Tonight the Atlanta Thrashers visit the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC for a southeast division meeting with the Carolina Hurricanes. Defensemen Dustin Byfuglien will forever remember the All Star experience just a week ago in Raleigh, but tonight it’s back to reality. It’s time for the Atlanta Thrashers to find their way back to the win column.
From the start of 2011, the Atlanta Thrashers have four wins in 13 games played. Two out of the four wins needed extra time to grab the two points. All four wins were separated by a single goal. These wins haven’t come easy, and by no means are things going to get any easier for this hockey club.
While the injuries have certainly created a musical chairs effect on Injured Reserve, it’s hardly the reason for the Thrashers failures to put together a successful stretch of games. Strong efforts are there, but it’s the inability to hold onto leads, and make the little plays necessary to increase your chances of winning a hockey game on a nightly basis. Players have faltered by not clearing pucks, which have eventually led to the opposition finding the back of the net.
Head Coach Craig Ramsey is adamant about dumping pucks if there isn’t a single option left. It’s attention to detail that has been preached since day one of training camp. It’s simple plays that are simply not being executed.
Again, the effort is there, but the individual efforts have to better. The Thrashers had success early on in the season, finding ways to play a 60 minute hockey game and put the clamp down on two points. It needs to start happening again in order for the Thrashers to stick around in the big picture. With the Carolina Hurricanes just one point behind Atlanta in the eastern conference standings, a sense of urgency is in full effect.
Atlanta Thrashers Notebook
As the NHL trade deadline nears, General Manager Rick Dudley has informed his hockey club that he is looking to add pieces to the puzzle. Preferably a few forwards and a defensemen. Current Thrasher players jobs could very well be on the line, especially with the play as of late. Dudley voiced his displeasure regarding the last handful of games and made it clear that a shake up of some sort will happen.
Defensemen Tobias Enstrom has been placed on injured reserve, retroactive to January 22nd. A broken finger sidelined him in what would have been his first NHL All Star appearance.
Defensemen Arturs Kulda has been recalled from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.
Goaltender Drew MacIntyre has been returned to the Wolves due to Chris Mason being activated from Injured Reserve.
Dustin Byfuglien scored a first period goal in the All Star game, set up by former teammates Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith.