Tonight the Atlanta Thrashers hit the ice at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for a matchup with the Atlantic Division New York Islanders. After a four day break, the Thrashers will look to get back to their winning ways as time is officially running out in the 2010-11 campaign.
The Thrashers are currently sitting in 11th place in the eastern conference, nine points shy of the 8th and final playoff spot. A 2-0 shutout for Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens made things slightly more difficult for Atlanta.
The point differential however, means nothing to the Atlanta Thrashers if they fail to play a 60 minute hockey game. It’s happened plenty of times this season, but those games are in the past. Tonight’s game is in front of this talented and yound squad and the opportunity is there to keep their post-season hopes alive.
Playing a full 60 minute hockey game will have it’s ups and downs. There have been times where the Thrashers get behind the 8-ball and know exactly what needs to be done to fix that. Mentally though, that concept disappears and has this hockey squad on the outside looking in costing them a significant amount of points. They have to bring that under control.
“We have to control the mental side so we are not affected by something bad that happens. We don’t regroup as fast as we need to but there are times, against some of the top clubs, that we do regroup a little bit quicker because of the focus that we’ve got in those games. In some of the games, we feel sorry for ourselves a little bit. We can’t do that. We have to go play our game and force teams to play our game. When we do that, that’s when we generate chances and we are fun to watch,” Head Coach Craig Ramsey said yesterday.
A mental collapse in the Buffalo game last Saturday night is a perfect example of what must be avoided from here on out.
“We’ve known for quite awhile that we had to run the table. That’s what was so disappointing in Buffalo. We expected a big game and didn’t get it. We have to focus on each individual game,” Ramsey said.
Quite a few days from the disastrous loss in Buffalo to regroup. The Thrashers simply have no other choice but to do just that.
Forward Rob Schremp makes his Long Island return tonight.
“It should be fun. I was just there a month ago. There will be a lot of energy going into the game. They had my rights and they put me on waivers. It’s a chance to go back and play against them and prove what I can do at the NHL level.