Missed the Blues game (thankfully - Avs swept the season series, and we're now in 11th), but I am very glad that I braved the Buffalo Sabres fans in Philips for tonight's game. Ryan Miller was given a couple of really nice ovations for his work in the Olympics, and one really big one for when we chased him from the net. Yes, 3 goals on 5 shots is not exactly a good night for Miller. I'm ok with it.
The Thrashers played an offensively solid game tonight, complete with some good hitting by Bogosian and Slater, but their power play more often than not looked like they were on the penalty kill. A 33% FO win percentage is not how you get shots, and they really really didn't get many shots. They did allow a power play goal for the 10th game in a row to Buffalo, so yes, both of the special teams are still less than special.
Antropov, Little, Afinogenov, and Slater were your goal scorers for the evening, and the current #1 line du jour of Bergfors-Antropov-Afinogenov needs to stay put. Splitting Antro and Max was not something that I would consider a good decision seeing the chemistry they had the beginning of the season, so I'm glad to see them back together. Bergfors steps into the Kovalchuk "role" on that line, and outperforms Kovy (as I judge it - Bergie's a rookie and Kovy's a vet, same output). Bergfors had three assists tonight and 2 SOG, and was named the first star of the game.
Since the trade, Bergie's been good for six goals, five assists, and fifty SOG. The Tampa loss from the other week? He had 6 SOG in that game. He's absolutely replaced Kovy by himself. To compare, Kovalchuk has 57 SOG, 5 goals, and 7 assists.
Hey, Devils fans - anyone know Lou's preference on fruit? Cheese? Wine? I need to make him a gift basket and get him a swell "thank you" card for the game on the 6th. I'm starting to think that Waddell kind of fleeced him. Think about it - they got a rental who has basically the same output as a rookie that they traded away, plus they lost a good 2nd pairing defenseman and a top prospect (and a 1st rounder). They traded like for like, but they traded away a lot of excess with their like for our like.
Worst sentence I've ever written, but you catch my drift. Bergie's #2 in rookie scoring with 38 points, and 2nd in rookie goals scored with 19. Kid's a keeper. He's a great addition to the club.