Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cue the farewell tape!

Out shot, out scored, out played and now just OUT!

It was a quick and painful four games for the Atlanta Thrashers, the promise of the regular season and their debut in post season action laid to waste in four successive no shows in the playoffs.

The Thrashers never seemed to be inclined to take their shot this time around; instead they were schooled on hockey at the hands of the New York Rangers, who only made a serious run at the playoffs in the last month of the season.

Now they sit back, rest up and await the winners of the other series, while Atlanta tries to figure out what went wrong and who will be around to fix it in 2008.

The series was all New York from start to finish, solid team play that covered all the aspects of the game, the Thrashers with time on their hands now may wish to review the tape, then again perhaps they would just rather burn it.

Atlanta never seemed to have their heads in the game, whether due to poor preparation or just a singular lack of interest in their fate. Whatever the reason for their non appearance, they’ll have a fair amount of time to think about how they burned out in four straight games.

Bob Hartley may feel some heat for some of his personnel decisions this series, but the onus should be squarely on the players. Who when put on the stage they had battled all year to reach, suddenly develop a horrid case of stage fright and departed as fast as possible.

Don Waddell may also find his stewardship questioned, he made a number of moves during the season to build up the Thrasher line up, only to see little come of his work, a disappointment for sure, but one which he may survive due to the relative low profile that hockey has in the city.

Still, if they had hoped to build on the season and attract new fans, they have surely lost their window of opportunity. For now it’s time to push play and view the always popular end of season salute to the fans.

It debuts more than a few weeks earlier than Waddell and Hartley might have hoped for or wanted.

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