Odds and ends from Thursday’s loss; Will Heatley be booed?

It’s your Friday morning check-in from Thrashers practice. I’m here way early for the 11 a.m. practice. Another rookie mistake, very light traffic on a Friday.

Noah Welch is on the practice ice alone as I type.

Some leftover notes from last night’s game:

- The Little White Russian line were all minus-1. Kozlov had the line’s one point, an assist.

- The Thrashers were outshot, but only two, 28-26.

- The penalty kill did not allow a goal in seven situations. They are now No. 1 in the NHL with a 90.6 kill rate.

- The power play converted 2-of-8 chances. They are now in a three-way tie for No. 1 in the NHL – with Calgary and Colorado – with a 28.6 success rate.

- Coach John Anderson on the game:  “There were some good things. Some things I didn’t like. We have to be hitting on all cylinders to beat Washington.”

- When I asked if he was surprised that the Thrashers lost despite not allowing Alexander Ovechkin a point, Anderson said: “That’s why they are not the Ovechkin Capitals.” Ovechkin has 23 goals and 26 assists in 31 career games versus the Thrashers.

- Former Thrashers coach Bob Hartley made an appearance in the Philips Arena press box Thursday.

Looks like the new lines for this morning’s practice:

Blue: Kovlachuk, Antropov, Afinogenov

Grey: Little, White, Kozlov

Orange: Armstrong, Peverley, Kane

Red: Boulton, Reasoner, Slater, Thorburn

One question, and I think I know the answer. Just curious what you think the reaction will be to Dany Heatley back in town Saturday? I presume there will be booing, but how much? I’m curious because his appearance here is so soon after the Snyder event. Not sure if that makes a difference or not. Let me know what you think.

I will check back in later after practice and interviews.

71 comments Add your comment

Daculafan

October 23rd, 2009
11:05 am

He will be booed by this fan loud…and often…but not because of Snyder…because he’s a prima dona and I still haven’t forgiven him for his comments about Atlanta fans after we supported him after the wreck.

Give it a season or two and he’ll tire of San Jose and demand a trade to the Rangers or something like that.

Robert

October 23rd, 2009
11:30 am

Maybe he’ll be booed extra to cover for the Ottawa fans since San Jose doesn’t play in Ottawa this year.

blacknblueland

October 23rd, 2009
11:30 am

Yeah, I think after the Ottawa shenanigans even the most devoted Heatley apologists will be on their feet booing.

Darkhorse

October 23rd, 2009
11:34 am

I bet he will get plenty of boo’s early on. I doubt I will be one of those folks, but I certainly don’t blame them based on Daculafan’s reasoning above. Hopefully the Thrashers will show up ready to play a full game and we’ll hear much more cheering than booing. I thought the poor line changes that led to the Caps first two goals last night were sloppy and unexceptable for a team that was playing for first place. That bugged me more than the brainfart fluke goal that obviously rattled Pavs into allowing two more.

Russian

October 23rd, 2009
11:36 am

I do not care about Heatley. He is Shark, we are in Atlanta. It is different teams.
I am most care about lines. I do not like a second line at all. I like to sit White and bring Slater to second line.
Chris,
Will Shubert sit in press box at Saturday? He was playing not very good couple games.

Darkhorse

October 23rd, 2009
11:38 am

Chris-Any comment from Anderson about working on better line changes? It seems that on a team not known for its shutdown defense, proper line changes are that much more important.

R. Stroz

October 23rd, 2009
11:50 am

In addition to booing Heatley, I’m all for tossing pacifiers on the ice.
Heatley is a self-absorbed spoiled punk.

Actually, I hope Paul Howard and Atlanta’s finest meet him in the airport terminal for a little community service work.

Midfield

October 23rd, 2009
12:04 pm

Good point, Darkhorse. There were quite a few lazy changes in the past two games.

Matt

October 23rd, 2009
12:17 pm

Booooooo….Booooooooooo. Time to grow up Danny. I thought he would have done so by now, but has really shown what little punk he’s become. Chop the Sharks for Soup!

