New lines, new power play, old acquaintance

The Thrashers play the Canadiens tonight, and there are no scratches to announce because everybody on the roster will be on the bench. (Kari Lehtonen starts in goal, of course.) The new, post-Erik-Christensen-trade lines:

Kovalchuk-White-Little

Kozlov-Peverley-Armstrong

Perrin-Reasoner-Stuart

Boulton-Slater-Thorburn

Enstrom-Bogosian

Hainsey-Valabik

Exelby-Oystrick

I talked with Nathan Oystrick this morning. It’s his first game in awhile in which he’s paired with Garnet Exelby, and he doesn’t go into it entirely healthy. He has lingering effects from the illness that kept him out of Tuesday’s game. He said his lungs felt worse in practice yesterday at the IceForum than during the morning skate today, because the temperature at the IceForum is so much lower.

The No. 1 power play remains the same: Kovalchuk-Enstrom on the point, Kozlov-White-Little. The No. 2 power play, though, includes Eric Perrin on the wing in place of Rich Peverley, who moves to center in place of Christensen. Armstrong remains on the right wing. Perrin said he’s excited about the opportunity.

Mathieu Schneider is back in Atlanta for the first time since being traded to the Canadiens. He has three goals and three assists in seven games (though he’s still minus-two in the plus-minus). He says he’s shooting more. I will be interested to see how the fans welcome him back; he was here such a short time.

31 comments Add your comment

GaVaHokie

March 6th, 2009
1:00 pm

GaVaHokie

March 6th, 2009
1:01 pm

Wow… forward lines that actually make sense.

french farts

March 6th, 2009
2:04 pm

How is the locker room toward Perrin ? If this team is to take a new direction, you’d think everyone would want players that want to be here. Why was Perrin not released ?

Bob

March 6th, 2009
2:34 pm

I know one of Perrin’s buddies from junior hockey, Perrin has nothing against Atlanta per se (meaning we fans, the town), just felt like he didn’t get his fair shot here and hates Waddell and the coaches.

Playing him makes sense though, seeing how the only goal (they’ll never admit it) is to tank and get us Tavares or Hedman (those d pairings will ensure we finish in the bottom 2).

Is tonight the night the midget leads his merry band of bag wearing brethren into Philips?

GaVaHokie

March 6th, 2009
2:46 pm

Yep, that’s exactly what the players want to do… play horrible so management can draft a guy to take their job.

kracker

March 6th, 2009
3:38 pm

i DON’T EXPECT Schneider to get booed at all, why would he be booed? Now, if he scores a couple, then he’s fair game, hehe. Looks like the Perrin situation isn’t an issue with the team or players.

My Thrash goal to shoot for the rest of the season: Match the Bolts in wins and points, +1 point.

Dwayne Johnson

March 6th, 2009
3:55 pm

they give perrin time on the 2nd pp unit?? there is no justification for that. that is sad. i would not give him the chance to “look good” for other teams this summer. whats Atl. got left in games this year? 18? what IF he gets 4/5 goals and 6/7 assists by the end of year? helps Atl move up in draft? lose a shot at Tavares and Hedmond? thanks, but no thanks, he should be a healthy scratch for the rest of the year. i’d rather see espo in the lineup, and i’m not talking Angelo, i’m talking Phil!!

Canuck in Atl

March 6th, 2009
4:51 pm

Do you guys even have a clue about hockey, Perrin was the 3rd leading scorer last year and has 6-7 minutes per game(ev)of ice time all year. Have you ever played? 6-7 minutes with a couple of pluggers doesn’t produce points. He was never given a chance. DJ stay off the board.

Buzzeng

March 6th, 2009
5:15 pm

Predicting an early-in-overtime loss to the Habs, tonight, but still pulling for the Thrashers! No free NHL Network on Charter CATV here in NC to watch – blast!

Brendan

March 6th, 2009
5:26 pm

I think Perrin was scapegoated, along with a few other “vets” for the 28th place finish last season. Well, if Waddell felt that way, he should have moved Perrin at last year’s draft for a 3rd round pick. Or packaged him a deal. Instead, he forced Perrin to stay … at limited opportunity. I think Perrin knew, good-n-well, that when Waddell didn’t come to him with a PROACTIVE contract on July 1, 2008, that he would be playing out a contract, with hopes of being dealt at the deadline.

I like Perrin. I think he’s misused. He costs next to nothing. And if he could develop a “less scouted” shootout move, he could be a more viable threat there, too. I wish Eric well in the offseason. I hope he lands a 2-year deal somewhere in the NHL. In a worst case scenario, he can always join the other Thrashers castoffs on the Islanders (Sim, Sutton, etc.).

Jared

March 6th, 2009
8:28 pm

Huh… the diaper dandies at D seem to be doing not too shabby of a job so far. Keep it up boys!

Russian

March 6th, 2009
8:29 pm

Perrin is horrible. Canadiens will score PP goal, because Perrin is IDIOT in Penalty box. I like to see anybodyelse from Chicago.

Russian

March 6th, 2009
9:25 pm

SEcond Period 1:0 Atlanta. Game is going with lot of Penalty.

Brendan

March 6th, 2009
10:11 pm

It’s a Final. Atlanta 2, Montreal 0. As in, Kari got a shutout. Let’s trade ‘im! :) ~~

Russian

March 6th, 2009
10:22 pm

Trade him!!!!! No way. Kari played best hockey now. All team played very good. Bogus is NHL Future, I hope he will stay with Atlanta. Perrin left ice and not come back. I like to see Crabb or Lavel at Sunday.

