Don't know much about the Atlanta Thrashers this season but want to? Well you're in luck. The Flyers have three remaining games against the Thrashers this season, and they all take place in the month of March. The Thrashers are in need of wins to maintain any hope of making the playoffs, a mark they're currently six points shy of, among a crowded bubble. The Flyers are clearly the better team, but over the past few weeks, teams like the Thrashers have posed more difficulty than they should have.
However, unlike some of the teams heating up and climbing the standings, Atlanta lost all but two of their February games, and three of five March contests. Each of their last three games have gone to OT, with the Thrashers beating Florida and Carolina before falling to New Jersey. We've seen why teams like the Flyers need to be mindful of desperate clubs, but let's not confuse matters and pretend the Thrashers don't suck. At best, they're decidedly mediocre.
No excuses tonight. The Thrashers are here in need of a win, and the Flyers will need to match their intensity.
Kris Versteeg and Nick Boynton will get to visit with former Blackhawks teammates Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien. Ladd is leading the Thrashers in scoring, and Buff is actually their second-leading scorer—just one fewer point than Ladd at 50—despite being a defenseman. He'd even be fifth on the Flyers, only four points south of Danny Briere's total, with 20 goals and 30 assists. He has five points in his last three games, and he'll likely have a little added swagger tonight. Unfortunately, Chris Pronger will sit out again due to whatever's bothering his hand. Panotch says he's wearing some sort of soft cast or wrist brace. Rest up, gentle giant.
Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start in net and face Ondrej Pavelec.
Ah better memories of Boardwalk Hall than today's TU loss...