Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back up within 1.

Pavs had 44 saves tonight as the Thrashers swept the season series against the Flyers with a 3-1 lead. In the previous 9 years, the Thrashers had beaten the Flyers four times. If you want proof positive that this year we might just be able to make a run, sweeping a team that has been a thorn in our side for every season we've been around might be a great place to start.

Goals from Hainsey, White (!), and Peverley (20th on the season, giving the Thrashers four 20 goal scorers) sealed the deal against the Flyers, who started Boucher for the second night in a row. I know that they didn't have much of a choice as to what to do in goal, but good lord. If they expect to win a playoff series, um... well, if they expected to win one they should have picked up a goalie at the trade deadline. Oh well.

The Thrashers are riding a four game win streak and in the past five games have gotten 9 out of 10 possible points. Instead of wondering if we can squeak into 8th (which a win Tuesday will get us, at least for that night), let's look at all of the teams around us in general. How high can we go?

The 10th place Rangers are 3-5-2 over their past 10 and are on a 3 game losing streak. The Bruins, who sit in 8th by a point, won today at home for the first time since the Winter Classic. In the last 10 games they are 5-4-1, but most of those losses have happened really recently - and if you watched today's game, you could see how flat and listless both teams are. No energy and no intensity. It's like Matt Cooke took out the whole team, not just Savard.

In 7th we have the Habs, who are 7-2-1, are probably the only other team in the bottom 4 of the playoff teams who actually playing serviceable hockey, and have a very strong chance of overtaking the next two teams for 5th.

The 6th place Flyers, well, they've just lost two in a row to us, so there's that. They have no starting goaltending at all, and the team takes stupid penalties and manages to play both cheap and listless all at once when behind the 8 Ball. They're 4-4-2 in their last 10.

The Sens? How in God's name are they still in 5th place? They're 2-7-1 in their last 10 games and are on a 5 game losing streak. If any team is poised for a free fall, well - poised can be halfway in one, right?

Look, I'm not delusional. It's going to be hard work for the Thrashers to maintain a playoff spot. We can, though, take advantage of the slipping of the teams ahead of us. We can ride this momentum from the season sweep of the Flyers. There will be a few games that we won't win in the next 10, and that's fine. But as long as we don't go on any kind of extended losing streak, those next games should be enough to push us over the hump.

Looks like the playoff deposit that I put down might actually go to good use.


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