Rocky road ahead for Thrashers even after big win over Panthers

One of the nice things about Saturday night’s thrilling overtime win is that it gets to linger in our thoughts for several days. Following the 4-3 overtime win over the Florida Panthers Saturday night the Thrashers don’t play again until they travel to Carolina Wednesday night to take on the Hurricanes.

But even so, the truth of the matter is this team needed a much better showing than the 2-2-1 record the played to over this recent all-important five game home stretch. It’s not just that they only procured 5 of a possible 10 points in the standing when they really needed more, but they played the role of gracious hosts far too well by allowing 8 total points to leave town with visiting teams…all of whom were Eastern Conference teams.

So for those of you who may have held out hope that a good showing in those games would possibly catapult them back into the playoff race…needless to say it didn’t pan out that way. Now what you’re looking at is the team needing to go something like 10-3-3 during the final segment of the schedule and pray that 88 points is good enough to somehow squeak in.

Making that mountain even steeper to climb is the fact that ten of those sixteen games will be played on hostile ice away from Thrasherville, including a five-game roadie between March 12 and April 7.

How many of the remaining 32 points will the Thrashers get?

  • 8 or less: Next stop - Lotterypickville (18%, 38 Votes)
  • 9-16: The second-half slide continues (44%, 91 Votes)
  • 17-24: They'll make a nice run but fall just short (31%, 65 Votes)
  • 25 or over: Playoffs here we come! (7%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 209

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To put it mildly, the road has been quite inhospitable place for this team lately. They went winless during their most recent three-game road trip…losing in Phoenix, Edmonton and Buffalo without even the consolation of an overtime loser point…and have gone 0-5-1 in their lat six away games.

The last time they were able to come away two points on the road was back on January 23 when they netted a pair of late third period goals on their way to a 3-2 shootout win in Florida. And since the 6-3 win in Toronto back on December 20…a.k.a. “The High Water Mark of the Season”…they have played to a record of 3-9-2 away from Philips Arena.

Only one of those wins, the 3-2 win against the Panthers on January 5, came in regulation.

Assuming they can take care of business at home by going 6-0 from here on out…yeah, I know. I know…they would still need to go 4-3-3 in the road games to reach the 88 mark. That’s a pretty tall order when you see two games in Philadelphia and one each in Boston, Montreal, Carolina, Nashville, New Jersey, Nashville and Buffalo in the slate. There is also a trip to Long Island remaining on the schedule against a team that has played better of late.

Even before we see our team in action again Wednesday night, the lanes on the Thrashers road may become tighter and narrower still. Following yesterday’s action in which the Devils beat the Islanders in a shootout, Buffalo beat Minnesota in OT and Florida earned yet another overtime consolation point, Atlanta is not only chasing three teams for a possible playoff spot but they now have three more hot on their tails.

The Devils are now only a point behind us Florida trails by four points and the Islanders are but five in back of the Thrashers. All three of those teams play at home Tuesday night and if they come out victorious, Atlanta would be sitting in 12th place in the conference with 14th place not too far behind.

Therefore, the rough road ahead of us could lead to a playoff berth, another trip to Lotterypickville…or possibly somewhere in between.

166 comments Add your comment

Red Light

March 9th, 2011
10:23 am

Steve Goldstein and former Thrasher Bill Lindsay do the Panthers games! Post #151?

Smoothie

March 9th, 2011
10:23 am

Kevin Weekes should be doing more color and less studio. Not that he’s not good in the studio but his passion and excitement for the game bleeds through the screen when he calls a game. He’s not over the top, he just expresses his appreciation in a very enjoyable manner similar to the way Red Light gets excited about career of Zach Bogosian! ;)

Seriously though, I love Weekesie, and Randy Hahn is the best play by play guy hands down. Gets equally excited (at least it appears that way) when the other team scores as when the Sharks do. Forslund is a close second for me, but I don’t like a few of his inflections, but compared to Benninati or Jeanneret’s inflections, he’s as cool as the other side of the pillow. I don’t mind Pete Weber so much, but he’s definitely a homer. Can’t stand the guy who does PBP for the Blues…talk about a whiny homer. He makes Panger look fair and balanced! And lastly, I think one of the more underrated PBP guys is the one in Florida, but can’t remember his name. I like his voice for some reason. Okay, one last one, is it just me or is Sam Rosen practically un-listenable these days? God I hate his voice.

Red Light

March 9th, 2011
10:25 am

“them is fighting words Smoothie!”

‘Okay, one last one, is it just me or is Sam Rosen practically un-listenable these days? God I hate his voice.’

glovesave29

March 9th, 2011
10:26 am

WBF – I’m tired of Mike Emrick. Every year at the conclusion of the SCF he uses the same line about how time passes…..yaaaawn.

Truth be told, I am not really much of a Dan Kamal fan either. Nice guy, really knowledgeable…but it seems so scripted. Guess I am old school – growing up on Jiggs McDonald and Dan Kelly. Mike Lange of the Pens is good, but I am biased there because we went to the same college.

