Anderson, Wilson: Opposite outlooks

ROB LONGLEY

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

John Anderson of the Thrashers and the Leafs' Ron Wilson, have two distinct outlooks when it comes to assessing the struggles of their respective teams.

"I look at the standings and we shoud be decidedly more desperate than they are," Anderson said when asked of the importance to finally start winning some games, especially against another team towards the bottom of the standings.

Wilson claimed that he rarely even looks at where his team sits relative to the playoff picture.

"I don't even look at the standings," Wilson said. "Until somebody mentioned it (on Thursday) I didn't realize we were nine points back of Carolina. All we are focussed on is getting some of our guys to play better.

"If we just worry about the process, the wins will take care of themselves."

TRICK-Y BUSINESS

When Jason Blake iced Thursday's win against Carolina with his empty netter with 11 seconds remaining in the game, it was his sixth career hat trick. It also capped off a five-point night, a career high. Blake had previously scored four points in a game five times, most recently with the Islanders in Nov. 2007.

"(Blake) arguably has been our best player the last couple of months," Wilson said yesterday.

It was quite a stretch since a Leafs player put up five in a game -- longer than two years, in fact. Alex Steen, who was dealt to St. Louis earlier this year, scored five against Boston on Jan. 4. 2007. The previous Leaf to score a hat trick was Nik Antropov on Dec. 6, 2007.

CAPTAIN THRASHER

Consider it one way to put a damper on the trade rumours. The Thrashers named sniper Ilya Kovalchuk captain this past Sunday in a move that the team also hopes will result in some leadership from the franchise player.

"We decided it was his time," Anderson said yesterday. "How Ilya goes, our team goes. It may make him a little more responsible."

Thrashers GM Don Waddell has been consistent in denying the trade rumours.

"We all know this team is Ilya's team," Waddell said. "He's the face of the franchise. Obviously I'm not going to trade him. I've squelched those rumours a hundred times."

Kovalchuk had been one of five alternate captains earlier this season.

LOOSE LEAFS

With the return of Mikhail Grabovski after his three-game suspension for shoving an official, Andre Deveaux was the odd man out last night. Deveaux had played the previous five games but saw limited ice time.


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