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Thrashers hold ‘closed-door meeting’

Image (1) chelios3-thumb-200x300-7865.jpg for post 506

The Atlanta Thrashers have disappointed me. I was hopeful that there would be two ‘non-traditional hockey market’ teams in the playoffs this year that no one expected to be there; Phoenix is making a bunch of noise in the West and the Thrashers looked like they could sneak into the playoffs in the East.

Of course, they’d most likely get tossed instantly in the first round by Washington, but every team needs a couple of home playoff games now and then.

This past week, the Thrashers fell flat on their face. Call it lack of talent, bad coaching or just plain inexperience, but it hurt to see Atlanta sleep walk through their biggest game of the season against Boston, then lost in overtime against Toronto. Two games, two chances for the Thrashers to move up and overtake the Bruins and they muster one point.

This morning, concerned with his team’s effort, coach John Anderson held a closed-door meeting with players and coaches. From Chris Vivlamore’s AJC Thrashers blog:

“Coach delivered a message today that the way we’ve been playing these last couple of games was not acceptable,” goaltender Johan Hedberg said. “We’ve been feeling that too. Why the reason is, I do not know. We had a better quality practice than before. That’s the kind of intensity we have to bring from the start. We have to make sure we don’t have any mental lapses and we play determined these last eight games and see where it takes us.”

I wonder how many times these ‘closed-door’ meetings with teams actually work? Usually these come when there’s an issue in the locker room, things need to be aired out. Also, is it really a ‘closed-door’ meeting if the coaches are there and the coach is leading it?

Perhaps there isn’t a leader on the team capable of rallying his teammates, who has the experience of multiple Stanley Cups and playoff runs, who knows what it takes to get it done this time of the season.

Wait, isn’t that why they signed Chris Chelios?