Five in a row

OK, I admit it. I was thinking about switching the channel to some college basketball. I didn’t, though, and wow, what a finish. Marty Reasoner following up Colin Stuart’s shot for yet another shorthanded goal. Todd White reaching in behind Lalime to knock the puck across the line with three seconds left to force overtime. Brett Sterling winning the shootout.

That’s five consecutive victories for the Thrashers, this one entirely without Ilya Kovalchuk and for a large part of the game without Jim Slater.

38 comments Add your comment

Brendan

March 14th, 2009
9:04 pm

The T-birds only had Kovalchuk for 40 seconds in the Edmonton, game. This means we can let Kovy “walk” in 2010, right? (What duh? My sarcasm detector just EXPLODED!)

Bill S.

March 14th, 2009
9:08 pm

Incredible effort, incredible win, especially without Kovy. Anybody think pride is overrated? Only a fool would change this group for next season.

Tom

March 14th, 2009
9:16 pm

Only a fool? That is the problem with the franchise, the fool is the GM.

Full marks to the boys and John Anderson. They had a rough patch in the 2nd period but came back strong and with heart. As a fan that is all I can ever ask!

Georgia girl

March 14th, 2009
9:18 pm

Great game tonight!! How come the Hawks can win 4 in a row and get mentioned on the main page of the ajc.com but the Thrashers do the same thing and they get nothing. Guess we are the outcast children with AJC in addition to the Atlanta Spirit…

mknobler

March 14th, 2009
9:20 pm

Georgia Girl, the difference is the Hawks are playoff–bound and the Thrashers are, well, not.

B. Thenet

March 14th, 2009
9:21 pm

It sure wasn’t pretty, that is for sure.

I think you have to give some credit to Perrin for sparking the team to start the 3rd. Was it a bad penalty? Not when the guy you go after took out one of your fellow players with a cheapshot. I wonder if Anderson gave him the go ahead to do that.

Salmela is a hoot. I am not sure if he will help us score more goals, or give up more goals, but he is fun to watch. Especially in the OT.

jason

March 14th, 2009
9:31 pm

mknobler, I’m calling bs on that one. At least the AJC sent Sekou out west when the Hawks had a road trip to face the Lakers and the like.

Brendan

March 14th, 2009
9:31 pm

I am very interested in how the “On the Fly” boys review our game tonight. You’ll have to wait until after the Oilers-Avalanche game ends. Wonder if they’ll even mention that it’s Atlanta’s 5th straight win, including third on the road. Not an “easy” schedule, either. Way out West in Colorado and Edmonton, then back East to Buffalo. It’s the second 5-game winning streak this season. The other occurred in November.

If the Avalanche lose in regulation time, Atlanta leap frogs ahead of Colorado in the league standings.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 14th, 2009
9:32 pm

Funny, i guess there are no words censored in this new format…don’t tell stendec.

Brendan

March 14th, 2009
9:38 pm

Ya know, something. It’s “easy” to take potshots at the AJC for its hockey coverage. But really, if you were (AJC Sports Editor) Ronnie Ramos, and you ran 5-8 hockey articles every day in the Sports Section, in a football/college sports town, you’d be in hot water pretty quickly.

It’s not up to Mike Knobler how much or how little the AJC covers hockey. We’re not Edmonton, where 4-5 hockey items is not unusual, in the Sports pages. The Oilers are always Page 1. It’s Edmonton. This is Atlanta. People here want to know how the Braves are doing in the grapefruit action and what the draft will be like in the NFL, and if it was a mistake to not re-sign Keith Brooking with the Falcons. AJC has to know its customers. We hockey fans are a minor group. We’re a FIERCELY LOYAL and PASSIONATE GROUP, but we’re about 1% of all the 20 county metropolitan area.

Midfield

March 14th, 2009
9:39 pm

This second period skid is a direct result of a demoralizing non-response to an elbow in Slater’s face. They should have gotten on Buffalo’s back right away, they don’t have a big line-up anyway. But, better late than ever. What’s the word on Slater?

