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Atlanta Thrashers Odds - Atlanta stinks; in other news, the sun rose today

Posted by Don Melrose on 9/25/2009 12:09:47 PM
best hockey linesThe Atlanta Thrashers odds have spent most of their existence as a punch line – a doomed thing for hockey betting fans. While it’s hard to imagine anything changing this year, 2009-10 is an important year for Atlanta. Call it “Operation Keep Kovalchuk.” Unless the Thrashers improve, their franchise player will bolt for free agency next summer.

Atlanta Thrashers Odds: Horrific defense more than cancels out adequate offense

  • Kovalchuk leads a surprisingly decent attack
  • Defensemen would be better if they actually played defense
  • Bogosian, Kane give Thrashers a glimmer of hope for future

Atlanta Thrashers odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
Averaging 3.01 goals per game last season, the Thrashers led all non-playoff teams in scoring. Playmakers like Todd White and Slava Kozlov complemented world-class sniper Ilya Kovalchuk, as did Bryan Little and Rich Peverley, who flashed brilliance. With Nik Antropov joining the fray and Pavel Kubina chipping in from the point, Atlanta should squeeze plenty of offense out of its overachieving group once again. Rookie Evander Kane could also be a revelation if he makes the team.

Atlanta Thrashers odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
Defense is Atlanta’s Achilles heel, a major reason why it’s a sportsbook dud. Only one team allowed more goals than the Thrashers last season. Kubina brings physicality but is still more of an offensive guy; Zach Bogosian will become a star but will still make mistakes along the way. The rest of the Atlanta defense corps consists of defensive pylons; Tobias Enstrom couldn’t hurt a fly and Ron Hainsey is an overpaid power-play specialist.

Atlanta Thrashers odds maker breakdown: GOALTENDING
It’s always difficult to grade Atlanta’s goaltending. In theory, the Thrashers have a talented No. 1 guy in Kari Lehtonen, an athletic goalie who looks like an All-Star when he’s hot (which is rarely). However, with porous defenses in front of him year after year, it seems we’ll never know how good or bad he is until he escapes Atlanta. For now, Atlanta’s goaltending isn’t a liability but it certainly isn’t a strength.

Atlanta Thrashers odds maker breakdown: SPECIAL TEAMS
Do you even need to read this section? Clearly, Atlanta’s respectable offense is respectable with the man advantage. Clearly, Atlanta’s atrocious defense lets teams score at will on them when they’re down a man. The roster hasn’t changed enough for 2009-10 to be any different.

Atlanta Thrashers odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK
Sadly, online sports betting fans can dust off their 2007, 2008 and 2009 Atlanta Thrashers preview and get pretty much the same advice. The Thrashers have a few stud prospects but are still very much a rebuilding franchise. If they lose Kovalchuk, things will get even worse before they get better.

For full Atlanta Thrashers odds and other sports betting advice, is your one-stop shop.

Don Melrose is's hockey expert.



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