Inconsistency killed the Thrashers' playoff hopes. They won November games against top teams in Washington and Detroit by a combined score of 10-1, and they blew a two-goal, third-period lead to league-worst Edmonton in February.

Addressing that problem, the same message was delivered to each player following season-ending meetings on Tuesday: Come to training camp in September in top condition.

That included Ondrej Pavelec, receiving an edict that comes with the territory of being a No. 1 goaltender in the NHL.

"There is concern when a save percentage vacillates as much as it did over periods of time. … There is a way to make an inconsistent goaltender more consistent," Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley said. "In [Pavelec's] case, he has to focus on the conditioning aspect. That's a simple fix. As long as he buys in, it's a simple fix."

Early in the season, when the Thrashers were playing their best hockey, Pavelec had a save percentage close to .930. He trailed only Boston's Tim Thomas as the best in the NHL. Pavelec, however, finished tied for 24th in the league with a .914 percentage.

"If [Pavelec] is going to be a No. 1, and is going to play 70 games or 60 games, you have to play in back-to-backs," coach Craig Ramsay said. "You have to play in difficult situations, four games in five nights. You've got to be mentally and physically prepared for that. Unless you are physically prepared, you probably aren't going to be mentally prepared."

Carolina goaltender Cam Ward played in 74 of 82 games this season, starting 37 of the final 38.

Pavelec, 23, finished the season with career highs in games played (58), wins (21) and shutouts (4). He left for the Czech Republic on Tuesday to compete in the World Championships.

"I will come back in better condition," Pavelec said. "When I played I felt good. I didn't feel tired."

Countryman Radek Dvorak played with another Czech Republic goaltender in Tomas Vokoun in Florida before being acquired in a February trade. Dvorak said Pavelec "can easily beat him."