Lehtonen, Oystrick to play finale

The Thrashers liked what they saw from Clay Wilson in two games but have sent him back to Chicago, making room for Nathan Oystrick to play Saturday night against Tampa Bay.

Kari Lehtonen starts in goal for the final game of the season.

The team had its last practice today and ended it with a shootout competition, with the defensemen and the top line of Kovalchuk, White and Little trying to score on Johan Hedberg and the rest of the forwards trying to score against Lehtonen. Garnet Exelby scored the game-winning goal.

38 comments Add your comment

Alan

April 10th, 2009
1:32 pm

It’ll be nice to see Lehts and Oystrick out there for us tomorrow night. It’s great to see Lehtonen is feeling better now, and hopefully getting his noggin’ rung off the crossbar like it was didn’t do too much damage.

Toby

April 10th, 2009
2:09 pm

Come on 10% chance!! Give us the #1 : )

Supes

April 10th, 2009
3:32 pm

I don’t care who starts where, gotta win this last game not only for the fans, (who have put up with another mediocre season at best), and for PRIDE. Lighning, I hate those guys. Let’s bury them and play hard and win this last game of the season.

Go Thrashers!

Alan

April 10th, 2009
4:19 pm

Atlanta’s hatred of the Lightning is ironic, considering the majority of fans who yell out “KNIGHTS” during the national anthem. Not insinuating anything, Supes, but the sentiment against the Lightning is widespread here, and yet you get up to 18k fans yelling the old Lightning farm team over the anthem.

[...] Lehtonen, Oystrick to play finale [...]

kracker

April 10th, 2009
5:28 pm

Hey Mike, are you going to do a Thrashers draft article or blog before the lottery? We have the #1, #4 (most likely) or #5 positions as possible drafting slots. Assuming we don’t get the #1 spot from the lottery, how do you rate the players that may be available at the 4 or 5 spot? Do you have a clear favorite if you were Waddell? What about trading up (not too likely, IMO) or down, which is easier to do?

mknobler

April 10th, 2009
6:54 pm

kracker I don’t think you will see a pre-draft story until closer to the draft. (That’s a big work-saver if the Thrashers happen to win the lottery. :-) )

On a related note, the Thrashers signed Paul Postma today. Postma, just a seventh-round draft pick, has had an outstanding season for the Calgary Hitmen and is a finalist for defenseman of the year in the WHL. Postma led the league’s defensemen in the regular season with 23 goals and 61 assists for 84 points. Looks like a pretty good seventh-round draft choice.

mknobler

April 10th, 2009
7:00 pm

More on Postma: He led the WHL with a plus-67 rating, and he set franchise records for plus-minus and goals by a defenseman.

Smoothie

April 10th, 2009
7:59 pm

Offer Marty Reasoner a new contract already!! Obviously his teammates really like and respect him and he set a career high for goals. Not to mention he has a +8 for the season for a pretty miserable team.

C’mon Don, get off your ass and make it happen!

LAC

April 10th, 2009
8:18 pm

Thank-You Mike, for letting us the FANS vote on waddell andhis failed GM run.

He is a complete failure and there is NO reason for him to be retained
for any reason… We need a breath of fresh air and showing waddell the door would be like Winning The Stanley Cup for The Thrashers !!!!!!!!!

kracker

April 10th, 2009
8:39 pm

Mike, on Postma, yes, good job getting him signed. I read that Postma could have elected to take his improved pedigree and re-enter the draft where he would be, perhaps, an early 2nd or late 1st round draft selection which could improve his position in future contract negoations. I guess this team really is ‘moving in the right direction’, at least in the eyes of our young players looking to make it to the NHL.

Hockey Biltong

April 10th, 2009
10:01 pm

There is no “Wolves” or” Chicago”in the national anthem.. so Knights it is….

Brendan

April 11th, 2009
12:13 am

LAC, there’s never a wrong time to fire Don Waddell. But I think he’s here as long as FUBAS is running the show. And that means even AFTER 2011, if things play out like the way they hope.

[...] Lehtonen, Oystrick to play finale [...]

Wayne

April 11th, 2009
1:04 am

If Waddell returns, I’m putting my Thrasher fandom up for bids and rooting for someone else next year.

LAC

April 11th, 2009
5:13 am

Brenden… I Know !!!!

jake

April 11th, 2009
5:55 am

Interesting that Exelby scored the winner in practice. I have yet to see him put a shot on goal in a game.

Sara

April 11th, 2009
9:26 am

Good for Oystrick – he deserves to be able to play in the final game.

[...] -Atlanta demoted defenseman Clay Wilson to Chicago of the AHL. [...]

