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Thrashers in search of quicker starts

by John Kreiser
While Atlanta was one of the NHL's better third-period teams, the Thrashers had issues with getting off to poor starts in games last season.

Advantage Margin: -4

The Thrashers had 175 power plays in their 41 home games, but only St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia allowed more than the 164 that Atlanta surrendered at Philips Arena.

Special Teams Goal Margin: -1
Atlanta was a middle-of-the-pack team in terms of killing penalties, but was among the League's best with 9 shorthanded goals.

Goals by defensemen: 33
2008 first-rounder Zach Bogosian is still learning the game at the NHL level, but his team-high 10 goals from the blue line show that he has the skill to be an offensive force.

Overtime Record
Total: 6-7-6
OT: 2-7 SO: 4-6
Atlanta paid a big price for its inability to win in overtime, dropping four of six OT games at home and all three on the road. In all, the Thrashers lost seven of nine road games that went past regulation.
Times Scored First: 39 Record: 25-7-7     
Only Nashville and Toronto scored first at home fewer times than the Thrashers (18). Atlanta's overall .641 winning percentage when scoring first was tied for 20th.     

Best 09-10 Number: 85
Goals scored by the Thrashers in the third period, compared with only 68 allowed. The Thrashers were among the NHL's best at winning games that were tied after 40 minutes, going 12-4-3 when they were even going into the final period.

Worst 09-10 Number: 85
Goals allowed by the Thrashers in the first period, 24 more than they scored. The Thrashers trailed after 20 minutes 32 times (going 5-23-4) and led just 20 times (15-3-2).
The Thrashers better be ready to play early -- four of their first five games are away, and they have Friday-Saturday back-to-backs on the first four weekends in October. They also have a tough close, with a five-game road trip before ending with two games at home.
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