||7:00 pm ET / 5:00 pm MT
|| Atlanta Thrashers
|28-31-1||February 24, 2009
| 57 points
15th in the West
14th in the East
The Avalanche, for a change, are actually facing a team lower than them in the overall standings. The Thrashers have a potent offense, led by guys like Ilya Kovulchuk and Bryan Little. Fortunately, they seem to stink defensively and are allowing 3.5 goals per game. The previous sentence, of course, is meant to foreshadow Keri Lehtonen's imminent shutout this evening.
The big news, of course, is the expected return of Paul Stastny after a 26-game break (longest Christmas vacation. EVER). On Sunday, Peter McNab suggested the top two lines may be McLeod, Stastny, Hejduk & Smyth, Wolksi, Svatos. That, with the substitution of Stewart for McLeod, is how I pegged it a while back, so those lines certainly make sense to me. I have to say, you can criticize Tony Granato for a number of things (special teams especially), but he generally has done a good job with the way he's handled his lines. He needs to get Chris Stewart off that 4th line, though.
In a weird quirk of the schedule, the Thrashers will be in Denver two weeks from today to take on the Avs. If the game is as physical as they were on Sunday, there's an opportunity to generate a little bad blood between the two teams. Then again, half of these guys could be on new teams by then...
|2008 - Peter Budaj||42||2440||16||23||1||4||120||2.95||1171||1051||.898||1|
|2008 - Kari Lehtonen||33||1883||11||18||3||4||99||3.15||1075||976||.908||1|
Tale of the Tape