Commentary

Puck, meet net. Repeat.

The Thrashers' defense is pretty solid, but grabbing a goal scorer would be huge

Originally Published: June 16, 2010
By Richard Pollock and E.J. Hradek | Puck Prospectus and ESPN The Magazine
Rick DudleyEliot J. Schechter/Getty ImagesLike Tallon in Florida, Dudley is a Blackhawk-builder now looking to rise in the Southeast.

Plugging Holes -- Atlanta Thrashers

The Hole: More goal scorers

Steve Yzerman's hire in Tampa Bay garnered all the press clippings during the playoffs, but the Thrashers' hire of Rick Dudley should not be underestimated. Many people aren't aware that Dudley was one of the men in charge of rebuilding the now-dominant Chicago Blackhawks.

His hire in Atlanta should lead to greater things.

The Thrashers exhibited a run-and-gun style under former coach John Anderson, so the fact the team was 25th in the NHL in goals against per game was not a huge surprise. Conversely, the Thrashers probably scored more goals (12th in NHL in goals for) due to their style of play and defensive indifference than sheer top-end talent. The defense is actually quite solid with Ron Hainsey, Zach Bogosian, Johnny Oduya and Tobias Enstrom as the top four. As a result, expect the Thrashers to add some offense this offseason.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.