Sunday, January 07, 2007


Universal Choking Sign

by Greg

I was at work the other night, watching the Thrashers vs the Wayne Gretzky-led Coyotes (tm), when a friend walked by. "I was gonna go to that late," he said, "but this isn't even close. It won't even be interesting." Had to agree -- at that point it was 3-1, and while the Thrashers weren't at the top of their game, the Coyotes looked like they were wearing clown shoes. Right then, Atlanta scored another goal, to underscore the point.

The next day, my friend asked what the final score was. I just sorta looked at him sadly, then got back to watching the Thrashers and Capitals start up -- and eventually end much the same way, with a blown lead and an overtime loss.

I like concrete solutions to concrete problems, so the Thrashers' inability to hold a lead -- and at the risk of sounding/being hyperbolic, I don't think I've ever seen a team blow it so often -- frustrates me. I'd like a nice, simple reason that this keeps happening. Bob Hartley didn't make the proper animal sacrifices? Refs on the take? Thrashers are tired from Greco-Roman wrestling between periods two and three? Fine. Any of those would be fine. This maddening uncertain spiritual shrug of the shoulders, not so fine.

Both goalies, granted, look to have a confidence problem. Every once in a while, the cameras will show Lehtonen or Hedberg after a goal, with the same scared look -- kind of a combination of Jocelyn Thibault and a veal calf being led to the slaughter. There have been times this season where Lehtonen gives up a goal -- and even if Atlanta's still up by two goals, if I see that look in his eyes, I think "welp, that's it for the Thrashers then." Unfortunately, more often than not, I'm right.

(Of course, despite all this, the Thrashers are still up by eight points in the Southeast. Maybe the division really is weak.)

They did it again with Washington. Not quite as big a lead, but they let the game go. And with 17 seconds left, they let SEMIN score, of all people :)
1) Hey Mike Semin now has 21 goals. Not bad for a second line forward
2) The SE division may be weak, but there hasn't been a Cup champ from any other division in 3 years!
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