Seems a bit odd to have the NHL resuming soon after the climax of the Olympics -- I can just imagine the players (well, the Swedes and Finns, at least -- Canada and the U.S. should be well-rested) realizing "wait -- there's more?" And those gold medals so recently prized by the Swedes, they're already on the top of the nightstand, the recipients planned, you know, to get a proper display, but you've got to shop around, find the right thing, and by next month they'll be in the hall closet, forgotten, collecting dust until some spring cleaning a few years down the line, at which point they'll pop up on eBay.
The Thrashers get back to work tomorrow, against Buffalo, a team that's pretty much had their number this season. Other than that, though, they're in really pretty good shape. Bobby Holik (a/k/a The Guy Who Can Actually Win a Faceoff) will be back, though Patty Stefan (a/k/a The Eternal Tease) is out for a few weeks, and J.P. Vigier (a/k/a Brad Larsen or Ramzi Abid) is apparently done for the year. The weeks off should presumably have helped Kari Lehtonen's paper-strong groin (but wait -- wasn't all the time off blamed for all the groin strains early this year?), and even after the January free-fall, Atlanta's only two points out of a playoff spot. And they're surrounded in the standings by Montreal, Toronto, and Boston, all teams that (I would argue) have more problems than the Thrashers.
But, they don't have much room to fill holes -- they're up against the salary cap, and most of the trade speculation involving the Thrashers has to do with them becoming sellers if they fall, rather than buyers if they hang in. Nothing really bad there -- the only possible targets that are really appealing (Jokinen) are too expensive, and the thought of picking up Eric Weinrich or Ken Klee just fills me with a sick dread.
In other news, official Post-Pessimist Association fan favorite Tomáš Klouček is, according to a posting on a Chicago Wolves message board, basically done for the season with another leg injury. I can't find any confirmation of this on any official website, but since AHL news is generally about as easy to find as entertainment listings for N'Djamena, that's really no surprise. This being the 782nd injury of Klouček's career, and since he seemed to have sunk below several other Wolves on the Thrashers' organizational depth chart, I'm guessing my hopes of him getting called up and propelling the team to a Stanley Cup are rather faint (and, more realistically, we've probably seen the last of him in a Thrashers' jersey). Nonetheless, we'll hold strong here. Hodně štěstí, Tomáš!