I had hope. For the first 2 periods they had me going. Seemed like last year, with rookies chipping in (BTW, we like Matt, a lot. Buh-bye Sergei.) and our best players leading the way. Several players - far too many - who looked completely uninterested all season finally looked interested. Big Tits drove to the net and -surprise! - was rewarded. Pleks worked hard as usual, but I saw some dipsy-doodling, which he does when he's got confidence, and was rewarded. (It's interesting that this is unlike Kovy, who does it when he's slumping. Someone needs to remind him that to score you need to shoot.) Markov played like he wanted to take the Norris from Nik Lidstrom. Carey played like everyone but brain-dead Carolina fans think he can.
[Interlude: Which reminds me, take a look at your goalie there, buddy: People with Cam "Flop" Ward in their crease shouldn't be throwing stones at any other team with a young tender. Especially when your young goalie is being outplayed by a guy who wasn't even good enough to make our minor league team. OK, rant over.]
Then hope evaporated again. Turned from liquid to gas in 59 seconds flat. 59 seconds out of a Three Stooges movie. Or Laurel and Hardy's "Who's on first?" bit, except it was "Who's On Thornburn?". You could see even calm-as-a-Hindu-cow Price was pissed on that third one.
Carbo kinda/sorta at least thought about calling a time-out, then didn't. And you know what? I hope Koivu - or Kovalev, or whomever is supposed to be the leader on this sinking ship - whet to Coach and said something like this:
"Don't call a timeout, we need to kicked these fuckers' teeth in. Guys, what the fuck are we doing not winning against the Thrashers? A team that is in LAST PLACE in the NHL. A team with lame-ducks owners and a hopeless GM. A team who's best player will be traded within the year because he's certain to leave that crappy franchise when he's a free agent. A less talented team than us, and a team we should be beating in our sleep!"
I hope they said something like this, and I hope that blowing that lead was a turning point, a wake up call, a "insert cliche here", because Atlanta sucks. I can't stress that enough: Atlanta sucks and there is no good reason to blow a three-goal third period lead at home when you are firmly in control.
But I have hope, that they'll turn it around, play interested, play as a team, win. My most cherished hope at this point, though, is hope that the above picture isn't prophetic.