Mr. Heat Miser

April 11th, 2009
10:10 am

XLB scored the very first goal this season in the first pre-season game vs. the Preds. He is usually good for 1-2 goals a season. And he has been shooting more.

Alan

April 11th, 2009
10:20 am

so Knights it is….

… Alternatively, respecting the anthem would be nice.

I may start taking the Stroz approach next season, though.

Jimbo

April 11th, 2009
10:28 am

Mike- thanks for your informative posts. “Alan- RIGHT ON WITH YOUR POST. WE’VE GOT MEN AND WOMEN FIGHTING AND DYING TO DEFEND US AND WE’VE GOT A HANDFUL OF JUVENILES WHO DON’T RESPECT THE ANTHEM”

Old Time Hockey

April 11th, 2009
10:48 am

I’ve listened for 9 years to “fans” yelling knights during the anthem and it bothers me every time. I’m not even sure if they know why they do it. The Knights were a minor league team that abandoned the Atlanta market. Why pay tribute to that? Show some respect! Maybe it’s the only word those idiots can remember from the anthem.

Tim

April 11th, 2009
11:50 am

Alan – I believe the idiots who yell “Knights” are about 1 out of 5 or 6. You lose credibility when you grossly exaggerate. I agree with the disrespecting of the anthem angle. If you here/see a guy in a Blueland jersey saying “get a life” after the idiots yell… it’s probably me. Prediction – at least 2 posts urging us to give this topic a rest.

Tampa isn’t in my top five most-despised teams right now. Washington, Pittsburgh, Rangers, Leafs and Buffalo.

Tim

April 11th, 2009
11:51 am

JIMBO – You could say that our brave men and women are fighting and dying for the idiots’ right to yell “Knights”.

Tim

April 11th, 2009
11:53 am

Alan – You also grossly exaggerate the size of the crowds.

Brendan

April 11th, 2009
1:31 pm

I want to congratulate the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks for securing playoff berths. Erik Christensen will see some playoff action, after all. Nashville and Minnesota gave it a great chase. But Edmonton … they should have made it in. It’s going to be a long offseason, thinking about what might have been. GM Kevin Lowe, in previous years, attempted to utilize the RFA offersheet to improve their situation. Will he try it again? Stay tuned.

I also must tip my hat to the Carolina Hurricanes, who I wouldn’t have put a $0.10 bet on to make the playoffs. They came on strong down the stretch to get it done. Also, Pittsburgh, post Therrien, poured it on. I think the Pens just didn’t want to play for Therrien. But they seem to like the new guy. Since January, Pittsburgh has been “en fuego.” I wouldn’t want to face them. I hear a lot of people picking Pittsburgh to win the East this year. I don’t think that’s some sort of “crazy” pick. New Jersey is a potential 1st round opponent. I hear just as many picking the Devils. My pick, as you know, is the Washington Capitals. Could be Ovechkin vs. Crosby in the CF. We’ll just have to wait-n-see.

If Atlanta drafts 4th overall, I like Brayden Schenn or Evander Kane. But hey, I’m not giving up on winning the lottery draft!! Woo-hoo!!

Finally, congratulation to Mike Knobler for a strong year in relief of the departed Craig Custance. He is to be commended for a fine year, with timely blogs and airport updates. Really, truly, the blog could have eroded badly this year. But it didn’t.

Alan

April 11th, 2009
3:51 pm

Alan – You also grossly exaggerate the size of the crowds.

Pardon?

You do know that, on occasion, we manage to sell out a game, right? Do you know what the seating capacity of Philips is? Here, I’ll help you out: 18,545.

Grossly exaggerate? I think not. Re-read my posting, feel dumb, and crawl back into the woodworking from whence you came.

five_hole

April 11th, 2009
4:06 pm

Exelby scored the game winner? Oh, it was just in practice. Almost did a spit-take with my tea.

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 11th, 2009
4:20 pm

Anyone know how many sellouts there were this season?

mknobler

April 11th, 2009
6:36 pm

Brendan Many thanks. You guys have a great community here. It has been a pleasure to be a part of it.

Ranallo10 Two sellouts this season. The season opener and the March 20 game against Detroit.

foncused

April 11th, 2009
9:05 pm

The games these last few months have been truly exciting to watch. 180 degrees from the beginning of the season. By my observations, the team is really clicking. If we can keep Bogo healthy and find another top-4 d-man to keep the SOG down and PK, we should be ok as our offense has really stepped up with Kovy, Armstrong, Reasoner, Little, etc.

With that said, two of that group are RFA or UFA. Waddell has some work to do this summer to keep this core intact. The last thing we need is to “re-group” in training camp. Be great to have our core already secured and add some pieces . . . but Waddell doesn’t have a great history of signing good UFA’s who have been with the team. Savard, Brunette, and Donovan are a couple of examples. Lets hope that Waddell takes a different route this summer.

