Tampa Game: Playoffs RIP?
How can a team not play with more fire in a game billed as the most important contest in franchise history to date? How can you look that flat with four days rest?
Just based on my recollection I'd say this club tends to play worse the more days of rest it has. Other than the NYI game on 3/16 when they looked really prepared, I'm always concered about when this club has 3-4 days off. Not sure what Coach Hartley needs to do to improve on this next season, but there is no good reason for this that I'm aware of.
I'm going to take a good at the data and see if it supports my impression.
OK, I'm back now with some data. I took the Thrashers games played so far this season and grouped them according to how many days rest they had. I threw out the 1st game of the season and 1st game back from the Olympic break because they are essentially unique situations. The Thrashser played a majority of their season on zero or just one day of rest (52 games so far) and they did indeed have a better record with less rest. Their offense was 12% better (GFA) and their defense was slightly better.
Thrashers Rest Record
Days Off_GFA___GAA___PPG___Pyth W %
The Thrashers averaged .17 Points Per Game with just 0 or 1 days rest. That doesn't sound like much of a difference until you multiply that times a full season's worth of games. If the Thrashers played like they did on little rest (o or 1) for a full 82 games that projects to 92 points (and likely the playoffs). If they played a full season like they did on 2+ days worth of rest it only comes out t0 78 points on the year-- and no playoffs.
So what explains the difference? How can a team manage to get that tight with 2 or more days or rest and relaxation? A question for the coaching staff to ponder this off season.