After dispatching a a young, talented – yet struggling LA Kings squad on Wednesday night, the Habs visit Atlanta to take on the Thrashers. Atlanta currently occupies 8th place in the Eastern Conference and are enjoying a 3 game winning streak. The Thrashers, who were terrible – even with Ilya Kovalchuck have pulled “a Montreal” this past off-season by completing a re-vamp of their roster, getting rid of their stars and attempting to alter the team culture. Considering where the New Jersey Devils sit in the standings – I’m willing to say Atlanta is better off.
Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien are on a tear to start the year. With 23 points Ladd is making many believe that Chicago made some large errors in choosing who to keep and who to let walk after their Cup win last season. Byfuglien might have been the obvious example of this prior to the season – but the fact that the big strong “Buff” has 20 points to start the year playing defense is remarkable as well.
The Thrashers may be a few years away from making real noise in the playoffs – but a quick look at their roster reveals that the young players on the squad are the leaders of that dressing room. I would not be surprised at all if the day when the Atlanta Thrashers are very good is closer than many people inside hockey expect. Names like, Ladd, Enstrom, Bogosian, Kane, Bergfors, Stewart, Pavelec and Little may sooner-than-later join the more established names like Oduya, Hainsey, Sopel to form a very solid corps group of hard-working, skilled players. They’re already doing it, and thanks to the pilfering of ex-Chicago players – this team has a good idea of what it takes to be successful.
You’d think I was a Thrashers blogger. I swear I like our team more.
Montreal played a very-near-perfect game against the Kings on Wednesday. They have skill, experience, talent – and when they want to drive. When they take a night off they are as capable of laying an egg as any team in the league, but with Carey Price playing more like St Patrick than Racicot this team has a fantastic chance to win – every night. I was pleased with what I saw from Gomez and I was absolutely thrilled with the play of Lars Eller. While the rest of the league waits for this team to come crashing down – we’re still waiting to see our full potential. Alex Auld will finally get another opportunity to play. Lets hope the team gives him the kind of effort he deserves for being such a great team-mate.
Go Habs Go!!!