UFA:
Reasoner (need to resign)
Perrin (bye bye)
Osterick (ehh)
Crabb (need to resign)
Hoffman (bye bye)

RFA:
Armstrong (need to sign)
Slater (need to sign)
Thornburn (ehh)
Lavallee (ehh)
Motzko (need to sign)
Vlabik (ehh, was he really a first rounder?)
Salmela (need to sign)
Lehtonen (hmm, not sure, Pavelec looked shaky last couple starts)

Alan

April 11th, 2009
10:10 pm

ranallo, I believe there were only two sellouts this year. Season opener vs. Washington, and the 20 March game vs. Detroit. If there were others, I’d feel enlightened to know about them.

Tonight’s attendance, 17,112, fell short of that mark.

Alan

April 11th, 2009
10:11 pm

I should also learn to possibly read the rest of the comments before commenting myself. Four hours later.

C’est la vie.

Brendan

April 11th, 2009
10:44 pm

The Matchups are set. Last year, it was #8 Boston vs. #1 Montreal. This year, it’s #8 Montreal vs. #1 Boston. I like the Bruins in six. Six? I think they’d PREFER to clinch it IN MONTREAL. Of course, if they swept the Habs ….

It’ll be Carolina vs. New Jersey. That’s historically a good series, and not without upsets. I’m tempted to take the ‘Canes, especially given their strong finish. But, Lou Lamoriello said he’s pleased with this squad. And it takes a LOT to make that man happy. He’s been known to fire not one, but TWO coaches (Ftorek and Julien) late into a season. The Devils weren’t strong down the stretch. But they’ve got Brodeur, four appearances in the Finals and Five in the Conference Finals in their recent history. So, I think they’ll lean on that history a bit to advance past Carolina. Could go all seven games. Devils in six, is what I’m thinking.

Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia. Rematch of the CF from last season. I think the Penguins prevail. I don’t know if that’s an upset, or what. But I just like the way the Penguins responded once Therrien was canned. For the Flyers, I think it’s just a case of the hockey gods being unfavorable to them for a 1st round opponent.

And finally, Caps vs. Rangers, in a battle of old Patrick Division rivals. I bet Rangers are happy about this matchup. But really, no one should want to face the Capitals. They’re no picnic. Caps in five.

Brendan

April 11th, 2009
10:54 pm

Johan Frazen gets the big 11-year deal. Terms were not disclosed. Good for Ken Holland and good for Franzen. I don’t think this makes Hossa the odd-man out. Rather, I think it just drops Hossa’s contract down to $5-something million to stay in Detroit.

That’s a bummer for his agent, who could certainly fetch more for Hossa out on the open market. But it’s not HALF the Bummer that the faithful in Oxford, OH are experiencing. Miami of Ohio entered their Bi-Centennial year without any national Championships, or even berths in a Final Four or Frozen Four of any kind. As the #13 seed, Miami (OH) pulled upset after upset. Then knocked off Bemidji State en route to the National Title game. And with 59.5 seconds left in regulation, held a 3-1 lead. I repeat, Miami held a two-goal lead with less than a minute left in the tournament. Boston U. pulled its goalie and scored twice in the next 42 seconds, to send the game into overtime. In OT, about half way through the 1st overtime, a shot deflected off a Miami defender and wound up in the twine, giving the HEAVY FAVORITES their much anticipated title. But it didn’t come without plenty of drama. It was the 1st time since 2002 that the Men’s Div I National Title game was decided in overtime. Still, the Redhawks of Miami should be very proud of their program, one of the winningest, percentage wise, in the past three seasons. What a heartbreaker. I can only imagine how disappointed they must feel at this moment, knowing they were so close. Really, truly, there’s no excuse for blowing a 2-goal lead in the final minute of a tournament.

Commissioner Bettman didn’t say-so, but he’s got to be elated that the East’s playoff field is all traditional and/or BIG MARKETS, except for Carolina. He got NY/NJ in. He got Boston in. He got Montreal in, which is a very important Canadian market. He got Philly and Pittsburgh in, to resume the battle of Pennsylvania. But it doesn’t end there, out West, he got Detroit and Chicago in.

Say it with me, it means all but one of the “original six” franchises made the dance this year. Boston, NY, Chicago, Detroit, and Montreal are going to the show. Toronto flirted with .500.

Tim

April 11th, 2009
11:15 pm

Alan – Reach back into your childhood and refind your sense of humor!

3d incest cartoon list

June 13th, 2009
10:31 pm

well.. it’s like I thought!