Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Consider Our Roster


The Thrashers sent Ondrej Pavelec back to Chicago in what Johan Hedberg had made a predictable move with his play in the third period at Buffalo and throughout the game at Carolina. Hedberg proved himself capable of still being a quality NHL goalie, and if the plan is to have Kari Lehtonen as the No. 1 it makes sense to have Pavelec in Chicago where he can play.

That leaves the Thrashers with 20 healthy players pending the returns of Mathieu Schneider (sooner) and Zach Bogosian (later). There’s no need to rush to bring up spares, based on the the schedule for the next couple of weeks: Three home games, one road game, no back-to-backs and the road game is in Philadelphia, which is very easily accessible should the Thrashers need a last-minute call-up.

The next time the Thrashers might want an extra forward around is Nov. 25 and 26, when they play at Toronto and Washington back-to-back, with a Nov. 28 home game making it three games in four days. Might Brett Sterling be back for that, or Mike Hoffman, who should be ready to fight by then? How about Hoffman vs. Donald Brashear?

I suppose this is the best course of action for now. Kari is our #1 guy, and Moose has proven he's still a capable back-up. Obviously, if things fall apart again we can make a move via trade. For right now, though, things look good.

Some people in the comments section over at the AJC have raised the question of whether the Thrashers should bring in Brett Sterling to play semi-permanently on the fourth line. This would send Eric Boulton to Chicago, I reckon. I can understand the argument, as Sterling would give our fourth line some scoring punch and perhaps generate even more energy, which is exactly what a fourth line should do. Sterling and Slater seemed to play well together in the game against Detroit.

The problem with this, though, is that our fourth line has actually been playing quite well in the last few games. They're doing what they're meant to do, namely keeping the other team pinned down in their own zone. And you can't say that Eric Boulton doesn't generate energy. Yes, the man's a penalty machine, but he fights! Fighting creates energy.

In a press conference a few weeks ago John Anderson told journalists that he wanted goals from the top two lines, goals and the prevention of goals from the third line, and energy from the fourth line. In the last four games, especially in the last two, each line has done exactly what it was supposed to do. If the Party Line (the new unofficial name for our third line) can keep scoring goals, the Thrashers will only get better. Even without the goals, the line wins shifts like nobody's business and prevents the opponent from scoring.

And like I said, the fourth line does what it's supposed to do. Unless something goes drastically wrong I don't think we should tinker with the line-up. It appears that that elusive thing, chemistry, might be setting in.


FrenchCatalogues said...

Non Hockey Comment- On my way to class, there is CSI scene. In Woodruff Park some dude stabbed a cop and another cop was there and shot the guy. Crazy.

Mortimer Peacock said...

Holy shit.

Razor Catch Prey said...

Way to go 2nd Cop. Hope the first one is ok.