Thursday, October 18, 2007

First game of a new era

The Thrashers beat nemesis NY Rangers 5-3, in Game 1 A.H. (After Hartley).

The players definitely seemed to have an extra spring in their step and were skating hard. All three Ranger goals were scored on the power play, so staying out of the box would go a long way towards cutting down the goals against.

Kari Lehtonen left the game with a groin strain, which should bring up rookie Ondrej Pavelec. The Thrashers are probably really interested to see what they have with Pavelec, and give him a shot when the time is right. But with the team playing every other night for the next few weeks, there are no back to backs, so Moose could play every game if he needed to.

There was a big scare with Tobias Enstrom in the second period, who fell awkwardly into the boards on his knees, hitting face-first after a cross check. He bounces back from everything though, and returned later none the worse for wear. He's still playing on the top pairing with Nic Havelid.

The Haydar - Little - Sterling line continued to click and got a bit more ice time. Sterling had a couple chances and drew at least one penalty, but he has yet to get on the board. He and Haydar certainly know where each other is going to be, which goes a long way. Little scored his second goal, off a nice pass from Haydar. With Todd White leaving the game, no forward needs to worry about being sent down just yet.

In the "they said it" file, comes this from the Denver Post All Things Avs blog by beat writer Adrian Dater:

-In other news, sorry to see Bob Hartley go in Atlanta. But an 0-6 will do that. There were whispers that the team just totally quit on Hartley, because of his overbearing ways.

Some teams need a kick in the posterior from a coach, and some need a backrub. The Thrashers apparently were tired of all the butt-kicking by Hartley. He has always been a demanding coach, and it can wear thin on players. It happened toward the end in Colorado, too.

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