Brendan

March 6th, 2009
10:51 pm

Sarcasm is sometimes lost on a blog. I’m one of the voices that says, “Keep Kari. Re-ink him to a 3-year deal.” Don’t overpay, but do give yourself a cushion of time. Three years from now, either Pavelec will be the man, Lehtonen will actually have become an elite goaltender, or the Thrashers will be looking at free agency to solve the problems in goal.

Brendan

March 6th, 2009
10:55 pm

Exelby has eclipsed Chris Tamer in total team tenure with the Thrashers. Heavy sigh. Was Chris Tamer really here THAT long?? Doesn’t that, pretty much, say it all?

mknobler

March 6th, 2009
11:22 pm

As you’ll see in my game story, Eric Perrin got a stinger and is day to day.

Kari Lehtonen gave a lot of credit to his defense. He made one really good point; they gave him a clear view of Mathieu Schneider’s shots. Schneider is shooting from the blue line but has so much zip that a screened goalie can be in a lot of trouble. Schneider put five shots on net Friday night.

I thought Zach Bogosian played a very strong game.

Blueland Blogger Ben Wright points out that Tobias Enstrom played 27:48. That’s a lot of ice time, but with Nathan Oystrick ill (12:23) and Garnet Exelby in the box for 12 minutes (12:48), and with Zach in the box for five minutes (16:38) a lot of the time on ice burden had to fall elsewhere. Ron Hainsey (22:13) played well and a lot, too.

The Thrashers have only 12 forwards, and with Perrin’s stinger they probably need to fly somebody in from Chicago. They were hoping not to have to bring any of those guys up until after next week’s three-game trip to Colorado, Edmonton and Buffalo, but they might not have the luxury to wait.

stendec

March 6th, 2009
11:29 pm

Fair is fair. I have no confidence in Kari Lehtonen. Never will. But…the goalie did smother 25 of 25 shots against a team I thoroughly despise. El Montreal Can-Aid-Dee-Ends! The netminder and his teammates were forced to secure the shutout the hard way as the biased officials were determined to keep the home penalty box full. They succeeded! Team finally played with courage and determination at home. A refreshing change of pace I might add! Could not locate the game on television. Drats! This is one even I would have loved to have witnessed. Tonight a feel-good effort. Bad habits may result in lopsided defeat on Sunday. Not tonight. Well done fellows. You will not hear that from me very often! A truly solid effort all the way around. Where have these guys been all season?

Hockey Biltong

March 7th, 2009
12:26 am

Brendan, I caught your drift…. and he who shall not be named farted anyway…..
Anyone know why Ex. sat for unsportsmanlike conduct???? I didn’t see it…….

R. Stroz

March 7th, 2009
12:32 am

Does anyone have a recap of the Town Hall meeting?

Falconer were you able to attend?

Nikita

March 7th, 2009
12:34 am

Sorry, hockey. NHLNetwork cut off my game, actually,

mknobler

March 7th, 2009
12:54 am

Ex got the unsportsmanlike conduct, he said, for bumping into some Montreal players as he left the ice after the second period. He said the real genesis of the penalty was that he accused the ref of playing favorites early in the game and the ref was getting even with him for that.

Alan

March 7th, 2009
2:01 am

Looks like all the ref did was prove Exelby was right.

squawksmcgrew

March 7th, 2009
8:10 am

Did I miss something or was there any reason the Habs were mugging Perrin? He got absolutely hammered every shift. Did they figure nobody would come to his defense?

Great game by the Thrashers. THAT’S the kind of intensity I pay to see (and glad I did)

stale farts

March 7th, 2009
9:28 am

Great game, good job to Bogosian. This kid will be our number 1 D man next season. Whether they are playing for jobs or not, I really like the team coming together as a “team”. Nice to see guys standing up for each other, that was missing at the start of this season and almost all of last season. I think many of the “passengers” are gone, Perrin is the only guy left who fits that description. Any word on “who” will be his replacement if the injury is serious ? I wish Hoffman could get a cup of coffee here.

shoot it

March 7th, 2009
10:31 am

Don’t forget the effort by Valabik. He had a very strong game. Great passing. Showed some very good speedas well.

Reality Check

March 7th, 2009
1:08 pm

Canuck,

Perrin is a 33-year-old career minor-leaguer, lucky to be in the NHL, who was 3rd scorer on a loser team last year.

Brendan

March 7th, 2009
2:28 pm

The Latest on the ownership turmoil, from the AJC:

“The ongoing ownership dispute between the Hawks and Thrashers partners wrapped up in Montgomery County Circuit Court on Thursday. But lawyers will return on May 8 to make their final arguments before the judge makes his decision. That probably will take several additional weeks.

No matter which side the judge favors, an appeal is expected. The proceedings could leave the ownership of the professional teams and Philips Arena operating rights in limbo for another year or so.”

Let me translate that into plain English. “Waddell is staying, barring something unforeseen.” And next year … will be exactly like the previous two seasons. But it WILL BE another “rung” in the ladder of climbing back to a position of playoff contendership. Hopefully, we get Tavares or Hedman this Summer, and Waddell really does convert that 2nd round pick from Montreal into a high-end Tier II forward.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 7th, 2009
2:51 pm

I’d like to see that deal (and maybe a prospect) dealt for the rights to one of the top RFAs this season. Zherdev is one person I like that’s an RFA…I’m sure I could come up with a better list.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 7th, 2009
3:44 pm

that was supposed to say “see that [pick] dealt”