Obama is DC's version of Waddell

March 14th, 2009
9:47 pm

What was amazing about Reasoner’s goal is the fact he was drilled on the hand in the set up to the break. If I’m not mistaken, he left the ice and didn’t come back. Great heart tonight by everyone.

Tom

March 14th, 2009
9:58 pm

Brendan

Well, it is not like the AJC is worried about selling papers. Oh wait. And when it comes to disenfranchisement of readers, the politics of the paper has done more than enough damage.

What I am curious about is what happens to the coverage in a couple of years when the print edition is shut down and it is all online? I can see Rawhide being the one covering the Thrashers as paying a full time reporter will be out of the question. (sorry Mike, still love ya and the work you do, but reality is reality in today’s news business.)

Brendan

March 14th, 2009
10:22 pm

I think whole medium of print news is concerned about the shift to online coverage. Myself, I like my smudgy ink fingers on my coffee mug in the morning. Even people who disagree with the political slant of the paper still want to see stock numbers, sports scores and standings, and read the articles, or do the crossword puzzles, review obits, or read the funnies, such as they exist. I like Dilbert in the Business section. I think it’ll be sad, to look back at movies that featured a newspaper stand and think, “Wild, remember when they used to have those?” I like that we still live in a world where there’s still a vending machine on a street corner, where two quarters buys you a paper. At a minimum, you can buy a paper at the gas station. But I guess certain elements of our culture are disappearing. Ever look for payphone? They’re tough to find now.

Whenever I see any of those “Superman” movies, and Mr. White at the “Daily Planet,” along with the sound of typewriters clicking away, I sort of chuckle. I wonder when a newsroom last looked or sounded like that.

Hockey Biltong

March 14th, 2009
10:44 pm

CNNSI.com had nothing on the Thrash game, but a big pic of Marty Brodeur[sp?] winning the game….bloody swines.

jason

March 14th, 2009
11:15 pm

Brendan, good luck finding box scores and the like coming soon. I’ve been told that the Sports section is going to be down to 4 pages some days during the summer.

Perhaps if the AJC stopped covering the same teams every day ad nauseum (I’m waiting for a Mark Richt breakfast update to start showing up) then more people would take the paper as a whole seriously.

I really enjoy MK’s writing, and I know it’s not his fault he doesn’t get to go to Edmonton and the like. And I know he heard the same gripes when he worked the Tech beat that UGA was getting too much coverage. It’s just disappointing when – for example – a local Division I baseball team sweeps a doubleheader from a ranked team and it doesn’t even get mentioned in the paper because it’s not Tech or UGA.

Heaven forbid the Braves have a bad start to the season and DOB doesn’t get sent to the West Coast for a Dodgers or Giants series.

Bryan

March 14th, 2009
11:27 pm

Great win tonight. The AJC will do anything to turn their fortunes around except addressing the real problem … an extreme liberal bias that alienates a significant majority of the metro region. I’m sorry to see the sports department and other non-editorial areas suffer.

Star of the Zanarkand Abes!

March 14th, 2009
11:28 pm

Hell of a game tonight! This team is really clawing away deep into the third period.

LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!

Supes

March 14th, 2009
11:57 pm

Bryan at 11:27pm, couldn’t have said it better myself.

I don’t pay any money to read this liberal rag of a newspaper, but I always get my local sports news from the ajc/sports page, and I enjoy most of the blogs covering the local teams, like the Braves, Falcons, Thrashers and UGA sports in general.

As far as the game tonight, what a gutsy effort by the team. They ‘fell asleep’ defensively for a time in the 2nd period, had the breakdowns, but never quit. That’s a very promising sign, before I was worried that we may lose out on the top lottery pick, but frak that right now. Keep this going. It’s a building block for next season.

