Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wait........What Got Into Atlanta?

The Atlanta Thrashers have certainly had an eventful week. They have won three games over that time, including shutouts against the Canadiens and the Avalanche.

There were also several articles of note about the Thrashers that fans should be made aware of.

With that goal in mind, here we go with this week in Thrashers.

Friday 3/6

In front of nearly 15,000 people at Phillips Arena, Atlanta shut out the Montreal Canadiens 2-0. Bryan Little scored early in the first period, and that was enough for goalie Kari Lehtonen.

Kari saved all 25 shots Montreal fired at him in earning the shutout. He looked very calm and comfortable in goal.

Ilya Kovalchuk assisted on the first goal of the game, and also assisted on the empty net tally by Rich Peverley that iced the game for the Thrashers.

The three stars of the game were Ron Hainsey (1 A), Ilya Kovalchuk (2 A), and Kari Lehtonen (25 saves).

It was a game loaded with penalties, with the Thrashers taking a total of 56 PIM, and the Canadiens took 42 PIM.

Sunday 3/8

The Thrashers continued their winning ways at Phillips Arena, beating the Calgary Flames 5-2 and playing well once again.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored a goal and added an assist, and Bryan Little scored two goals in the victory. Kari Lehtonen also made 27 saves in the game.

New Flames acquisition Olli Jokinen managed a pitiful minus-three in the game, and Jordan Leopold, another trade deadline acquisition, also managed a minus-three and had one shot in 23 minutes of ice time.

Calgary captain Jarome Iginla had some complimentary words for the Thrashers after the contest.

"Determination has to be from the start," Iginla said. "The Thrashers were hungry tonight, and we were not competitive enough to create enough chances."

It was a splendid game all around for Atlanta, and the team continued its hot play of late in a big way, in a victory Bryan Little said was "for the fans."

The three stars of the game were Bryan Little (2 G), Tobias Enstrom (1 G), and Ilya Kovalchuk (1 G, 1 A).

Tuesday 3/10

In a game that was eerily similar to the game they played on Friday against the Canadiens, the Thrashers came out, played stiff defense, and shut out the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

The game was 0-0 for the first 38 minutes of the contest, until Zach Bogosian scored off of great passing from Kovalchuk and Bryan Little to make it 1-0. Then, less than two minutes later, Todd White struck gold on the power play and the Thrashers went into the break with a 2-0 lead and a tidal wave of momentum that overcame any resistance the Avalanche could put up.

With Colorado coming off a huge win against the Blackhawks on Sunday, there was a definite letdown in the way they played the game, and Atlanta took advantage by continuing their solid play up the middle and their ability to generate offense quickly.

Rich Peverley further cemented the similarities between this game and the Montreal game by adding an empty net goal to complete the festivities and send the Avs faithful home cursing existence once again.

Kari Lehtonen stopped all 35 shots he faced in getting his second shutout in three games.

The three stars of the game were Ilya Kovalchuk (2 A), Zach Bogosian (1 G), and Kari Lehtonen (35 Saves).

Articles to Check Out

-The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article talking about what has caused this new-found skill and zeal for playing. It is an interesting piece and worth your attention.

-Here is a Q and A with Bruce Levinson, a co-owner of the Thrashers who represents the team to the NHL Board of Governors, in which he praises coach John Anderson and provides some insight into how the team is run. You can check it out here.

-The Thrashers' next game is tonight against the Edmonton Oilers at 9:30pm EDT. The game can be seen on Sports South, and the recap can be found here afterwards. Good night (or I guess I should say good morning) Blueland!

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