I know the NHL season just started and it is too early to make any predictions, but so far, I like what I see from the Ice Birds! The Thrashers are 4-1 in their first 5 games and are really playing well. With all of the acquisitions from last year, I was worried that it might take some time to get the team chemistry working, but so far so good! Captain Kovalchuk is off to a fast start as well! Kovalchuk has seven goals in the first five games and trails only Washington's Alexander Ovechkin for the NHL lead. Ovechkin has nine goals but has played in three more games.
A huge area of improvement thus far in the season has been the play of the defensmen and the penalty killers. The team is currently eighth in the NHL in penalty kills with an 85 percent success rate. It’s a far cry from last season when the Thrashers finished 29th out of 30 teams with a 76 percent rate. The Thashers end their 5 game road trip tonight when they face 2-5 Montreal.
While on this road trip, the Thrashers did something that I feel is very touching and classy. They went to the Dan Synder Memorial Arena in Elmira, Ontario and held an open practice and autograph session for the people of Dan Snyder’s hometown. In case you don’t remember, Snyder was tragically killed in a car wreck back in 2003. His death effected people here in Atlanta and all over the US and Canada. The Canadian band (and one of my favorite bands,) The Tragically Hip recorded a song called "Heaven Is a Better Place Today" in honor of Dan Snyder. I hope to hear that song on Wednesday night when the Hip is in town!
Here is a video of the Thrashers trip to Elmira.