It took the Thrashers most of last season to adjust to coach John Anderson’s system.
While Anderson admits the team still isn’t “firing on all cylinders," the Thrashers are off to a much better start this season and are 10-6-2 after Thursday's shootout loss to Boston. Last season the Thrashers were 7-9-2 through 18 games, which included a five-game win streak.
“It’s one thing [for players] to do what the coaches say, but it’s another to do it in a natural way, so that one- or two-tenths of a second can mean the difference between scoring a goal or blocking a shot,” Anderson said Thursday morning. “Little things like that. ... It takes a little bit of time to get hitting on all cylinders. I guess it’s a lesson I learned last year as a rookie coach.”
Forward Bryan Little and defenseman Pavel Kubina returned to the Thrashers' lineup. Little has missed the past two games with a groin injury, and Kubina missed one game after being hit by a puck in the lower body.
Jim Slater and Anssi Salmela were the healthy scratches.
Former Thrasher Marc Savard, out with a broken finger, missed the game for Boston. Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas did not play because of what the team described as a “minor undisclosed injury.”
Slava Kozlov appeared in this 500th career game as a Thrasher. He holds the team record for consecutive games played, 220. ... The Thrashers are 0-3-1 this season in their maroon jerseys. The Thrashers wear the alternate sweaters at Thursday home games and will wear them eight more times this season. ... Boston forward Mark Recchi is the NHL’s active leader in career assists (903), points (1,451) and games played (1,511). ... Quotable: “I told him there was a 200-pound gorilla running down Peachtree, but he didn’t get that.” Anderson about Kozlov after the veteran forward scored his first goal of the season Sunday.