Chris Mason searching for the puck through all the traffic
The “new look” Thrashers looked very much more like a bunch of lost boys, being toyed by the Los Angeles King Pirates who also looked like they're lost on land but kept their heads on straight long enough.
Tonight, the Atlanta Thrashers walked into the Staples Center with enthusiasm and left with their heads hung low.
The Thrash energized, checked and dumped the puck into the Kings Zone all night. Finally, Atlanta broke the stalemate near the end of the second period with Chris Thorburn stealing the puck and firing it by Jonathan Quick.
Atlanta had tons of chances, with the pressure on Quick all night. They even had five power plays. With each power play, they looked less and less like they were on the offensive.
The LA Kings gained energy from all the penalty kills and put the pressure on in the third period. A battle around the net led to the usual garbage goal from Ryan Smyth. Then late in the game, another weak defensive play from Ron Hainsey led to an easy shot from Jared Stoll off Hainsey's stick that flew by Chris Mason. Mason looked totally out of position on the goal, which gave the Kings a 2-1 lead and the 3-1 win.
The most peculiar part of the game was noticing that Nik Antropov (Atlanta’s point leader from the previous season) was hardly seen on the ice, receiving 13 minutes of ice-time and a rare chance on the power play. He and even Rich Peverley had much less ice time than Bryan Little who was one of the worst point makers, plus/minus on the Thrashers last season, Andrew Ladd who played most of the time on the Blackhawk’s fourth line the previous year and rookie Alexander Burmistrov. All three subsequently received plenty of ice-time on the abysmal power play.
If the “new look” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsey keeps his team skating like tonight, they will be a group of lost boys on a continual search for their playoffs.