Hope that Jim Slater is OK, that was a nasty hit he took to the head. I know they are winning without Kovy, but not sure they can keep doing that. Need that one 40 plus goal scorer who everyone on the other team fears(that he can put the puck in the net at any time)

Thought that Kari played well (2 of the goals defensive breakdowns), and he was awesome in the OT and the SO. What a move by Brent Sterling in the SO to score the winning goal. He seemed a bit eager and nervous early on in the game (when he had a chance to score) but delivered nicely at the end. Not sure if he’ll be a top 2 line player on this team, but you can tell the “finishing ability” at the net is definitely there.

Big test coming up next week, but I applaud the Thrashers for their effort, win or lose they are skating hard and aren’t quitting even if the score is against them.

LAC

March 15th, 2009
12:17 am

This is becoming quite FUN !

Brenden, after the Colo-Edm game they have HNIC After Hours
where they interview a couple players and break down the game.
So…it could be 2-3 am before the taped On the Fly guys get going.

They had very little to say following the Colorado game,and not that much following the Edm game either.

Now back east we may see something, but with NJ winning and #551 in
Montreal, that gets top billing, then those other games…
I sure hope they show SportsSouth footage, I cannot stand that Rick Jeneret the Buffalo announcer, WORST in the NHL NO DOUBT !
He was quite subdued following the game, had me laughing.

But excellent game and #4 looks solid as HELL! If he’s not hurt
we have at least five more wins.

mknobler

March 15th, 2009
12:30 am

LAC, have to agree with you about Bogosian. He has been playing very good hockey lately. There are nights when he might be the most effective defenseman on the ice for the Thrashers, which is saying a lot for an 18-year-old rookie.

I won’t weigh in on the AJC discussion other than to say that Sekou didn’t cover every Hawks road game and that neither he nor I would have chosen to miss any games were it up to us to decide.

stendec

March 15th, 2009
12:51 am

This was the Falcon rally past the Bears all over again! A game the Thrashers had no business winning. BUT THEY WON! A 3-1 deficit with (realistically) 20 minutes remaining. Several weeks ago the final would have been 4-1 or worse! What happened down stretch? An unlikely shorthanded goal makes it 3-2. A frantic push in goal ties things up with three full seconds plus a few microseconds left. The goaltender who allowed three questionable tallies a period earlier becomes a mixture of Patrick Roy and Bernie Parent! He virtually WILLS pucks out of the net. That same netminder is untouchable in overtime and during the shootout. He turns aside shot after shot until his guys put one between the pipes. BRAVO! I gave up on Falcons against Bears. I gave up on Thrashers against Sabres. Glad I was way off base in both instances! Man, does it feel super good right now. Any outside chance the streak CAN continue? Sure would be nice! See Russian slipped a few George Carlin-like words in. Know how ya feel fellow with heat of moment and all that. By the way, to poster that mentioned me by name. I self edit (censor) my own copy. I have that much respect for others who read these messages. No offense Russian. You remain one of my favs. Good morning all. Now everyone can get some shuteye!

Pinball34

March 15th, 2009
4:27 am

Paging a Mr. Jeff Schultz, Mr. Schultz please report to the front desk. Mr. Jeff Schultz.

Belak

March 15th, 2009
5:06 am

I will go ahead and call for Connelly to be suspended. With all the stupid talk of curbing fighting, blatant hits to the head which cause injury are much worse than two guys squaring off, two guys who know they are in a fight. Jim Slater did not expect to get his head elbowed and he was hurt because of it. It should not matter if TC is known for that or not. It was a hit to the head..the same type of hit the NHL is supposed to view as dangerous and they should protect the players since that’s all the recent talks are about. Exelby gets fined for a hit that doesn’t cause injury, TC should be fined and suspended IMO. I am elated the Thrashers came back and won this one. They showed more of the “team” aspect, even Perrin went after TC. It was nice to see and that’s a definite change in attitude. That’s all most fans asked for, whether we win or lose, at least COMPETE. This team competes very hard and never quits, and the results are what they are. We win games we shouldn’t win. Valabik and Hainsey had a rough one, but Salmela looked very solid in his debut. Someone owes Kaleta a few fists to his face. They should force anyome opposed to fighting to play against him, and they’d change their opinions. It’s one thing to be a pest, but cheap shots are another. The Sabres get their sticks and elbows up. I’m glad Valabik roughed up one of their stars. Overall..nice to see us come alive late and win a game we normally would have lost badly by the time the 2nd period was over.

