Sunday, January 24, 2010
Spurred on by another *fascinating* thread over at the official Thrashers boards, which are quickly becoming a bastion of humorless pessimism (and before anyone says anything, I might be a pessimist, but I HAVE HUMOR, dammit)... well, are the Thrashers non playoff bound? We are out of the playoff picture right now, but at the same time, we're 3 points out and the there are 30 games left to go.
Some are saying yes, we're DEAD. The teams who want to make the playoffs are going on these unreal runs, so on and so forth. So, well, does that mean Boston's dead? Their season's done!!
Oh, and Pittsburgh's? Yeah, those Cup Champions are so far out of it after their earlier season losing streak.
Wait, what, no?
Yeah, well, we're gonna wind up like last season!
Slight difference between this year and last - last year we were absolutely abysmal, and even with the run at the end of the season we wound up with a 35-41-6 record for 76 points. That's only 24 more than we have this season. To finish as badly as we did last season, we'd have to only win 12 or our remaining 30 games. I really don't see a massive falling apart like that happening (again).
Also, at the end of the season we were almost 20 points out of a playoff spot. That's a heck of a lot more than 3. Let stuff play out the way it plays out. Barring a massive uber meltdown (possibility, but not a strong one), we still wind up with a better record than last season, which after the past 2 years is a step in the right direction.
This season's 11 for 30 stretch was awful, yes.
Actually, I consider it a bigger than a failure - it's a massive embarrassment. There has been absolutely no excuse for this. The thing is though, a good bit of those wins have been coming recently, signaling (to me, at least) some sort of awareness that something is wrong and some attempt to try to adjust by the players (coach is a totally different hill of beans). I really feel that losing 18 of our next 30 games is going to be distinctly harder considering it seems like some players are starting to understand those swift kicks to the ass. And, at the deadline, if we are able to unload some of the dead weight such as Armstrong (who people want for some weird reason), things could improve.
There is also the unknown quantity of Kari returning and Pavelec (presumably) returning to the Wolves. Once Lehtonen shakes the rust off, we'll be able to better see what he'll bring to the table.
That is a good point about taking sarcasmo at face value, and I admit that I did do that. The way that the East is shaping up, the Thrashers are more than capable of getting into the playoffs with an absolutely underwhelming point total, and that's what I think people are missing - they're putting too much stock in the "must have 90 points!" thing. THE EAST IS AVERAGE. And that's me being generous. If given a choice between watching a Western Conference game and an Eastern Conference game, I will choose the West every time. Partially because that's the hockey I was raised on, but at least there's some real competition out there and the games are fun. Eastern hockey is starting to bore the ever loving hell out of me.
With the absolutely awful nature of the East, the Thrashers could probably *go* 12-18 and make the playoffs. I know that's hyperbole, but it's not far off.
Maybe I was spoiled by last season's amazing run of the Blues, but if you want proof that anything's possible - look at them. Way far worse at this point of the year than the Thrashers are now, and whammo - 6th in the West. Yes, it was an over achievement - as we're apparently seeing this season - but at the same time, anything's possible.
Calm the holy hell down, Thrashers fans. Get your knickers all in a twist if we miss the playoffs. Yell at players who are coasting, like White, Armstrong, and Hainsey. Bitch at the training staff who can't tell when a player is hurt. Throw things at Anderson for fudging around with the lines and insisting that Armstrong belongs on the powerplay.
But so far, even though there are some issues, there are quite a few bright spots too.
Posted by Laura (aka Hildymac) at Sunday, January 24, 2010