Supes

October 23rd, 2009
12:31 pm

I think the Heatley reception will be less booing than before…it’s been that way in recent years. Time heals all wounds, right? Although he’ll always be a turncoat to this Atlanta fan!

The Earl of Bud

October 23rd, 2009
12:33 pm

I do care about Heatley because his bolting town set us back a few years. Even though we somehow got Hossa out of the deal, Hossa was never a true Thrasher and the team at that point was getting better and better with each year after expansion. As others have said above, his stance in Ottawa just shows what kind of unappreciative brat he is.

If I can say one good thing about last night, I did find one. The Thrashers were a big team that hit well. There was one shift where there were about 2-3 white jerseys on the ice. Hainsey knocked one of the guys down, right before that it might have been Kubina or someone else who knocked a guy down, and one of the forwards knocked a guy down in the corner. There was another great play where some guy tried to knock Antropov off the puck as he was right in the middle and Antropov stood his ground very well while the other guy was laying on the ice after the collision.

Brendan – to reply to your statement on the last blog about people saying “such and such” player from Chicago can replace Max (if Waddell cuts him), I think you just insert Slater back on the 4th line and bump Reasoner back up to the 3rd (or the true 3rd line of White/Kozlov after Little would then go back to the 1st).

Daculafan

October 23rd, 2009
12:34 pm

I also agree about the line changes…though Russian…I’ll have to disagree with you about the 2nd line..I think Slater sitting is the right call..remember this was actually our most effective line last year. It will take a game or two for them to get their old mojo back..but I expect good things from them. Remember also that Kozzy is a bit of a slow starter usually…we’ll get back on track.

timthebrave

October 23rd, 2009
1:04 pm

I was at the game last night. I thought we played pretty sloppy for the first two periods. It seemed we tried to do line shifts when the puck was at center ice instead of dumping it low before changing lines. This caused us to be late in getting back and allowed washington to score goals. The third goal was just strange and reminded me of that fluke goal by rangers in playoffs…Did that just really happen kind of moment. Bad night for our goalie although moose played well. Nice effort in third to get back in it. Wish we had just little more time to tie it up. 2 big games coming up against tough San Jose and Washington again. Need to start winning at home so not to erase good road trip. Go Thrashers

MashaPlayer7

October 23rd, 2009
1:08 pm

When – EVER – in franchise history have the Thrashers been 1st in both PK and PP? We stay in the Top 5 of those categories and get the goaltending…we’ll be a contender.

Russian

October 23rd, 2009
1:35 pm

**to Dacula**
How long will it take as Slow Start??? 6 Preseason Games and 7 games Regular season. I think it is enough to start thinking about it. Look around the NHL Shany stays without play, Nylander did not play any game. This is example if players did not show up that should be happend.

ThrasherTim

October 23rd, 2009
1:41 pm

What is the deal with Todd White so far? He seems scared of the puck and just seems uninterested. I know his face-off wins was solid one game but other than that, he is invisible so far. We need him and his linemates to step up quickly. All the other lines seem to be gelling pretty well.

Chris Vivlamore

October 23rd, 2009
2:13 pm

Darkhorse: I didn’t get a chance to talk to Anderson today. I was talking to Waddell about a couple of things and didn’t want to hold up the broadcasters that were waiting for coach. I will talk to him tomorrow after the morning skate.

From Waddell: Lehtonen no closer to returning than he was just after back surgery. I’m writing that and a few other notes now.

Thanks for all the comments on the Heatley situation. I suspect the booing will be quite loud.

RS

October 23rd, 2009
2:59 pm

They’re not saying “Boo”, they’re saying “DOOOUUUUCCCHHHHE!!!!!”

LAC

October 23rd, 2009
3:06 pm

I agree with Stroz, Did he EVER do anything he was ordered to ?
Is there any evidence he did any of this ?

heatley should be BOOED every second he is on the ice and run every shift dirty or not. It would just be too bad to see him laying on Philips Ice withering in pain with a broken leg now wouldn’t it.

That would be GREAT, take HIM to Grady !

