Talk about your bounce back games!
Without a doubt, Tuesday's game in Toronto was the finest of the season for the Atlanta Thrashers. They stopped the three game slide. They all showed up. They played with passion, and they won one for their head coach who had a great run as a player wearing the blue and white.
In all, 11 players hit the score sheet. Todd White and Slava Kozlov had two points each. In fact, that line which includes Bryan Little had a five point night and finished plus-2 with six shots. After combining for one shot on goal against Columbus last Saturday, Kozlov and Ilya Kovalchuk rebounded with six shots between them.
From a team perspective, the Thrashers put 30 shots on Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph, seven players had at least 2 hits and the team finished with 27 in all to go along with 14 blocked shots.
And most impressive of all, they played inspired, full of grit and urgency.
The outspoken-of-late Garnet Exelby backed up his words about showing up with effort by fighting tough guy Jamal Mayers in the second period. Eight minutes later, Kovalchuk went after Ian White after the Leafs defenseman semi-blindsided the Thrashers superstar. Defenseman Nathan Oystrick was ready to go midway through the game and Kozlov played with an edge most of the night. Lest we forget Colby Armstrong, who took ownership of the neutral zone a few times.
They didn't just show up, they dominated in the self-proclaimed epicenter of hockey, also known as Toronto.
They successfully banked two points on Tuesday in T.O. and they need to pay it off with a win tonight in Washington. Look for goaltender Ondrej Pavelec to get the start, although you can never count out the always ready Johan Hedberg. A regulation win on Wednesday would put the Thrashers just five points out of first place with a game in hand on the Capitals. Washington is one of two teams (San Jose) without a regulation loss on home ice (7-0-1).
BOGOSIAN UPDATE: He began a light skating regimen last Friday which consists of about 10-15 minutes on his own prior to the team's morning practice. I caught up with him last Saturday morning before the Columbus game and he said the leg is feeling better by the day. He's taking it easy and trying to slowly build on his skating time each day. He's not yet at the point where he can do starts and stops. It's hard to believe it's been less than a month since his injury.
Now, go stuff the turkey!