My God. One point away from the playoffs, one win to 8th place – even if it’d be temporary. Playoff atmosphere, decent attendance, and me in the club section enjoying really good food and overpriced alcohol.
Thank goodness this game didn’t take place on $3 beer night, or else I’d be in a drunk tank somewhere. Getting back at me for singing the praises of our 1A goaltender, Johan Hedberg, karma decided to give me a 4-0 loss to enjoy that was capped off by a few soft goals and effort that was just not there enough from the team. Thrashers bloggers had been stressing the importance of the game since Sunday, and whispers were going around that the last time we had a 5 game winning streak was in the 2006-2007 season, where we ended the year atop the Southeastern Division. Unless we win five of our last 9 games in a row, it will stay that way.
The pressure proved to be too much, at least last night, for our young team. Expectations are higher for this team than it’s been for years. Instead of being written off as being in year 10 of our 5 year re-build, bloggers and pundits were expecting us to leapfrog the Bruins and make our 2nd appearance in the playoffs – this can still happen, but only if they rebound mentally from the shaky game of last night. You can’t have a couple near misses on a hot goalie and shut down like the team did on Rask last night. Our first round opponent would be the Washington Capitals. If we can’t handle the decimated Bruins’ offense, how in the world can we stand up to the best one in the league?
We can’t. If we keep letting the pressure get to us, we won’t make it. The guys need to read the (kind of) flattering Hockey News article by John Grigg that was published before yesterday’s game. Put it up in your lockers. Lay a copy on John Anderson’s desk. There’s a lot more than postseason on the line – some respectibility’d be nice.