Friday, June 3, 2011

Flashback Friday: Atlanta Thrashers Playoff Hockey

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs in full swing, we are going to flashback on some of the greatest playoff moments. The Playoffs are great for creating those special moments where a goal, a pass or dangle become frozen in time and a recurring memory for hockey fans to look back on.
Little did Thrashers fans know that their last-ever playoff game would also happen that week
With the official announcement that the Atlanta Thrashers franchise would be moving to Winnipeg for the 2012-13 season, it's time to look back at the history of the Thrashers in the playoffs. It's a short history, but it's worth a flashback.

First off, congratulations to the city of Atlanta for being the only NHL city in the modern era to lose two franchises. You crashed and burned just like your city during the American Civil War (note to Winnipeg - don't name the team after any famous burnings or disasters). The Atlanta Flames at least made the playoffs six times, but just like the Thrashers, failed to win a single playoff series in eight seasons. But enough about the Flames, let's talk Thrashers playoff hockey!

The Thrashers qualified for the playoffs once in their 10 seasons of NHL play:
The Thrashers pre-lockout never had a chance at the playoffs. Don't let that 03-04 season fool you, that 2nd in Southeast Division was in a year when only Tampa Bay made it out of that division and the Islanders secured the 8th seed with 91 points. In fact, the Thrashers were so bad before the lockout, when I used to play NHL 03 against my inexperienced gamer friend, he used to make me be the Thrashers and he would play as Team Canada - it actually made the game fair.

Post-lockout, the Thrashers looked poised to play in the postseason. After a 90 point season in 05-06, they just missed making the playoffs by 2 points and were edged out by division rivals Tampa Bay. While their uniforms would still be horrible for the 06-07 season, their success on the ice would be different. The Thrashers would win the Southeast Division with 97 points and head into the playoffs with home ice advantage as the 3rd overall seed in the Eastern Conference.

With Marian Hossa and Ilya Kovalchuk filling the net, and a healthy Kari Lehtonen holding down his own crease, the Thrashers made some move before the trade deadline for their playoff run. Pascal Dupuis, Keith Tkachuk and Alexei Zhitnik would join the team, the latter who was acquired for Braydon Coburn in one of the worst trades we've seen. Unfortunately, these trades didn't work out for the Thrashers in the postseason, as they would be swept by the New York Rangers.
The series was over in a week thanks to disappointing play from Kovalchuk and Hossa. Newcomers Dupuis and Tkachuk would lead the team in scoring in the playoffs with 1 goal and 2 assists each, cementing them in Thrashers record books as the All-Time Atlanta Thrashers Playoff Leading Scorers.

Did you believe in the Atlanta Thrashers?

10 comments:

  1. Hockey in Atlanta = FAIL

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  2. I believe in the Jets

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  3. Atlanta is not a sports town. Even the Braves who are always a good team don't get great support.

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  4. The NHL should have never gone back to Atlanta. Just because it's a huge market doesn't mean they will watch hockey.

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  5. Winnipeg sold their tickets withhin 2 minutes of public sale (the 17 minutes was for them all to be completed), but 2 minutes they were gone!

    GO JETS GO

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  6. Crazy that the Jets sold all those season tickets that fast.

    Congrats Winnipeg

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  7. The Winnipeg Whiteout. Say it ain't So??

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  8. I hope Winnipeg trades for Shane Doan and then signs Teemu Selanne in the offseason
    :)

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  9. Okay I was a Thrashers fan, we couldnt help our owners ddint care about the team at all and we had THE WORST GM in all of sports! I will be wathing the Predator games in Nashville wearing my Thrashers Jersey!

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  10. For those of you bashing hockey in atlanta, congrats on being ignorant.

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