Big test in front of big crowd

The Thrashers play the Red Wings tonight at Philips Arena. The atmosphere should be great. The game might be, too.

Ansar Khan of Booth Newspapers shared these comments from the Red Wings.

Coach Mike Babcock: “Their goaltending has been fantastic. That’s going to be a big issue for us. The other things that happens to us, when you’re a team in our situation playing a team in their situation, you don’t get prepared mentally, but when you need to, and then the goalie can shut the door on you. We talked about that, tried to prepare for it. We played well of late. We want to continue to get better.

“We’re going to get a real good test from a big man in net that is the kind of test you face at playoff time. When the other goalie is really good, you’ve got to outwork him.’’
Marian Hossa, on the reception he expects and whether it will be positive or negative: “Tell you truth, not sure. Obviously, it’s going to be a little bit of both.”

When I spoke with Hossa this morning, it was much like my conversation with him in Detroit before the season: He has friends in Atlanta. He enjoyed playing here. Making the playoffs was the highlight. Things didn’t come together as far as the chance to win. He’s enjoying playing for Detroit.

The most interesting thing he said was that the change of conferences was a good thing for him because he gets to go to places he rarely saw while playing in the East.

34 comments Add your comment

ThrasherTim

March 20th, 2009
4:35 pm

Looking forward to watching the game in HD tonight. Wish I could be there in person, but family duty calls.

I think there will be far more boos than cheers for Hossa. If Heatley still gets booed, I really think Hossa will be — after all, he didn’t want to be here either and it’s much more recent.

Glad the captain will be on the ice!

Stan Drulia

March 20th, 2009
4:47 pm

I hope Hossa gets a decent reception. It is easy to dislike any player who choses to leave our beloved team… but man, he had every reason to get out of here… and look how well it has played out for him. I do question his leaving the Penguins for Detroit… but that is a whole other story. Wish him well and look forward to seeing him tonite.

Tony C.

March 20th, 2009
6:29 pm

I’m glad Hossa wasn’t seriously hurt, but yeah the whole drama from last season left a bad taste in my mouth; I’m sure that the blame falls in part (perhaps mostly) on ownership/management, but still, we only saw “HOSS” one game last year-his audition for the Winged Wheel.

So, maybe a nice cheer when he’s announced, and hissing everytime he touches the puck??? IDK. Had tix for the game but couldn’t get out of work. Yall make sure you’re loud either way!

Brendan

March 20th, 2009
8:15 pm

I tuned in just as Detroit scored to make it, 1-0. It wasn’t a PPG, as the PP had just expired. How has Hossa been received?

Brendan

March 20th, 2009
8:16 pm

The Thrashers fans, Tony, have been loud with the “Let’s go Thrashers” chant. The 1st period is almost over. I’ve missed most of it. But the fans, even right now, as we approach the end of the period, are being quite vocal.

Brendan

March 20th, 2009
8:31 pm

I just heard “boos” for Hossa, when he touched the puck. I guess that’s to be expected. I don’t blame fans for that. They’re mad that Hossa abandoned the organization. But, did he ever belong? He wasn’t drafted here. He didn’t ever sign to play here, of his own free will. He got traded here. And seeing an organization in disarray, with cashflow problems, and lackluster ownership, he opted for the “Ilitches.” Wow. I can’t blame Hossa for that one. I just can’t. I wish he would have stayed. But I see it from ‘his side’ of things. Hossa didn’t leave either Atlanta or Pittsburgh for more money. He left $50 million on the table, by agreeing to a 1-year deal. Which made his injury that much more ‘frightening.’ NHL contracts are guaranteed. Had Hossa’s injury been career-ending, he’d still get those millions. That’s why Hossa deserves “credit” for following his dream. He wanted Detroit. He FORCED his way in. And he’ll probably taken even less just to stay.

Welllll. What would you say if Hossa re-signed with Detroit for $5-6, (which is what he made in cap hit for the Thrashers,) after making $7.4 this year? Don’t say, “That’s just because of a ‘perceived’ SHRINKING cap.” If Hossa wanted to hit the Open Market for his market value, he’d get offers up around $9 million. Maybe more. Sundin’s got another year at $10 million, out in Vancouver.

See, to me, the most valid criticism of Hossa … may be his ‘effort’ in the final year of his contract. He didn’t drop the shoulder. He didn’t seem to go full throttle. But, I attribute that to being ‘demoralized’ over not being traded in the 2007 offseason, like I’m sure he would have preferred.

Bygones.

Armstrong is here. Angelo Esposito will be here. Eric O’Dell, via Christensen, will be here one day. Daultan Leveille may be here, one day, if he isn’t traded at some point. As a Thrasher fan, I’m always looking to the future. Dwelling on the past, especially THISSS past, isn’t worth it. I’m we all expected more from the decade that followed the 1999-2000 Inaugural season. But it was what it was.

