Winning ugly is still winning. The last half of this one looked like a cougar on a one-legged rabbit. Fortunately off of a few fortunate bounces tonight the Jackets escape Atlanta with a 4-3 win. This is probably the best I've ever seen the Thrashers. With Kovalchuk out of the lineup up they still played a strong game on the strength of their blueline which is very good.
On the Jackets side of things the first period was awesome. It is exactly what you would want out of a road period. The kids Voracek and Brassard earned the tallies. The Thrashers came back strong after each deficit. Fortunately two tap in goals off the stick of Cy Young candidate Raffi Torres (he's 8-1) this year.
The 3rd Period prevent defense must come to a stop. Simply waiting for the other team to get scoring chances is not good hockey. It will lose more often than not and we need to figure out how to close out games. The consistency of this problem makes me take a look at the coaching side of things. I'll wait a bit before I throw a tantrum, but it might be coming soon. This was the second leg to a back to back, which does suck out the energy, but still, it's a consistent problem.
The Jan Hejda horse was completely ridden tonight. He seemed to be on the ice all night. Much of that was due to us taking many penalties. He'll probably feel it after this one, he'll get back to game shape quickly.
Voracek continues his great play. Don't look now but he has 12 points in 15 games. He's going to leave his rookie year in the dust. Imagine what kind of player he will be in two years. He could be better than Nash... yikes.
I liked what Derek MacKenzie brought to the table tonight. I liked him more than Blunden and Murray. I wouldn't be opposed to giving him a real shot as our 4th line center. His speed and defense is pretty nice. He made a great play on a turnover tonight that turned into Raffi's first tap in.
The disappearing act of the offense in the final two periods is concerning.
The Mancrush tonight is Mathieu Garon. He made the saves he needed to. I thought the Kubina PP goal was soft, but his overall play tonight was good enough to win. Great work on his part tonight.
The Whipping Boys are the forwards who took 5 minor penalties tonight. In back to back nights we were short on powerplay chances. This means to me that we aren't working hard enough in the offensive zone. A lot of the penalties that we took tonight were of the weaker variety. We need to be working.
It wasn't long ago, that a second game of a back to back was a gift if a point was earned. Times have changed. It wasn't a great 60 minute effort tonight, but we escape with the win.
Comments, Thoughts? Fire Away!