A nice win last night. The Thrashers outshot the Ducks until the end of the third period, when Anaheim passed them by one shot. Boris played well enough to earn a 3rd Star, we got scoring from someone not named Ilya, and Moose played brilliantly. We still gave up a TON of scoring chances, however. Despite having good size on the blueline, the Thrashers are not nearly physical enough in our own end. The Ducks had guys flying around the offensive zone with impunity and it was only Hedberg's ability to stop second and third chances that kept Atlanta in this game.
Despite playing fairly solidly throughout the game, I couldn't shake the feeling that Atlanta would blow the lead until the final horn sounded. And sure enough, Getzlaf hit the post with less than a second to go. An inch saved the 2 points.
That being said, the Thrashers are still in 11th place in the East. However, they are only ONE POINT behind sixth place Philly. The Flyers, Rangers, Panthers, and Habs are all tied with 55 points. The Thrashers sit behind that group with 54.
The Flyers' inconsistency (and as always, laughable goaltending), Rangers anemic scoring, Panthers injuries, and Habs iffy netminding make for a lot of hope that Atlanta can pass them all in the coming weeks.
Atlanta will have to get consistent goaltending like they had in October and November. I think that means making Moose the number one and playing him until he gets tired. Ondrej hasn't been giant. He's been streaky. Moose didn't play well during the 9 game skid last month either, but overall he has been much more consistent. Play Moose and give Kari a shot to win his job back after his conditioning stint in Chicago.
But so much depends on Kovy. Will he play for Atlanta past March 3? If not, can anyone step up to replace what has been lost? If he's gone and the team still makes a heroic run to the playoffs, will people come watch them play?