Around the League: Atlanta Thrashers

In the spirit of beginning a break from my coursework, I debut a new feature of the blog.  “Around the League” will be an approximately weekly feature which will take an in depth look at another NHL team and examine how their season is progressing.  It’s good to stay informed about the opposition folks, so enjoy reading a bit about the rest of the NHL…

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Atlanta Thrashers 2009-2010


Thrashers Blog to Read: Bird Watchers Anonymous

Relative Predicted Finish: 14th in the West.  Last in the Southeast division.

Current Standings: 20GP. 10-7-3.  23pts.  3rd in the Southeast.

Top Performers:

  1. Ilya Kovalchuk – 14GP.  13G-8A-21Pts
  2. Rich Peverley – 20GP.  8G-16A-24Pts
  3. Maxim Afinogenov – 20GP.  9G-11A-20Pts

Calder Candidate? (Top Rookie on the Team…):

Evander Kane – 20GP.  7G-5A-12Pts  18 years old.

Surprise Player:

Ondrej Pavelec (Goaltender)  14GS.  6-5-3.  2.96 GAA.  .917 SV%.

Disappointment:

Colby Armstrong (D) – 40Pts in 2008-2009.  6Pts so far this season.  On pace for 25Pts.

Biggest Trade or Contract Rumor:

Ilya Kovalchuk is so itsy-bitsy close to signing a contract extension.  Rumor has it that the length could be 10+ years at around $9 million a year.  He’s good, but better than Malkin good?  I guess that is what you pay for a guy when you want him to stay in Hotlanta and not be lured to a bigger hockey market.

Outlook for the Rest of the Season:

If Pavelec keeps up steady play in net and the defense plays consistently, the Thrashers have a definite shot at a playoff spot.  Beyond that they need more time and more development of their youth.  This is a young team with a lot of building blocks and an absolute world-class talent, thus they can be dangerous at any time.  There are still too many holes and inconsistencies due to inexperience and lack of depth to be a serious playoff threat.

My Predicted Finish:

The Thrashers are likely to fade over the season due to their streaky play.  I just don’t see them being able to ride Pavelec the whole time to an above .500 record.  Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian are going to hit a bit of a wall as well as the season progresses.  They’ve had a heavy workload, and if that keeps up, production will drop.  Therefore,

I predict the Atlanta Thrashers will finish 39-34-9  87Pts.  10th in the East.

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