period with an upper body injury. The bad news here is given the Thrashers don’t play again until Friday and the way their luck has gone lately, there’s a better than even chance he doesn’t even miss a game.
The loss drops Atlanta’s record to 0-3-1 coming out of the All Star break, 4-7-4 in 2011 and 5-11-5 since the last time they played in Toronto back on December 20.
Their 24-22-10 record leaves them at 58 points along with the Carolina Hurricanes, who were idle Monday. However, the Canes now have three games in hand and will take to the ice twice this week before the Thrashers play again Friday against the Rangers.
Buffalo is only five points behind Atlanta and has five games in hand while the Panthers trail the Thrashers by six with four in hand. Both of those teams have games on Tuesday and on Thursday the play against each other in south Florida.
Meanwhile…back in Thrasherville…rumor has it general manager Rick Dudley has been seen out on his balcony play the fiddle. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but he needs to bake up some sort of deal soon to help this team before the season is completely cooked. Otherwise, come April 11, these Thrashers will once again be enjoying turnovers and other pastries while they await their tee times.
And as good as turnover pastries are… that would be tough to swallow.
By: Bill Tiller – AJC.com Thrashers Fan Blog