I didn’t make it to last night’s game…instead I attended my son’s JROTC annual military ball. However, I have viewed the highlights and read some of the write-ups about it and from what I gather, it pretty much came down to Vancouver making the most of the chances afforded them and one Mr. Roberto Luongo.
Well, there’s a reason why the Canucks have the best record in the NHL I guess. Good teams find a way to work out Ws and make their goalie’s efforts stand up.
With the 3-1 win in Atlanta…their seventh consecutive on the road… Vancouver set an all-time franchise record with 24 wins away from home this season. Their 49-17-9 record for 107 also sets a new high for that organization.
For the Thrashers, it was another game in which they played well but allowed things to slip away during a short window of time. Two second period goals by Vancouver was pretty much all the scoring needed by the visiting team. Mason Raymond started things off 5:08 into the period and Alexandre Bolduc doubled the lead 7:16 later …the first going five-hole on Chris Mason, the other zipping over his glove on a breakaway.
Bryan Little’s solo-effort tally was the only goal that beat Luongo, who saved the other 30 he faced.
Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay pointed to that small stretch of time as the deciding factor in the game. “Five minutes”, he lamented. “Five minutes where we tried to do a little too much and we got trapped. Against a good team you can’t get trapped where you are stuck on the ice.”
“Other than that it was a wonderful game.”
Ramsay’s had a lot of chances to make that kind of evaluation after games in the last two and a half months.
Moving forward, the Thrashers will go from facing the best the league has to offer to the last place in the east Ottawa Senators. The Sens will be in town for a Sunday afternoon matinee tomorrow and with a win, coupled with a Panthers loss to Pittsburgh, would actually climb out of the east’s basement.
Then the Thrashers will begin their 2011 Spring Spoiler Tour to close out the 2010-11 campaign. Tuesday night they’ll begin a five-game road trip that will take them to Montreal, Philadelphia, Boston, Nashville and New York to face the Rangers. All of those teams are currently jockeying for playoff positioning.
They’ll close out the season at home against the Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Following their 4-3 win in Tampa last night, the Canes remain three points behind the Buffalo Sabres who hold the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Buffalo topped the Florida Panthers 4-2 Friday night.