Enstrom back with the Atlanta Thrashers

The past couple of weeks have shown just how valuable defenceman Tobias Enstrom is to the Atlanta Thrashers. Enstrom, who is a former 2003 Thrashers’ draft choice, was having a career season with eight goals, 42 points and a +2 rating, but has missed the past six games, due to a fractured finger suffered in a 7-1 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Since that time the Thrashers have drastically slumped, as they have gone 2-5-3 in their past 10 games. As a result, they have found themselves virtually tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for that final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Prior to getting injured Enstrom, who was elected, but couldn’t play in the All-Star Game, had played in 296 straight games and admitted to finding it a big adjustment in sitting out. “It’s been tough,” Enstrom said. “It’s my first time being hurt and watching from the side lines — is tough. I want to be out there and play the game.” After two intense days of practicing it was decided, by Thrashers coach, Craig Ramsay, that his star defenceman would be ready to return on Friday against the New York Rangers. “Obviously, we missed him. He’s a guy that makes people around him better,” Ramsay said. “He plays a lot of minutes. He handles the puck well. He’s very cool under pressure. He’s been important on the power play. Having him back in the lineup is a big step forward.”

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