Sunday, September 30, 2007


Atlanta's Kids

by Greg

I'd planned to go to the Thrashers' exhibition Friday night, but as it turns out, I'm in mid-season form as far as telling myself that it's cheaper and less hassle to just head down the street and have a beer. So instead of a thoughtful, reasoned perspective on how the Thrashers might do this year, I got a hangover instead.

I'm considerably less panicked by Atlanta's chances than I was when I wrote this, but that's more because of two months spent paying only passing interest to hockey than because of anything done to actually cause optimism. The Thrashers' season still rests on several big ifs -- getting scoring beyond Hossa/Kovalchuk/Kozlov, the defense playing much better than last year despite (on paper) being about equal, and Kari Lehtonen resembling Andre Racicot a little less.

That said, the team does have a nice little rookie crop in the form of Bryan Little, Brett Sterling, and Tobias Enstrom, which is at the very least kind of fun. I don't think any of them except perhaps Enstrom were expected to make the team, and they all beat out more established players to do it. At the very least, it's more exciting to see Little or Sterling than the career AHLers the Thrashers have usually brought in for recent seasons.

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It's quite possible that not everyone follows the career trajectory of Tomas Kloucek as closely as I do, so if you missed it: TK, idol of millions, is in the Syracuse Crunch camp on a tryout basis. He's probably kind of a long shot to make it, due to numbers and because no one's really seeing Kloucek as a possible NHL defenseman any more, but at least it's a relief (to me, at least) to see him pop up somewhere.

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For hockey history nuts, Joe Pelletier's done quite a bit on the 35th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series in recent weeks. Find a selection here. Lots of really cool stuff -- a look at the political uses of the series, a history of Soviet jerseys, tons of information that's not usually found in histories of the series.

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