I largely second Monsieur Catalogues' post about the game last night. There was definitely a weird vibe in Blueland: one of the fire-breathing Thrasher heads wasn't lowered, there was some weird lighting rig dangling pretty close to the ice when it should have been near the roof, Announcer Steve was AWOL, T-Man was deathly ill, M. Catalogues was late, and NO ONE had any time for one of those scandalously large beers at Gorin's in the CNN Center (who are not paying me to write this post).
Worst of all, perhaps: Did anyone else notice a larger-than-usual proportion of the crowd last night was frat boy fucktard-ish? I ran into at least six UGA cap-wearing dudes who had clearly never been to a hockey game in their lives. During the first intermission I was standing in line for a beer and one behind me goes, "I think I'm gonna a Foster's; I hear it's an Italian beer." Sad sad sad.
I blame them and the bad vibes they created in the arena for our defeat, by the way. The Thrashers played pretty well, gave up some stupid and rash penalties, were victimized more than once by some dreadful calls, and the Czar was skating slower than normal (more out of caution than actual pain, I think).
It was a weird night all over the NHL, though. The Carolina Hurricanes lost to the Nashville Predators, so both they and us remain locked at 56 points and tied for first place in the Southeast Division. What else went on in the Southeast last night? The Capitals, the Panthers, and the Lightning (yes, that Lightning, from Tampa Bay) all WON. The Caps and the Panthers are chomping and clawing and beating their wings (a mixed metaphor, I know; can you imagine some kind of eagle-panther hybrid?) at our talons, but we have to keep flying (remind me never to use mascot imagery ever again). Alex Ovechkin managed to out-score Rick Nash (3 goals to his 2) and the Caps beat the Blue Jackets 4-3 and look like serious contenders for the division lead. The Panthers totally destroyed the poor Toronto Maple Leafs in an 8-0 blowout, and the Lightning managed to beat the St. Louis Blues.
The team we play this Thursday, the Vancouver Canucks, lost in a shootout to the Dallas Stars last night. They and us are both positioned at number 9 in the Western and Eastern Conference charts, respectively, so Thursday's game could admit either them or us to the playoff-eligible Top 8. The Canucks are one of my favorite teams, but the Thrashers are my Favorite Team, so GO BOYS GO!
Also: did anyone see clips from the Calgary Flames-Phoenix Coyotes game last night? It looked like an EXCELLENT game: a hat trick by Peter Mueller put the Coyotes in the lead, then Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf staged a blistering comeback in the 3rd period, culminating in a quality punch-up between Iginla and one of the Coyotes (I'm ashamed to say I can't remember which one). Iggy earned a Gordie Howe hat trick. Quality. My heart is really with Mueller and the Great One and the Coyotes, but I love the Flames too.
Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins lost to the Buffalo Sabres and (this is the one that makes me giddy) the New York Rangers were overtaken by down-on-their-luck L.A. Kings. If that isn't justice I don't know what is.
Alright everyone, all together now: "Oh! The good old hockey gaaaaaame, is the best game you can name. The best game you can naaaaaame..."