The Thrashers have posted an 8-3-2 record for the month of November. The penalty kill and the goaltending are easily the biggest reason for that. They keep winning games, but I think the best hockey out of this team has not been played yet.
The Thrashers penalty killing unit has been fantastic all season long and is a big reason why the Thrashers are winning games. The goalies are a big part of that and also the reason why the team has won so many games.
There is still a lot of room for improvement on offense and defense. Yes, the offense is currently producing at the highest pace of any team in the NHL thus far, but there are several players not playing up to the level they are used to. Slava Kozlov started extremely slow but has finally started scoring over the past couple of weeks. Bryan Little still is having problems scoring goals. Little potted 31 goals last season and has just 2 so far in the new season after 21 games played. The whole Kozlov-White-Little line that was so great last season has been absent on the scoresheet far too many times so far. If that line can start producing at even close to the level that they did a season ago, you could see the Thrashers start to approach the 4 goals per game mark quickly.
On the defensive side of things they are still giving up too many shots. I guess this is something the fans will have to start accepting because it does not look to be changing anytime soon. The highly aggressive system employed by John Anderson leaves opportunities for the opposition on occasion, but despite giving up very high shot numbers nearly every game, the Thrashers have done a pretty good job keeping those shots to the outside of the slot area. Overall, the defense has played quite well so far but still has a lot of room to get better. Pavel Kubina and Toby Enstrom have been very solid all year long. Hainsey and Bogosian seem to be on and off as far as their defensive play is concerned. Christoph Schubert has been great on the third pairing as well as the PK but sometimes his partners in Salmela and Popovic have left something to be desired.
I have been very happy with the play of the Thrashers so far this season, but I am ready for them to start playing a full 60 minutes every night and take the next step forward in their game. Anyone who watches can tell that the potential is there, now is the time to realize it.
About the Author: I grew up in Atlanta and have played hockey all my life. I look forward to learning how to be a good blogger and give Thrashers fans and others another outlet to read about the team.