More Moose, less Lehtonen

Johan Hedberg has won three consecutive decisions and reached 100 career victories. It looks like he’ll get at least three more chances to boost that victory total this season.

Kari Lehtonen (upper body injury) did not participate in today’s morning skate. Thrashers coach John Anderson said Lehtonen, who went through half a practice on Tuesday, will not be in uniform tonight against Buffalo and probably won’t be available this weekend.

The Thrashers are 3-0 against the Sabres. If it gets to 4-0, the Sabres will be all but eliminated from playoff contention. Buffalo is six points behind eighth-place Montreal in the race for the final postseason berth; the Sabres have a game in hand, but their time is running out.

All three Thrashers-Sabres games this season have gone to overtime. If this one does, keep an eye on who scores the game-winning goal. The last two Thrashers to score the deciding goal against Buffalo are no longer with the team: Jason Williams in overtime and Brett Sterling in a shootout.

26 comments Add your comment

Dwayne H. Johnson

April 1st, 2009
11:30 am

Mike, Thank You for all you do. I hope the Thrashers have a good off season, sign the current Thrashers that need to be signed and get at least 2 top players, regaurdless of position.


April 1st, 2009
12:33 pm

So I guess we should expect a goal from Eric Perrin in OT then. ;)

Wayne from AL

April 1st, 2009
1:13 pm

Get ready to give up 4 goals a game…


April 1st, 2009
2:43 pm

They’ll just have to win 5 to 4 in OT then.

Mike, is Valabik (I hope) still out as well?


April 1st, 2009
3:51 pm

My last game of the season tonight. Horrible hockey to start the season and I personally went to 4 games and was 0-4. Much better lately and am looking to go to 4 straight wins tonight and even up my record on the season. Going to get my big beer at Gorin’s/great wraps and see ya’ll at phillips. Go thrashers!


April 1st, 2009
5:22 pm

Looks like Van Reimsdyk got an entry level contract with the Phantoms/Flyers since New Hampshire just got eliminated from the Frozen Four tournament.


April 1st, 2009
5:32 pm

Thrashers 6, Sabres 4. Lots of goals tonight, I suspect.

Mike Knobler, how did Dan Turple look in practice? I really hope we get to see at least 8-10 minutes of the guy … at the NHL level … just to have a ‘look-see.’ Dan Turple is the sixth round pick that Ottawa gave us when they acquire D-man Brian Pothier in 2002. Shawn MacEachern was the “centerpiece” of that Pothier trade.

I think it would be quite a feather in Waddell’s cap if he took a “throw away” pick like that … and converted it into a roster player. Now look, we shouldn’t expect anything. Superstars don’t emerge from the sixth round but so often. And when it happens, it’s usually a Detroit or NJ pick. Perhaps Ottawa, as they are somewhat considered to be “draft royalty.”

Go Thrashers, tonight!

This is my favorite part of the season. The final 8 or so games of the regular season and then, the 8 playoff series of the 1st round. We’ll have MEANINGFUL hockey every night during that time. Yes, even if tonight’s game is predominantly meaningful for Buffalo playoff hopes.

Atlanta really has the chance to screw the Sabres, Panthers, and Capitals, down the stretch.


April 1st, 2009
9:43 pm


Im watching the game online

I watch every game online, except when they play against Habs at the Bcentre.

Goood Job Kovy! The Thrashers had an awesome game tonight!!!



April 1st, 2009
9:45 pm

WOW! Winner on breakaway by Captain Ilya Kovalchuk with less than half a minute left in overtime. WOW! Another solid effort from Moose. WOW! Keep What’s-His-Name quitter on bench. He and his issues are a liability which are definitely not required. Another home victory. WOW! Congratulations all the way around. Only one thing left to say. WOW!


April 1st, 2009
10:16 pm

Isles blew a lead against the Capitals tonight. Granted, it’s a comeback versus the Islanders, but I think the Washington Capitals are the real deal. Honestly, George McPhee deserves a lot of credit for the roster he’s compiled. There’s 7-8 former 1st round picks in his lineup. New Jersey is struggling mightily. Tonight’s “carnage” was a 6-1 DEBACLE at the hands of the RED HOT Penguins.

In a game that matters for the lottery draft, Phoenix is leading Colorado, 1-0, in the 2nd period. Chicago has a 2-0 lead on St. Louis, in a game that means a lot to both those clubs. Hey, will the Blues make it in?? I wouldn’t have thought so, but they’re still alive, this late in the season.

Will Lou Lamoriello fire Brent Sutter? Before you say, “No chance!,” he once fired Claude Julien 79 games into a season. There’s no doubt the Devils are faltering right now. Some of those games, the effort was really THERE. They just didn’t get the result. But this is the time of the year when you MUST get results. If you had told me your pick to win the East was New Jersey, I would have agreed. And that still might happen. If you’d told me, 5 weeks ago, that Pittsburgh was your pick to win the East, I’d have laughed, and wished you luck getting your team into the playoffs. Guess Crosby, Malkin and co. just really wanted Michel Therrien fired. Mission accomplished.


April 1st, 2009
10:52 pm

Check it out. The Thrashers now have a better home record than road record: . This was another solid game from Hedberg.

Boy, was Don Waddell “stupid” to re-sign this guy, or what? (Sarcasm detector, flailing wildly.) Why do we allow Moose’s “terrible” goaltending to go unchallenged? Sigh. Hedberg is over .500 now, for the season. What’s he cost, anyway? $1 million? $1.25 million? I think Waddell got more than his “value” with that contract.