He is scum and will burn in HELL one day !

yzerman414

October 23rd, 2009
3:12 pm

I think people will boo but I wish they would put their energy into cheering for our team instead. I haven’t really seen any love for Kubina out there in the blogsphere today and I think that’s unfortunate. He was on Ovechkin like a coat of paint all night long, totally neutralizing him. Kudos to Kubina for keeping Ovie off the score sheet!

Sage of Bluesland

October 23rd, 2009
3:35 pm

“…Actually, I hope Paul Howard and Atlanta’s finest meet him in the airport terminal for a little community service work.”

Best comment of all–I challenge the esteemed beat writer to perform some real investigative work and inform the public of what it desires…(Don’t worry, I won’t hold my breath on that)

That’s the most annoying thing of all–he got off light and did nothing to follow the court order here (that I know of)…Was it done in Canada?

Does anyone know or care?

aaron

October 23rd, 2009
3:48 pm

yzerman – I noticed Kubina – he did fairly well defending the Vetch, but he also took a couple of penalties because of it. I’d call that a fairly even performance.

The Earl of Bud

October 23rd, 2009
4:01 pm

I watched some of the dvr’d replay of the Caps broadcast and they were quite high on Kubina’s coverage of Ovechkin.

On that note, the broadcast from the Habs game was oozing with love for the Thrashers. If there is any Canadian bias against Atlanta, it is only the print media. One of the announcers went on and on about multiple players and has a bonafied man-crush on Evander Kane. His funniest compliment/comment was something along the lines of “Kari get your bus ticket soon because Pavalec is hear to stay” after Ondrej made a great save. He also was talking about Pavalec and Hamrlik both being countrymen and that because of Pavalec’s hot start he got put into consideration for their Olympic goalie.

stendec

October 23rd, 2009
4:13 pm

Thrasher fans, as usual, miss the point! It is not just important to perform well at home it is damn mandatory! A time tested proven formula for success. Champions are tough in their own back yards. The Thrashers are marshmallows at Loseland! The heartless ones had an opportunity to make a positive home statement. First place was on the line against a despised rival. The Thrashers choked. Big time! It was over after the deficit ballooned to 5-2. I knew the quitters did not have three more goals in them. I was so right. Spare me the close loss bullshet! I have been hearing that crap from Thrasher fans for years. What do a 1-0 defeat and a 5-4 choke job have in common? They result in no points. Zero. Zilch. El zippo. Do ANY of you understand what I am saying? Do not be surprised by an extended losing streak. I will not be! ++STENDEC++ Should have left Canada with that extra point. Will damn sure need it!

Toby

October 23rd, 2009
4:18 pm

We are 1-1 at home. Relax.

Brendan

October 23rd, 2009
4:25 pm

As far as I heard, Sage, Heatley was doing “some” of the 150 speeches in the Calgary, Alberta-area of Canada. Whether he completed all of them or not, remains the question. I perhaps think the question is best addressed to AJC writer John Manasso, who covers the Heatley/Snyder tragedy. I’m not sure if his email address is still jmanasso@ajc.com or what. But it’s worth a shot. Try not to antagonize the guy with the question. If you ask him, civilly, you might get an answer.

If someone asked me, (but no one did,) Heatley ought to give the dangers of reckless driving to the very community he endangered. Bygones.

As for booing, there are some people out there that think that this sort of behavior is unbecoming and an embarrassment to the City of Atlanta. I do not share that opinion. In my view of things, a person has the right to FEEL any way he or she JOLLY WELL WANTS about … anything. From abortion to animal cruelty. From Islam to saving the whales and the rainforest. You feel the way you do about things. And NO ONE, not ANYONE, can tell you how to feel. That’s uniquely and ENTIRELY your business.

So, as a FREE SPEECH advocate, I’d say … EXPRESS YOURSELVES. I do that by rolling my eyes when Heatley’s name is mentioned. :roll: Other people, “boo.” I don’t criticize them for booing. They have this right, as Constitutionally-protected free speech. I’m not going to boo Heatley. But I don’t like him. I’m not impressed by his character. In fact, I’m unimpressed. Even disappointed by his conduct. I recognize Dany Heatley to be a Tier I hockey player. I don’t deny him that. His stats are there. His hockey history, from pee wee, to bantams, to NCAA, the Olympics, and Stanley Cup Finals … is remarkable.

