(updated not once but twice below!)
- We can win games without Ilya Kovalchuk, but it's impossible to win without Ron Hainsey.
- You know, it's funny. Before this season I'd always disliked Sidney Crosby but I'd never hated the Penguins. This season has made me hate them: every game the Thrashers play against them ends with me feeling furious towards some Penguins player or other.
- Which brings me to Matt Cooke's savage hit on Zach Bogosian. And I don't mean "savage" in the sports commentator sense of "bitchin'" or "whoa." It was savage as in "barbaric," "malicious," etc. If you happen to run into Matt Cooke, remember to tie him to the front wheel of a steamroller. It's the only honorable thing to do.
- Do we have any defensemen left? If we lose Hainsey, Bogosian, and Valabik that leaves us with...what, exactly? Toby Enstrom and a bunch of Wolves?
- I think it's safe to say that Johan Hedberg's best days are behind him. Maybe there was no way he could've avoided the 6 goals against him...maybe it had more to do with playing a Hainseyless game. Who knows? He is totally Moose, though.
- I didn't mind losing, really. The Thrash had to lose a game at some point...I'm just slightly miffed at how a Pens player is allowed to get away with wrecking a future superstar while his team is fêted by the media as Awesomest Thing of All Time because Evgeni Malkin had 5 points or whatever. Did I mention that I hate the Penguins?
UPDATE: More on Cooke's assasination attempt. Rawhide writes, "for some odd reason, when it comes to hits on Thrashers by Penguins, the league has a habit of simply looking the other way." Indeed. Ruutu's hit on Kovalchuk, Letang's near-murder of Todd White earlier this season, now this.
One final note: Last night Cooke also demolished Slava Kozlov WHILE HE WAS SKATING TO THE BENCH. Very brave, that. Put a hit on one of the least physical players in NHL history then skate as fast as you can to the bench to avoid reprisal. The Thrashers tough guys deserve some blame for this as well, of course. Boulton, Thorburn, Exelby, Valabik etc. don't punish opposing teams for this kind of thing, so players feel they can get away with it.
UPDATE II: If you're interested in a forensic examination of Cooke's hit on Bogosian, and a comparison between it and a hard but clean hit on another Thrashers player earlier this year, head over to Blueland Outsider. It's much better analysis than "ZOMG it's hockey go cry pussyhat" or, from our angle, "Someone please kill Matt Cooke."