“The Spoiler: Version 2″? Well, we’ll have to wait and see. One thing is for sure. The New York Rangers will be watching this one as they pray for a Carolina loss. The Rangers’ playoff hopes were damaged last night as they were shut out by your Atlanta Thrashers. While they are still two points ahead of the Canes in the playoff hunt, they have played one more game than Carolina, leaving only one more game during the regular season. All of New York is on our side right now and I believe have forgiven us for last night’s beating.The Thrashers, while playing hard against the Canes this season, haven’t had such luck against them. Thus far, they are currently 1-1-3 against the opposition. There’s no doubt these guys are on their toes, doing everything they can to make the playoffs, but don’t expect Atlanta to take them lightly. Yes, they are eliminated from playoff contention, but can’t just back down. It’s the NHL. You have to prove why you’re in this elite league. A win is still a win, even if it no longer makes a difference in the standings. The Thrashers have been putting top-tier teams to shame a lot this year and, hopefully, they can do the same tonight.
The top line of the Thrashers offense has been incredible as of late. Wheeler’s two goals in Nashville and Ladd’s nice back-hander last night are just a couple examples. Andrew Ladd has been on fire in his first year as a Thrasher, and captain. With two games remaining, Ladd leads the team with 28 goals and 29 assists, equaling 57 points. He’s a great, young, offensive machine who really puts a boost in this team and I hope he’s here for years to come.
Ondrej Pavelec looks like he’ll get the start tonight against the Canes and no one looked better than he did last night. With 29 saves, Ondrej earned his 4th shutout, and a much needed one at that. It’s obvious he has slipped tremendously in the second half of this season and it’s great to see him gain some of his composure back. He’s another young piece of this team and still has a lot to learn. Hopefully he can learn all of these things and become a centerpiece of this franchise. He’ll have quite a bit of work in front of him tonight as he faces the hungry Canes.
Carolina is on a roll of late, going 7-2-1 in their last ten games. Desperation is no word to describe what they’re going through.Their fighting hearts out, trying to reach the post season. Although, they’re still behind New York by two points, it seems as if they have the upper hand. They have the ability to add four points before the end of the season, whereas the Rangers can only gain two. They have an amazing leader in Eric Staal, who has tallied 33 goals and 42 assists this season. Their captain, along with outstanding goaltending from Cam Ward, has carried this team as of late and hope the combination can carry this game farther than just the next two games.
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