Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thrashers on thin ice

Yes, I know, an original metaphor.

As I'm sure you readers know, my beloved Atlanta Thrashers have been having a rough time of it lately. After beating Sidney Crosby and his horde of Penguins in overtime, and after the rapturous win against Detroit, we seemed to fall flat on our face. We took the Montreal Canadiens to overtime, sure, and we really should have beaten them (especially since we've beaten them in overtime everytime we've faced them this season), but, well, we didn't. I won't even talk about the game against Buffalo.

The loss to this year's mediocre Edmonton Oilers illustrates exactly what the Thrashers' general problem is: they get lazy and sloppy when they play a mediocre team that they don't respect. When playing against good teams like the Pitssburgh, Montreal, or Ottawa they have plenty of fight in them, the game against Detroit saw them at their most brilliant. That's what drives me crazy about the Thrashers: they're not just another win-some, lose-some mediocre team like so many in the NHL (the Rangers, the Bruins, the Oilers, etc.); they have the potential to be the great team they were in Detroit but don't put enough work or precision into their games to have steady winning streaks. Nothing I'm saying here is that original, obviously, but so it goes.

That said, we have to win against the New York Rangers tonight. I think it's perfectly possible: the Thrashers are frustrated and desperately want to win anyway, but they feel they have something to prove against the Rangers after they swept them from the playoffs last year. In the Garden, to boot. Perhaps tonight and Thursday the Thrash will have their revenge.

It would be awfully nice to slide into the All-Star weekend with two wins in a row, wouldn't it?

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