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The opportunities were there last night. You could feel them in the air like the the sudden burst of optimism that comes with melting ice. Over 15,000 in attendance last night despite the weather conditions. Unfortunately, the Atlanta Thrashers just didn’t have enough to take the Philadelphia Flyers through the end. In saying that, though, we at least came out and played. And that is a big step right now.
For a team that has had its share of second period scares, tonight the Thrashers attacked, got bitten, fought back and really controlled a lot of the second period. If we had been able to carry that battle through the third, I believe we would have had a strong change to win this one.
In the end, we just didn’t have what it took against an incredibly strong team.
Key things I noted in the game:
The Atlanta Thrashers only had 3 penalties tonight, however, the “Too Many Men,” and “Interference” were such unnecessary penalties that luckily did not result in any goals.
The good news is that, with the 3 penalties that were called, the Atlanta Thrashers were able to capitalize on the power play for one goal, quite a re-assurance for a team that has been struggling in the PP.
We need Slater back. Our Greek God line is suffering and you can still see it on the ice. It is really starting to seem to me like, whichever line is stuck with Antropov is a line that is hurting. Hate to say it, but show me something that proves otherwise.
Burmistrov, again it seems he is just not being utilized to his fullest. The set up of his line, with Machacek and Cormier naturally made them the weakest line on the ice. Against the Philadelphia Flyers, we can’t have a weak line on the ice.
Kane, Little and Stewart. It was awesome to have Evander Kane back on the ice for this game. But…I am starting to have an issue with the line. I get it that Kane and Little are working on chemistry, but truly, the two of them are too overpowering on one line together.
Split onto two lines, these two could help establish the strength necessary with the younger players. I would love to see what Machacek could do with Kaner on his line. Do a Kane – Burmi - Machacek line and a Cormier - Little – Stewart line. That spreads the strength a little.
What went well:
Ladd - Peverley – Bergfors – beautiful line. This line alone makes each game exciting to watch. All three gaining more points tonight and Bergfors was the only Atlanta Thrasher in the 3 stars of the night. This line really works.
In all honesty, our entire defense was on point tonight. Tobias Enstrom mentioned during the game that Coach likes to have the defense in the game. I think that are missing a key factor in this, while our defense is getting up there and taking the shots, truly making everyone part of the scoring, we need to focus on an offensive player (or line) up there at the net waiting for that rebound.
Going into last night’s game, the key for the Atlanta Thrashers was to concentrate on those rebounds with Sergei Bobrovsky, but too often, we just weren’t there.
It was refreshing to watch, when Andrew Ladd’s goal was immediately met, not by one, but by two goals within 1 minute, that the Thrashers were able to keep themselves together and end the second period tied at 2.
In the final half of the third period, we lost it. The Flyers were all over Pavelec. The Thrashers could not get the puck out long enough for any relief. Unfortunately, what the game came down to was who could last the longest. In a game that ultimately, needed to be a win for the Atlanta Thrashers, with both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals walking away with a loss, we wore out first.
We played with heart and courage, again. The Flyers devour that for their snack.
We need to play with confidence and stamina if we want to win it.
For the Philadelphia Flyers take on their victory, check out Broad Street Buzz – The Philadelphia Flyers
For broader coverage of the NHL – Too Many Men on the Site