1-0, Detroit, after 1 period.

stendec

March 20th, 2009
9:17 pm

The true Toiletlids are back! Another totally gutless performance by a completely heartless group (team is not proper word to use here). Kari Letemin is back to being his normal untalented sieve self. Damn bestard Finn! All three goals (to date) were stoppable. Think not? Check out legitimate goaltender in Red Wing net! Somebody should nail that turncoat Maryann Hossa. Gloating son of a betch! No one will. Why? Toiletlids possess no manhood. They are only compliant betch dogs for other true NHL teams! Now 3-0. Hope it winds up 10-0! Do not want these miserable quitters to break the shutout! They and mindless fans deserve to be shut out. Lined up to offer excuses for this mail-in job? Do not bother. There are no damn excuses. Keep any to your own damn self! Unacceptable no matter how you cut it! Hope these guys are quitters for fans in another city next season. Minor league toilet residue!

Brendan

March 20th, 2009
9:44 pm

4-0, Detroit, with 11:00 left in regulation time.

stendec

March 20th, 2009
9:51 pm

Toiletlids score. DAMN! Just after Kari Letemin whiffed in fourth Red Wing goal. Untalented home quitters DESERVED to be shut out! Damn.

Brendan

March 20th, 2009
9:52 pm

4-1. PPG, by Bryan Little.

Check that. 5-1, goal by HOSSA!

Brendan

March 20th, 2009
9:54 pm

Hossa “booed” over the PA system, as Red Wing fans attempted to drown out the boos with cheers.

Brendan

March 20th, 2009
9:57 pm

Thrashers scored 2nd PPG of the night, when Kozlov tallied. It’s 5-2, Red Wings.

stendec

March 20th, 2009
10:01 pm

I thought my hate for Kari Letemin was complete. Son of a betch Finn just ALLOWED Maryann Hossa to score on shot from Marietta. I was wrong! My utter hatred of this scumball oxygen waste just throttled up ten fold. To Hell with him. To Hell with all of these ball-less quitters! Get them the Hell out of Georgia. Yesterday would have been too damn soon! Keep your excuses to your own damn selves! No excuses for this shet. Four goals on nine shots during one memorable stretch. How is that damn save percentage? Hardly Hall of Fame numbers! And you mindless jerks want this garbage back in goal next season? Sheesh!

Brendan

March 20th, 2009
10:03 pm

Hossa just got another assist on that Dan Cleary goal. It’s 6-2, Detroit. The crowd is still chanting, “Let’s Go Thrashers!”

Jared

March 20th, 2009
10:07 pm

A good win by Detroit at the Joe Lo-err…. Phillips Arena… … wow. We’ve played some stinkers, but my god… this one was the most painful to watch all season.

stendec

March 20th, 2009
10:08 pm

Correction. That “Let’s Go Thrashers” chant is actually “Get Gone Thrashers”. NOW it makes a lot more sense! Can someone please kidnap Osgood and send Kari Letemin to Michigan in his place? Just a thought. A really pleasant one at that!

B. Thenet

March 20th, 2009
10:13 pm

The Thrashers as a team had a rather good game.

Lehtonen let in 4 softies on the night, and should have been pulled in the 2nd after 1+ periods of him fighting the puck all night.

LAC

March 20th, 2009
10:15 pm

Sad to see we CANNOT compete with the Big Boys ! Simply put,the last couple games showed how incomplete a team we really are…We need additional scoring,a true checking line and a much more solid defense next season.

Guess we are now back in the Travares race…. Let’s hope !

Brendan

March 20th, 2009
10:26 pm

Yay!, Colin Stuart gets a goal, and Joey Crabb picked up a helper. Nice. Yeah, yeah. “Too little, too late.” Scoring three (3) goals against Detroit is still pretty good. Who expected a win?

I said, “expected.” Not rooting for. We all root for Thrasher wins.

gttim

March 20th, 2009
11:00 pm

That game stunk! The Thrashers cannot control the puck. They dump it, skate down, and fight for it before giving it up. The Redwings control the puck, move it around, take good shots and usually get the rebound. The difference between the two teams was amazing.

I will say that Kovy can make some damn nice passes.

