Wednesday, January 17, 2007


It Was (Almost) One Year Ago Today...

by Greg

Last night's Thrashers-Kings game brought back a few unpleasant memories in the run-up. It came almost one year to the day after (just like now) a fairly hot Thrashers team, seemingly destined for playoff joy, met up with the Kings, and more or less saw their season go straight to hell.

The 2005-06 version of the team was on a five-game winning streak (a team record at the time) before the LA game, and life seemed good. I ended up watching that game at the Righteous Room (a fine Atlanta establishment) with friends, and it was probably the most memorable game of the season for all the wrong reasons. Luc Robitaille scored a hat trick to become the Kings' all-time leading goal scorer, the Thrashers blew a lead, Mike Dunham couldn't match the lofty standard set by Jason LaBarbera, and the Thrashers lost 8-6.

Still, that night, I just thought it was a bump in the road. Turned out to be much more -- that game kicked off a seven-game losing streak, followed shortly by Kari Lehtonen breaking in two, and the Thrashers missed the playoffs.

So the timing of last night's game struck me as ominous. Of course, it was nothing of the sort, as Yutaka Fukufuji was no LaBarbera, Lehtonen was no Dunham, and the Thrashers rolled. I was initially supposed to be at the game, but begged out with a persistent and nasty cold. Good thing, too -- nothing I'd less like to see in person than a Marian Hossa hat trick. Dammit.

Relax. Hossa scores a hat trick every two weeks. If it was Jozko Stumpel, then YOUD have a reason to be pissed at missing the game.
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