Bring on the Caps !

docsbro

March 15th, 2009
7:38 am

Mike I appreciate you trying to cover for the AJC… but reality is if I want the score of the Thrashers game I have to search the entire front page to find it. Sometimes it easier to go to yahoo Sports to find the game recap. This has always been the case…even when the Hawks sucked and the Thrash where making a playoff run. This has always been a frustration of mine as a Thrash fan. Maybe some day they will appreciate that there are for four Pro teams in Atlanta not three.

Christy

March 15th, 2009
7:50 am

Ranallo – so much for Devil’s Advocate. Sterling shows up and scores the game winning goal in shoot out. Nice.

Brendan, RE your comment on Mike’s earlier blog about Reasoner – I think that if Waddell actually managed to negotiate and extend Reasoner before the end of the season that you might go into shock and be unable to recover.
I’m sure that he is a faithful reader of this blog and DW knows the probable effect of such a signing and is attempting to spare you by waiting until July 1….

Jimbo

March 15th, 2009
8:06 am

Bogosian is really something for an 18 yr. old. His confidence seems o build with each game. He is going to be something in the years to come. And, Salmela looks like a “find”, quick, shifty and snaps his passes. Fun to get excited about the team once again.

JLH

March 15th, 2009
9:08 am

Mike,

I am definitely put off by the exclusion of NHL boxscores and reduction in coverage by the AJC!
The sports section (and my son’s weekly current events class) is why I continue to subscribe. I am a bleeding-heart liberal so I am not put off by the politics, and I understand the need to balance the books, but at some point we have to have a reason to subscribe.
Also, it looks like the AJC clock didn’t move forward last weekend. Mike filed this article 30 minutes before the game was over.

I didn’t see the game. How did Salmela look?

SCN

March 15th, 2009
10:25 am

Knobler does a good job, but AJC hockey coverage sux! How ’bout an “Inside the NHL”/notes column on Sunday? Sekou does one for the NBA, why none for NHL??

Brendan

March 15th, 2009
10:26 am

Christy, if DWad wanted to kill me, he’d just resign of his own accord. stating something to the effect, “Well, look. I tried my best. But obviously, the team finishing in the bottom third of the Eastern Conference for the eighth time in nine (8/9) seasons is something for which a GM must be made accountable. I wish the next GM better luck than I had.”

To quote Red Foxx, “This is the BIG ONE, Elizabeth!! Daddy’s comin’!” That’s the shock that would put me six feet under. Ask Waddell if he’s a good GM, and he’ll tell you all about it. “Pull up a chair, why don’t you? Make yourself comfortable. It all started when I saw Damian Rhodes steal that Boston series with Ottawa. I KNEW that would be the GOALTENDER TO LEAD US to the Promised Land!”

I guess, Christy, in the end, so long as he re-signs Reasoner, or FINDS BETTER, that’s what matters. He’s the GM. And I’m the “idiot” blogger. He knows far better than any of us what to do.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 15th, 2009
10:44 am

Christy — Talk about a lucky topic to be supportive of on my part…now I can only hope that he stays up for a few more games and proves he belongs in the NHL. For all we know the Devil’s Advocate in you is still correct, the proof has just been delayed by a skills competition.

Knobler — I’ve got no complaints. For boxscores or other in depth game coverage of the Thrashers I go to the sites dedicated to hockey (TSN mainly) or to the Thrashers (atlantathrashers.com). You give a few interviews or a little information those sites don’t give, and a spiffy forum to discuss the team and events…so I’m happy enough.