JR

March 20th, 2009
11:31 pm

Mike

it amazes me how and your boys at he ajc like to focus on thrasher attendance. What a joke. Why do they not do the same analysis on the the Hawks or maybe you should. If the Thrash had momentum, attendance would not be an issue. You all do not get it!!

nfieldr

March 21st, 2009
1:21 am

Just finished watching the game on the ol’ DVR. Wow… I certainly had a different perspective on the game than some of you other guys. I actually thought the Thrash played a decent game. Ozzy really had a great 1st period and didn’t allow the “good guys” to get any momentum. Also, I didn’t think most of the goals that Kari gave up were softies. I actually think that the Red Wings are just that good at moving the puck. You can definitely see the difference in the quality of play between a (or the) top team in the league and the Thrashers, but still, for the most part, I thought we had a pretty solid game. That effort would have beat most teams in the league. Just my $.02

R. Stroz

March 21st, 2009
1:27 am

Concerning the attendence issue, the ASG made their bed and now they get to lay in it.

The ASG has:

1) has not only screwed season ticket holders and ticket package holders for years, but, has also treated them with disdain at times

2) failed to address pathetic management and scouting issues

3) low balled the payroll

4) continuously lied to the fan base about the direction of the team

5) and tried to sell an inferior product as if it was filet mignon

If the ASG wants to ascertain why attendence is down, they should look in the mirror. The P.T. Barnum routine wears thin after awhile.

The Thrasher need real owners, not play owners, and real NHL hockey management and scouting, not NHL wannabees (Don Waddell) and past failures (Dan Marr).

R. Stroz

March 21st, 2009
1:31 am

If it weren’t for the Red Wings fans, the arena would have been nearly empty. The attendence ratio was 90% Red Wings fans to 10% Thrasher fans.

bob (other) – You and the rest of the investor section in 116 must have sold all of your tickets to people wearing red jerseys.

Brendan

March 21st, 2009
3:22 am

You read my mind, R. Stroz. Watching the 7 Dwarves suffer the consequences seems like the ‘mimimum justice’ for what they’ve foisted on the hockey-going public in the 20 county metropolitan area. They have no one to blame but themselves. No hurricane, no flood, no earthquake, no typhoon, no tsunami ever hit Philipa Arena and derailed them. Okay, a tornado came close once. But it didn’t do HALF the damage that this ownership group has. And don’t forget, the 7 Dwarves have owned the team longer than the previous two ownership entities … C-O-M-B-I-N-E-D.

LAC

March 21st, 2009
3:28 am

R.Stroz, You hit the issue headon. It was sick to see those detroit fans there last night. It seems every NHL fan considers us a freak show
or something. We get ZERO respect from anyone in the NHL, fans, esp Canada ones, are ALWAYS saying… Why is a hockey team in Atlanta, when will they move and so on. You never hear them say that about Carolina or Tampa and very little about Florida or Nashville, Always Atlanta.

These clown owners will not listen to THE FANS, the Bill payers,
We want a NEW GM, a REAL one, we need NEW scouts and really a NEW OWNER,
no more owners please, plan B failed before it got started.

But as we ALL know nothing will happen, waddell will continue to ruin the team and the cheap as hell owners will never do one damn thing to put a WINNER on the ice here, A very sad state of affairs indeed !

Brendan

March 21st, 2009
3:51 am

Ya know something, R. Stroz, it occurs to me that Steve Belkin didn’t do ANY of the following, but FUBAS did.

FUBAS DID leave Don Waddell in Charge. Despite the results. Despite the biggest exodus of talent since Scripture. (Don’t make me list the names. Your dog knows the names of the Thrasher players who don’t play here anymore.) At no point did FUBAS ever consider that they, THEMSELVES, and/or Don Waddell, might be the source of the problem, regarding the disappearing talent. Or why players and their agents, alike, regard our market as a joke.

FUBAS DID set a pathetic budget. Probably due to the litigation, but what MORON continues to fight a lawsuit once it no longer becomes “cost effective” to do so? And CRIPPLES your ability to sell tickets and be playoff eligible? Nevermind. No thought is required to answer the question.

FUBAS DID leave Dan Marr in charge of scouting. He’s still here. And will DRAFT AGAIN!! It’s just a few months away now. Watch! I can already see his face standing on that stage, handing a Thrashers cap and jersey to the next draftee. And Don Waddell, right at his side.

These 7 idiots are responsibile for everything (except Heatley) that has befallen the Thrashers. I want WHATEVER gets them fired. And if the team leaves the Atlanta market, which is doubtful, then they deserved to be run out of town.

Look how DISRESPECTFULLY the ownership views the hockey fan.

