Scary Hotlanta Thrashers; Rangers Will Make a Trade?

“Playing the Thrashers…..hahaha….that should be a win…”Of course….but who will laugh in a couple of years?

I watched the Rangers vs Thrashers game, and I was really impressed with Kovalchuck, Heatly, Pothier, and the team itself. Kovalchuck definitely seems like the runner up for a Calder Trophy. Heatly made some great plays, and he did beat young goaltender Danny Blackburn, who won his second game. I just realized that the Trashers are not a team to laugh at anymore. I am actually convinced that this team will be one of the most talented teams in the NHL in 3 years at max. Unfortunately, Patrick Stefan was injured from that non-accidental slash by Bill Guerin. Sixth time I saw the replay and it is no where near to be accidental. Why does Guerin get 3 games then for breaking a player’s jaw, and Bertuzzi 10 games for basically fighting someone? Anyway, the Thrashers are extremely talented, and they have been picking the right players in their drafts. This kid Heatly is really good, and the most surprising defenseman, who I predict could be a top NHL defenseman in the futre, by the name of Pothier has really good. Kovalchuck has an amazing speed with skating skills, and he did score a goal that did not pass Blackburn fully however, he got a nice piece of it which directed the puck more in the net. At times, the Rangers looked to be on a powerplay on even strength, especially when Lindros scored the goal. So, the rest of Atlanta’s defense and goaltending has to improve. But, sometimes the Thrashers played so well that they had a scoring chance everytime they played a great shift. These guys were about to beat the Flyers, so my impression before the game started was that the Flyers played really bad and got lucky with a tie. But, the Thrashers are tough. And, if you think about it, the Thrashers lost two of their three major players of last season, Brunette and Audette.

If the Thrashers improve their defense and goaltending, then they will become a scary team in the future. The young talent on this team is really good, and has a bright future. But, I also predict that Kovalchuck is the young Yashin version in personality. His game is all about himself and the money he makes. He proved it when Kovalchuck was leading a four on two and he tried to do everything by himself, yet Berard just knocked the puck away easily. This team will look good, and their top pick for next season (hehe no more Islanders picking first) should be a top goaltender, a Blackburn type pick.

I think people are still missing the idea of what Sather did to this Rangers team. Admitt it if you are a knowledgeable hockey fan, he turned this team around totally. Now the Rangers have three top good lines with the best 4th line they’ve had in years, and especially…they got an 18 year old who made some saves a la Hasek against the Thrashers. Now, the Rangers have 9 defensemen who are on the team: Leetch, Malakhov, Ulanov, Karpa (best NYR d-man of the week), Smrek, Kloucek, Purinton, Van Impe (good enough to make the team and PP, foolish Bruins gave up on him) and Berard. All of these defensemen do not deserve to be sent down to the minors, and Lefevbre is still injured, even if he’ll be put on waivers unless he can step up his game to a real professional. You will see a defenseman go. No, it will not be Smrek and Kloucek. Smrek has been incredible in the regular season games. You will most likely see a minor trade happening. Now, you could start seeing rumors on “Maybe Kaberle to Rangers?”. I doubt that will ever happen because GM Quinn will request for either Smrek and Kloucek. Smrek was a big time steal from the St. Louis Blues for Gusarov, you don’t want to trade a steal you got as a GM. Keep on the lookout for trade rumors…and I will try to keep you updated a smuch as possible. I do have a “secret” resource to get rumors, especialy on the Devils. For sure though, watch the Avalanche make a move for Amonte, or attempt.

Micki Peroni