Here are just a few random, passing thoughts that I have following Sunday’s 5-4 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators. I’ll just toss them out there for you and you may deal with them as you may…add yours if you’d like
First off, I would seriously like to know just what it is with the Thrashers and 2-goal leads. Yesterday Atlanta held leads of 3-1 and 4-2, but the Senators were still able to drag them past regulation anyway.
By my count, yesterday was the fifth straight time they’ve fail to properly care for that kind of advantage when they’ve had it. Twice they’ve lost in regulation, the other three they’ve won, but required overtime or a shootout.
At least this time was one of those that we were able to celebrate a victory…and we in Thrasherville have come to know all too well that when it comes to this team and wins, you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.
To that point, Thrashers captain Andrew Ladd opined after the game. “It’s still frustrating to give up a two-goal lead in the third. At some point we have to learn to play with the lead and not give up two goals.
“But we wanted two points and we got them.”
It was the 27th time the Thrashers have played beyond the scheduled 60 minutes during a game. That’s greater than one-third of the 75 games played so far. Atlanta has won 15 of those games, five in a shootout.
Just what does that mean in the big scheme of things? Well, consider this…the Thrashers have now netted 76 points for the season, or a points winning percentage of .507%.
However, given that their opponents have won 31 times in regulation, 12 times in OT and15 times have force overtime before losing to us…that means they’ve collectively skated away with 101 of a possible 150 points so far this season. That’s a “points losing” percentage of .673.
In the second half of the season alone, Atlanta has allowed the opposition 52 of the possible 68 points, or a points losing percentage of .765%.
In earning points 75 and 76 this year, coach Craig Ramsay has now match the total points total of John Anderson in his first season behind the bench. He now has seven games left in which to try and equal the 83 Anderson coached the Thrashers to in his last season here.
If you wish to go back to the first full season Bob Hartley coached here, which was 2003-04, he was able to coach the team to 74 points. However, he had a little more than half a season the year prior after he was hired on. Also, they didn’t have the benefit of shootouts to determine the outcome of games back then.
If you want a more “apples to apples” comparison, if you remove the 5 gimmick points awarded for shootout wins, the Thrashers would have 71 points right now if they played under the same rules as prior to the lockout.
In allowing four goals to Ottawa Sunday, Atlanta has now given up a total of 246 for the season. That’s 10 off of last year’s 256. The season before that they gave up 280.
They’ve scored 210 goals so far…and will need 24 goals in the last seven games to match the 234 scored a year ago. They produced 257 goals during the 2008-09 campaign.
With their -36 goals for/goals against numbers, it looks like the Thrashers will not continue the downward trend of that stat over the last couple of seasons. During the dable that was the 2007-08 season in which they allowed 56 more goals than they scored, the GF/GA deficit was cut to -23 and -22 in the past two years.
The 28 shots allowed to the Sens marked the seventh consecutive game in which they’ve held their opponent to fewer than 30 SOG. Just prior to that streak they gave up exactly 30 to New Jersey. In fact, since the All Star game the defense has allowed the opposition 30 or fewer shots 15 times in 23 games played.
Their record is 8-12-3 during that time.
The Thrashers will now embark on a five game road trip before closing out the season with two home games. During their travels, they will take on five teams that all currently hold on to a playoff position.
Montreal and the New York Rangers each have 87 points and have the sixth and seventh spots in the Eastern Conference. Boston recently clinched a spot and lead the Northeast Division with 94 points. Nashville’s 92 points puts them in sixth place out west while the Flyers own the east’s top spot with 100.
While they won’t be able to knock any one of those teams out of the playoffs during this year’s ‘Spring Spoiler Tour’, the Thrashers will at least have a chance to help bump them down a peg ot two.