18 October 2007

Game Day Preview

We meant to get something up about coaching prospects, but, you know, life got in the way. Maybe tonight. We'll see how the game goes.

Anyway, onto the preview.

We have a feeling this thing can go one of two ways. Either it's going to be a barn burner, and the best damned game the Thrash have played in... OK we can't remember their last really good full-60-minutes game. But either one of those, or they're just going to lay down and die, and let the Rangers run over them.

One thing we will say, and say with pride, is that we think Kari's going to play one of his best games ever tonight. Just the relief of the weight of Hartley off his shoulders should be the impetus to get him back to standard form. We miss the Kari from Jokerit. Kari just in case you're reading this, we want you to remember this, okay?

Thanks to Matt for the photo.

Remember that, kiddo? Remember being the best of the best? Remember being the best in all of Finland, if not all of Scandinavia? Don't let some punk-ass french dude have killed that in you. Just remember what it was like, being that guy, and you can be it again. We have 100% faith in you, even if the Hartleys and Erkkas of the world don't.

Huge props though to Waddell, for this tidbit, from the NY Newsday blog:
Atlanta's GM and now interim coach, Don Waddell, said Kari Lehtonen would be his principal goaltender: "We know if we're gonna go anywhere, Kari's gotta be our No. 1 guy."
Hell yeah, he does. Thank you Captain Obvious, sorry your cape's at the dry cleaner's.

Sorry, we got off on a tangent there. Where were we? Oh right.

So there's a chance that we can look forward to the usual tonight - passive forechecking, passive defence, look for the Thrashers to consider trapping to clog up the neutral zone. I'd say 3 maybe 4 guys (Kovy, Hossa, Kozzie and Perrsy) will be on the attack. MAYBE they can win it, if Kari lives up to being the real Kari, and not the Kari fractured by all the mind games.

However, there is a lot of talk, and not just by us, that the Thrashers big guns were playing to get Hartley canned. If that's truly the case, despite their lip service to the media, look for them to come out tonight gunning, and running over everything in their paths. Another thing to keep in mind is that this Rangers team really hasn't gelled together yet either - they're not really comfortable playing together and still can't predict what their linemates will do. Czech National team this is no longer.

So this will go one of two ways, in our opinion. Either the Thrash win by blow out, as payback to Hartley AND to the Rangers for last seasons' playoffs, or they keep playing passively, and it's a dull game. What're your thoughts?

Lastly, an enormous WELCOME HOME! to our buddy Saint, who's made the trip back across the pond from Russia. We're glad you're home, guy. Now tear it up and get back in the Show!

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