Coach Hartley Axed After 0-6

Bob HartleyI was looking at the NHL standings last night and to my dismay, the Atlanta Thrashers were dwelling at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a record of 0-6.

How could this be?

This was the same team that made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history last year and has a respectable squad full of offensive power. But they still haven’t won a game all season long yet.

Well, needless to say, someone had to pay for this dissapointing start to the year, and this morning, head coach Bob Hartley took the fall.

GM Don Waddell will fill in as an interim coach for now, until they can find a replacement. (hello Pat Quinn?)

But honestly, is Hartley the only one to blame?

One of the Thrashers biggest problems this season is goaltending as both Kari Lehtonen and Johan Hedberg have failed to claim the number one spot. Neither of them have been consistent, resulting in Atlanta being ranked third with the most goals-against at 27, ahead of only Toronto (28) and L.A. (30).

Also, high scoring forward Marian Hossa has been sidelined for three games so far with an injury, and the Thrasher’s offence has taken a huge hit. They have only scored nine goals, which is the worst out of any team in the league.

Take note of this: This Southeastern team won their division last season, and have made minor changes to the team this offseason. The most notable is losing captain Scott Mellanby to retirement and Keith Tkachuk to free agency. However, they acquired centres Todd White and Eric Perrin, and defencemen Ken Klee.

As you can see, not much has changed for this team and a contingent of fowards, which includes Ilya Kovalchuk, Bobby Holik, Slava Kozlov, Bryan Little, Pascal Dupuis, Hossa, White and Steve Rucchin, have failed to put the puck into the back of the net.

Because of this, the bench boss got fired.

If Atlanta does not find a way to start winning, there just might be more changes coming their way. And the next time, it’s going happen to those on the ice.

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