1. They call the STH names during their Town Hall Meeting.
2. They cannot and will not disclose the length or salary of the Head Coach or General Manager, when virtually any other organization does, and will, whether the fans CARE to know about it. Or not.
3. They charge FULL PRICE to returning STH’s. Then offer bluster as to why they’ll do it, AGAIN. (!!)
4. They lie unctuously and remorselessly about the status of the franchise. Stating things like, “We’re real close” to putting together a playoff team. “Why tear it down?,” said Levensen, when the wheels fell off, after the Rangers swept the Thrashers out of the 2007 playoffs. “I think we know how to sign free agents,” said Bruce Levenson, smugly. I’d like ask Levensen what Hossa told him, vis-a-vis why he wouldn’t re-sign in Atlanta. I’d like to ask Levensen how things negotiations went with Brian Campbell, last Summer. (Perhaps a blessing in disguise now, at the price he got paid. But this is the kind of ’silver lining’ we Thrashers fans must attempt to find.) Has Ron Hainsey just been a “steal?” I like Ron Hainsey. I do. But he’s not a Tier I defenseman, which is what FUBAS promised, and tried to obtain in Brian Campbell. Bogosian will be a Tier I defender, but it was clear that FUBAS’ intentions were to sign one, not DRAFT one here, relative to the 2009 season.

Bruce Levensen said the team was “moving in the right direction” after a 28th place finish in 2008. Stop. Digest that one, yet? And let’s face it, the Thrashers can still finish in 29th place this year. I don’t think they will, at this point. But what if they did???

Welll????? What would be the spin?? “Southward” is the INTENDED direction we’re moving? And the consequences for finishing 29th in the league would be what? Is anyone getting fired? Don Waddell stays?? Dan Marr stays?? That’s how you resolve back-to-back lottery draft finishes? This notion that some Assistant GM, from ANYWHERE ELSE in the league, couldn’t pick Zach Bogosian at #3 overall … is insulting to those ‘would be’ GM’s. Don Waddell may be a lovely man. Don Waddell may be improving as a GM. Don Waddell may EVENTUALLY advance the organization back to the playoffs, via lottery draft finishes and waiver claims, but look into your soul and answer this question HONESTLY, “Who COULDN’T do that?” “Who couldn’t achieve ‘incremental progress’?” “Incremental progress” is on an even keel with peeing in the ocean. It’s nothing to trumpet.

Brendan

March 21st, 2009
4:03 am

Oh yeah, I meant to say … print out the Red Wings roster, then set it down next to a printout of the Thrashers roster. 6-3 suddenly isn’t looking so bad. Can anyone say, with certainty, that the Red Wings won’t win the Cup again this year? I’m not upset with a 6-3 loss to Detroit, even at Philips Arena. I don’t throw the team under the bus after every loss in a ‘build year.’ Or ‘build DECADE.’ But I am, still, hopping mad at this ownership for its many and calculated ‘missteps’ in its handling of an NHL franchise. That won’t change for me, even when they get back to the playoffs. Which they will, almost by definition. There must be accountability for inaction. And if that accountability’s only incarnation comes in the form of “lessened revenue-sharing dollars,” then FUBAS got off LIGHTLY.

dwayne

March 21st, 2009
8:21 am

i watched the whole game, i know we can do the what if’s, its 1-0 and Kovy smacks the pipe, Colby’s wide open net back hander that missed, Slava missing a backhander, someone got robbed in tight, don’t remember who. Osgood was good early, and thats why they won. If Osgood plays like that in the playoffs, they will ge out in the 2nd round. New Jersey will win it all anyway. One more thing. I liked the way the Thrashers gave effort all night. Did not quit. Young guys are impressing me. Oh yeah, Salmela was robbed too. I like his game.

Ray

March 21st, 2009
9:32 am

I was at the game and the Thrashers actually played pretty well. Kari did let in a couple softies, but had Kovy’s shot gone in to tie the game at 1, it may have turned out differently. Osgood had a great game and never let Atlanta get into the game. The Red Wings are the best team in hockey for a reason.

Jimbo

March 21st, 2009
9:40 am

Stendec is back hissing but most of the posts are more objective. True that the Red Wings have a better and deeper team than we do, but the game was actually closer than the score. A couple of breaks early on kept us off the board. The Wings control the puck and seem to know where the open shooter is. A good learning lesson for the guys. No question that the Wings will have to shed one or two good players next year to stay within the salary cap. Good crowd energy last night.

jason

March 21st, 2009
9:41 am

Well at least we’re doing a great job at building a fan base….oh wait, we’re in Atlanta and the team 16,000 in the building were cheering for was from Detroit? Never mind.

STENDEC'S MOTHER

March 21st, 2009
10:59 am

So glad Kari had a bad game, The beatings I was taking were beginning to leave marks. My son needs help.

Nikita

March 21st, 2009
11:29 am

IMO, the Thrash played well in the first. Osgood simply shut them down. But the 2nd and 3rd were hard watching, unless you’re a Wings fan. IMO, the team needs more conditioning. Detroit isn’t that much more skilled than most of the rest of the league, but the talent is deep and so is the conditioning. Anderson was trying to save the scorers by rotating the lines religiously from the start, and it worked for a while — but ultimately Detroit was better conditioned and more consistently skilled.