Stop. Let’s be clear about something. Moose Hedberg is NOT a #1 goalie. He can’t play 55 games. But he can give you 15-20, with most of those being pretty decent outings, as we saw tonight. Now, I wouldn’t play Hedberg 5-6 games in-a-row. That’s not his style. But, unfortunately, that’s what he’s faced with, barring a return of Lehtonen. Or, quite possibly, a Dan Turple outing.

That’s 72-points now. Four more, in the next five games, and they EQUAL last year’s output. Just 1-2-2 would do it. Or 2-3-0. Just think! 2-1-2 would reflect that, gasping in horror , “incremental progress.” Oh my.

Hockey Biltong

April 1st, 2009
10:58 pm

Kovy wasn’t as sharp as he usually is, but made up for it with the OT goal. Nice punch in the face by Exelby defending Moose.
Nice to win with so many banana slugs in the house.


April 1st, 2009
11:15 pm

Great win by the Thrashers tonight! They beat a desperate team, and the game was very chippy in the beginning. Glad that Exelby decked the guy early on to send a msg.

Still, you can see plainly what the problem remains for this team…power play, defending it. Buffalo did whatever they wanted during the PP most of the game, moved the puck at will and got good looks and shots off.

Speaking of being tough, Bogo didn’t take any crap tonight either. Glad he showed toughness near the end of the 2nd and was even willing to drop them if need be.

Kovy missed a few chances early on, but made up for it with an exciting goal to get the win for the Thrashers.

Darn, I want them to keep winning, but I also hope we stay in the bottom 4 to have a shot at Tavares or at least a number 2 pick.

4-0 against the Sabres this year…could ATL become the thorn in the side of Buffalo, much like Philly seems to own us?


April 1st, 2009
11:57 pm

Supes, we’ve won our last five against Buffalo.

All of them in overtime.

I loved Bogosian’s play tonight. He’s showing that he’s not going to take anything from anyone. Very good quality to have.

B. Thenet

April 2nd, 2009
12:13 am

Nice to see a little fight in the boys tonight, probably too much considering the silly penalties, but it was fun to watch.


April 2nd, 2009
12:19 am

Ex’s left hook KO was wicked awesome!

[...] More Moose, less Lehtonen Lehtonen update [...]


April 2nd, 2009
7:32 am

Surely Salmela got a concussion on that hit. Looked like his head hit the ice on the way down, too.

Knobler: who can replace him with Boris still out?

Michael Shapiro

April 2nd, 2009
9:33 am

Outstanding effort except on the PK (as usual). Nice to see another win and that we’ve had the Banana Slugs’ number this year (even if it took us OT each game, WE got the 2 and they settled for one which might be the reason they don’t go to the show).
So, can we best our franchise record of 6 in a row, take the final 8 in a row and give JA a 500 season?? Wouldn’t that be the capper?
See that we’re perilously close to jumping TWO teams out west to move out of the Tavares sweepstakes….
Go Thrash!


April 2nd, 2009
9:46 am

We’ve got quite the dilemma… a few more wins and we’re out of the Tavares Sweeps and the Top 5 draft picks all together, where we could get Hedman, Duchene or Kane at the very least.

But, we need to keep winning (beating Florida twice) to keep Montreal in the playoffs so we get maximum value from the Schneider conditional draft pick… which is the pick we’re more likely to trade for a roster player.


April 2nd, 2009
9:56 am

BlueSpark, as far as who can replace Salmela …

… the CBA allows for only four non-emergency call-ups from the AHL. An NHL roster must consist of 18 skaters and two goalies (nothing specific about D-men). Only if we fall below that threshold can we make an emergency call-up.

I haven’t looked this morning, but if we haven’t fallen below that threshold with both Valabik and Salmela out, then we have to put a forward on D. Hopefully, Valabik is ready to come back and play Friday.


April 2nd, 2009
10:18 am

Hokie, as per ESPN:

“The Thrashers received a second-round pick in June’s NHL draft (previously Anaheim’s pick) and a third-rounder in 2010 in exchange for Schneider and a 2009 conditional pick.”

“That conditional pick Atlanta will send Montreal’s way depends on how the Canadiens do in the postseason. If the Habs are knocked out in the first round, Montreal gets a third-rounder in June from Atlanta. If the Canadiens win a round, then it’s a fourth-rounder. If they win two rounds, it costs the Thrashers a fifth-rounder, and so on. It’s a sliding scale.”

Does it matter, though?

The Habs are struggling, and are playing some very hungry teams down the stretch here. Things could get ugly, and we could very well end up losing a third rounder this year. I don’t see the Habs winning the first round, especially if they manage to squeak in and play Boston.

So essentially, this year, we’ve given up a third to acquire a second. Depending on how that second is used, it could be a net gain for us in more than just draft position.


April 2nd, 2009
11:11 am

Alan… ah, thanks for the clarification… I thought the pick was coming in our direction.


April 2nd, 2009
11:33 am

Supes, nice summary of the game! Bogey played great and Toby wasn’t too shabby either…I’m still always amazed at how strong his legs are for a little guy as he takes a lot of contact in the corners but always seems to come out with the puck!

But the real superstar was Moose tonite…wow, was he sensational against the Banana Slugs. His reflexes were incredible all night and he made 3 or 4 saves that I thought were sure goals when the puck left the stick. Of course Miller was pretty damn good as well until Kovy beat him like a rented mule in the OT!!! Woo hoo!!

Dwayne H. Johnson

April 2nd, 2009
1:31 pm

i’d rather see Fla. in the playoffs then the habs. heck with the draft pick. 3 teams from our division would be cool. like to see the Canes win another cup. gonna be fun wathing Kovy and Alex race to 60 goals next year.


April 2nd, 2009
1:35 pm

I’d rather see Florida in there instead of the Rangers.