Anderson Puts Onus on Players
Do you know what I liked about John Anderson’s post-game press conference last night? He didn’t make any excuses for his team. They played poorly and he said so. When someone gave him an out and asked if three games in four nights tired the team out he pointed out that Tampa had done the same thing, and all three of their games were on the road, including one on the other side of the country in Anaheim.
The Thrashers simply didn’t play well last night and it’s on the players to step up and take control early in games instead of waiting until the third period to play like the game matters. If they keep up this habit of coasting through 20 or even 40 minutes and falling behind Ondrej Pavelec is probably going to snap. He was pretty blunt in his comments after the game last night, and it’s hard to fault him for it.
“It’s the same story, same song,” he said. “Again we come back in the third and start to play in the third. I don’t know. every game again it’s the same thing every game. In the NHL if you play only 20 minutes, or say 10 minutes, it’s not enough. We just lose the point like that. Our division is pretty tight and it’s going to be a fight. I think they deserved two points. They wanted two points more than us.”
Phil Foley from The Examiner does a good job breaking down the game and what it really comes down to is this- the Thrashers are dominant when they have a lead and not playoff worthy when they trail.
If you didn’t make it to the game you can see the highlights via the TSN web site.
The good news is that the Thrashers are still within a point of a playoff position with 62 games left on the schedule. By no means is it time to panic, but it is time to right the ship and get the team on track. They have to play more aggressively in the first 20 minutes and impose their will on the opposition. Very few teams in this league can match the firepower of this roster, and when they score early and play with confidence they’re a very intimidating opponent. It’s time to take advantage of that.
On a side note, there were scouts from seven NHL teams listed on the press box seating chart last night, which is fairly unusual. One or two is normal, and three or four don’t raise eyebrows. Seven make you take notice and start to wonder.