Obviously you cannot use a single injury as an excuse for a team’s tailspin. Yet since Tobias Enstrom went down with a broken finger, the Atlanta Thrashers went 1-4-1 in an ugly six game stretch.
Dustin Byfuglien got a lot of credit for the Thrashers’ surprising run to playoff contention, but Enstrom has been his less-heralded partner in crime. He probably would’ve gotten a modicum of credit and attention being that he was a 2011 NHL All-Star Game selection, but that broken finger kept him out of the events.
While the Thrashers are clearly struggling with a four-game losing streak, the team is only one point and two wins behind the eighth place Carolina Hurricanes (and they’ve only played in one more game than the Canes). In other words, their Enstrom-free slump hasn’t completely buried them, and here’s the best news: the team activated him from the injured reserve today. In fact, he’s currently playing in an important game against the New York Rangers right now.
Will the return of Enstrom be enough to push the Thrashers back into the top eight now and when in matters most: at the end of the season? We’ll have to wait and see, but the Thrashers made an addition that is far more appealing than any trade deadline acquisition today.