EA

March 15th, 2009
10:45 am

Jeff Shultz will not be coming around any time soon if the Thrashers continue to win. He only steps in when things are going bad. Maybe that is what he is paid to do. I get my info for other games on NHL.com or the team’s website. The AJC really turned me off back during the all star game. Basically no coverage of the All Star weekend. The coverage given was also pretty negative. One has to agree that the All Star weekend was a big success in Atlanta. Thanks Mike for what you do. You are able to give us info on the players we would not find anywhere else. Mike can you remove the profanity from the website? I have kids who read the blog. Thanks.

Matt

March 15th, 2009
11:26 am

Great to see the wins, unfortunately too little to late for this season.Hopefully this play will carry over to next year.

As to the AJC, I have to agree that it has had serious drop in content lately. Don’t see how you can justify making the paper SMALLER in order to attempt to stem loss of readership.

The lack of box scores first became apparent to me with college basketball football season. Now there is nothing except the local teams, if that. Don’t even get the top 25 rankings for college hoops anymore.

I personally am down to a Suaday only subscription and frankly the way that edition has shrunk as of this week, I doubt I’ll be renewing. In these times need to see INCREASE in return on investment, not DECREASE. (Same price, smaller paper, less content is no way to run a business)

Alan

March 15th, 2009
11:53 am

Knobler, you have to admit that if it weren’t for the Atlanta Spirit lawsuit and the tiny scorebox at the top left of the front page, the Thrashers would never be mentioned on the front page. It would be real nice to see a little bit of hockey love on the front page every once in a while, regardless of playoff opportunities.

MB

March 15th, 2009
1:33 pm

Really enjoying the play of this team lately…battling through, refusing to give up, working as a team. Great to see. And, fortunately, most of the other lower ranked teams are playing well enough to keep pace, so we may still end up in the lottery while enjoying a little bit of late-season success.

I have to say, the thought of starting with Hainsey, Enstrom, and Bogo as our top 3 blueliners going into next season with X, Oystrick, Valabik, Salmella, and the Chicago kids/Nikulin battling it out for the rest of the spots is not nearly as frightening as I would have thought. I’ve always tended to be a “you can never have too much defense)” fan, but while I’d certainly welcome a bona fide shut-down kind of guy, these guys are giving me a little confidence that it’s not the absolute necessity it was just a short while ago.

Granted, a lot of that also rests on Kari keeping up his stellar play of late.

As for the AJC, it’s crazy to think they’d add on right now. Newspapers in general have been on the decline for the past 15 years, +/-, and they’re just as affected by the current economic downturn as any other business, if not more. I don’t like the reduction in sections/features either, but they have to reduce costs where they can. We still get delivery 7 days a week, and probably will as long as it’s offered.

Brendan

March 15th, 2009
4:08 pm

Since February 1st, the Thrashers are 11-6-1, for 23 of the possible 36-points. Since February 10th, Atlanta is 10-4-1 in it’s past 15 games. that’s 22 of the possible 30-points in that stretch.

Colorado won last night, to stay ahead of Atlanta. The NY Islanders, in the 3rd period, are leading the Chicago Blachkhawks, 3-1. So, they’re not “tanking it,” either. And, clearly, Atlanta is not in “Operation Tank it” mode either. I repeat, 10-4-1 in the past 15 games.

And, the team is in the midst of a 5 game winning streak, post TRADE DEADLINE. Anyone missing Schneider or Havelid yet? Christensen??

Bill

March 16th, 2009
4:46 pm

Oh please – the paper has had a “liberal bias” as you call it for years. The reason the paper is getting smaller and smaller is because people are now reading the content for free online. The physical costs to create a copy of the paper are largely paid via advertising – historically a lot of that $$ came from the classifieds.

Next time you get the paper, take a look at how thin the classified ads are – that’s lost revenue.

The shrinkage of the paper is from advertising revenues dropping. That’s it. Soon, I doubt we’ll even have a print edition to talk about. Look at what happened in Seattle:

http://www.kirotv.com/news/18941041/detail.html

Bill

rubberchicken

March 17th, 2009
1:03 pm

We have to put the blame on someone for all this winning! Gotta be that bum Waddell. It’s always his fault right?