Smoothie – just saw it again ad nauseum on NHL on the fly from some different angles. Chara’s head was clearly up and he was aware of where he was…then drove Pacioretty face first into the turnbuckle. I’d like to see the NHL step up and suspend players for injuring others (when intentional, of course – incidental injuries happen) equal to the amount of time a player is out of action due to the injury.

Smoothie

March 9th, 2011
10:28 am

Goldstein! That’s it. Don’t know why I like him so much. Perhaps he reminds me of all the geeky pseudo-Jews I hung out with in HS who loved sports like I did. I swear half my HS was black and the other half pretended not to be Jewish. j/k

Smoothie

March 9th, 2011
10:30 am

Ha ha! As if we haven’t sparred verbally before! ;) Rosen sounds like he’s about to have a stroke at any second. Jeanneret just sounds drunk.

No surprise then that I like Emrick and you’re sick of him. Although I do grant you that he’s a bit artificially hyped up for NBC games. If I had to call games with that moron Chico Resch, I’d be a bit more somber for the Devils telecasts as well.

glovesave29

March 9th, 2011
10:48 am

Ive got the 1989 SCF game 6 on DVD. Emrick’s in the Flames locker room next to Jim Peplinski making the EXACT same comments on SportsChannel that he does on NBC today. Jeez – come up with SOMETHING new!

ZAvalanche

March 9th, 2011
10:50 am

Serious lack of talent coming out of the casting booth these days. It is not uncommon for me to turn the tv volume off and listen to the Mose on The Fan in Denver. Much better stuff. Don’t if any of you have ever heard an Avs telecast with Mike Haynes and Peter McNabb – it is BAD. I honestly don’t mind Thrashy’s announcers too much. And I think we can all use a bit more of Don Cherry :)

Red Light

March 9th, 2011
10:55 am

Redundancy kills, and these guys are the kings of it!

Joe Beninati
John Shorthouse
Joe Bowen
Mike Haynes
Bob Cole
Mike Emrick
Jack Edwards
Mark Lee

Smoothie

March 9th, 2011
11:00 am

R/L – you forgot Matt McConnell and the Matty Mac drinking game!

Red Light

March 9th, 2011
11:03 am

And, while we’re at it…outlandish goal calls or “big save” calls in virtually meaningless games get my goat.

Down 3-0 and your team scores with five minutes left in the 3rd, and the (insert team name here) are still alive. In a game in October, please!

Or, how about? ‘this is a crucial game for the (insert team name here) as they are fighting for their playoff lives.’ Really? We didn’t check the standings before watching the game?

R. Stroz

March 9th, 2011
11:04 am

Chara knew what he was doing, although the intent was probably a broken collarbone.

Since Colin Campbell’s son plays on the Bruins, I expect NO punishment for Chara. Can’t jeopardize Jr.(Gregory) getting his name on the Cup. However, it is a matter of time before someone takes out Gregory Campbell as payback. Whoever has the fortitude to do so will be hit with a year long suspension.

R. Stroz

March 9th, 2011
11:07 am

The announcer who bugs me the most is the guy in Boston. I don’t know his name, other than Homer Deluxe. Every time I hear that putz, I just wish Barney Frank was a hockey fan and would take care of the situation.

World Be Free

March 9th, 2011
12:01 pm

Smoothie, if I am not mistaken the PBP guy in St. Louis is Dan Kelly’s son. Weber makes me sick because I have listened to his incompetence most of my life. His sidekick Terry Crisp is a chump too!

Glovesave, big Mike Lange fan-he proves you can be good without being over emotional. He is very knowledgeable about all the opposing players, we doesn’t just talk about the home team. Bob Errey is a good sidekick for him too. Jiggs McDonald called an Islander game last week, I watched the game just to hear his call. Smoothie-you are right on about Chico Resch – he is horrible!

So we just pointed out the 2 reasons why the newer guys are not as good-
1) They have little knowledge of the opposition.
2) Too many homers screaming into the microphone

Mickey Redmond was excellent when he was with Hockey Night in Canada in the 80’s-he is the BIGGEST homer now, can’t stand him anymore.

Rawhide

March 9th, 2011
12:02 pm

OK gang…even with the Devils losing last night, the distance between the Thrashers and Lotterypick continues to shrink. He’s a new blog to discuss that and tonight’s game in Carolina.

World Be Free

March 9th, 2011
12:11 pm

Stroz-Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley do the Broones games-Brickley is the idiot with the chowder-head accent. Versus sometimes uses Brickley, for what reason I don’t know.

Some may believe I am being hypocritical of Chara because I favor the physical game. But players also have to be held accountable; that’s all I am calling for. Chara knew what he is doing and he shouldn’t be let off the hook by old-schoolers who claim it’s “part of the game”. Clean hits are part of the game, taking your man out – but not what Chara and other players are doing in the league today. He weighs 260# and knows one of his hit’s is going to carry more “weight” than a hit by a smaller man. Judge the intent of the hit, don’t excuse the size of the man.

Stroz is right-there’s a big carpet at the league office that has alotta dirt under it-the aftermath of Chara’s check will be swept under the rug by the end of the day-that will be that.