And the Thrashers started beating good teams that were competing for playoff spots and finished an impressive 17-10-1 for 35 points over their last 28 games. (Over a full season that projects to 102.5 points, which would give Atlanta one of the best records in the NHL.)
The big question is whether that success was illusory or not. A core of good young players – forwards Bryan Little, Colby Armstrong, defensemen Zach Bogosian, Toby Enstrom and goalie Kari Lehtonen – showed itself, giving fans some hope. But much of that success seemed to begin and end with the team’s star, Ilya Kovalchuk.
Point blank: we need him. Get this done, Don.