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Examining the Atlanta Thrashers

by John McGourty / NHL.com

 
 
Complete Thrashers Analysis:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards
Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

Thrashers seek second divisional championship

The Atlanta Thrashers are coming off their most successful season ever, winning the Southeast Division with a 43-28-11 record for 97 points and qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time. They were then swept by the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, a big disappointment to their fans, but not unusual for a good team in its first playoff opportunity.

Marian Hossa finished sixth in NHL scoring with 43 goals and 57 assists for 100 points, the first time the veteran left winger reached the century mark in his eight full seasons. Goalie Kari Lehtonen was outstanding, finally avoiding the injury bug after a summer of intense physical conditioning.

Former goal-scoring champion Ilya Kovalchuk finished eighth in the NHL with 42 goals. Hossa was tied for fifth in goals.

General Manager Don Waddell made several good free-agent signings for this year, including defensemen Ken Klee, Joel Kwiatkowski and Karel Pilar and forwards Todd White, Chris Thornburn and Eric Perrin.

Gone are defensemen Greg de Vries, Andy Sutton and Shane Hnidy and forwards Scott Mellanby, Eric Belanger and Jon Sim.

The Thrasher have been carefully built and retain the core of last season's successful team. The expectation is that Atlanta will return to the playoffs and, hardened by last spring's painful playoff experience, will be playing further into the tournament than last year.
 
2006-07 Record:
43-28-11, 1st Southeast

Who's In:
D Karel Pilar, F Alexandre Giroux, D Ken Klee, F Todd White, F Eric Perrin, D Joel Kwiatkowski, F Chris Thornburn

Who's Out:
F Scott Mellanby, D Andy Sutton, F Derek MacKenzie, D Shane Hnidy, F Eric Belanger, F Greg de Vries, F Jon Sim, F Jean-Pierre Vigier

2006-07 Leading Scorers:
Marian Hossa (43-57-100), Slava Kozlov (28-52-80), Ilya Kovalchuk (42-34-76), Keith Tkachuk (27-31-58), Alexei Zhitnik (7-31-38)

2006-07 Goaltending Leaders:
 Kari Lehtonen 34-24-9, 2.79 GAA, 68 appearances, .912 save percentage, 4 shutouts; Johan Hedberg 9-4-2, 2.89 GAA, 21 appearances, .888 save percentage, 0 shutouts


NHL.com's 2007-08 Thrashers Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster
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