While Dany Heatley is mostly to blame for how he conducts himself, he is not entirely alone in that blame. For where are the parents, teachers, ministers, pastors, coaches and GM’s in shaping the creation that is Dany Heatley? Couldn’t ANYONE stand up to him? No. Instead, we’ve seen “cradle to grave” coddling of Dany, via preferential treatment. He’s “special.” Better give him what he wants. Better send him to a “ready-made” Stanely Cup Championship caliber Ottawa Senators team. Better ship him off to San Jose, instead of Edmonton, because his coach demanded more from him. That’s the one person in Dany Heatley’s life … who ever stood up to him to say, “No, Dany. I’m the coach. I run the team.” And like an undisciplined child, he cried about it, instead of dealing with it. Dany runs from all his problems. He’s in complete denial that anything about him is ‘wrong.’ Go ahead. Ask him. He’ll tell you, flat-out, “I don’t feel I did anything wrong (by asking for this trade).”

Yes, you did, Dany. You promised to play for the Ottawa Senators. You promised them six years. You signed a legal, binding contract. In exchange, the owners of the Ottawa Senators agreed to pay you rather handsomely for your services. When you couldn’t get your way, he renigged on your WORD. That’s what you did wrong. You let your teammates down. You let the City of Ottawa down. You embarrassed yourself. You embarrassed your Coach. And you put your GM in an unenviable position of having to trade you, in the public realm of knowledge. GM Murray did a heckuva job to get Michalek, Cheechoo, and a 2nd round pick. I’m not going to boo Heatley. But I’ll sit back and smile at those around me … who do. And I will look at them without scorn. I repeat, “they’re free to FEEL any way … they JOLLY WELL WANT. They’re free to express themselves accordingly.”

Paminski

October 23rd, 2009
4:25 pm

Noah Welch? Interesting.

ChippersLoveChild

October 23rd, 2009
4:34 pm

Why is Welch here? And yes, I’ll be there and I will be booing Heater like I do every year when he comes back to Phillips.

Chris Vivlamore

October 23rd, 2009
4:35 pm

As the Pro Sports Editor during the Heatley situation I can tell you that the AJC, on several occasions, looked into making sure his public service obligations were met. I spoke to his probation officer once. As far as the criminal justice system is concerned, Heatley completed his penalty. He was able to complete public service engagements in Canada, yes.

Hope that makes Sage of Bluesland a little less blue (you know, from holding his breath).

I realize the way Heatley left Atlanta, without ever really thanking the fans for their support, plays into much of this.

stendec

October 23rd, 2009
4:38 pm

Just ran across the following. This is why I will never cheer for the Thrashers with this (TOO MANY SWEAR WORDS TO FIT IN THIS SPACE) quitter on ice! My thanks to guy who wrote piece.

Goaltender Kari Lehtonen (Sori Letemin) is no closer to returning to the Thrashers than he was soon after (alleged) offseason back surgery (what a damn surprise).

According to Thrashers general manager Don Waddell (still an idiot), Lehtonen again experienced pain (like the kind he causes me?) in his legs (more likely his head) while rehabbing (with plenty of elbow bending) from July surgery to repair a herniated disc. He recently received another epidural injection (of medicine?) to reduce inflammation, and he has stopped skating (when did he ever start?).

Waddell said Friday that Lehtonen is scheduled for another examination by doctors (or facsimilies thereof) to determine the next course (probably golf course) of action (as paychecks keep rolling in to worthless Finn). Waddell said he would not label the current situation a setback (not as long as the quitter is not on ice).

“When you are dealing with the back, everyone heals (or feigns continued injury) at a different rate,” Waddell said. “He is progressing very slowly (nothing like getting paid for not doing a job).”

Lehtonen signed a one-year qualifying offer (theft of the highest degree) with the Thrashers during the offseason.

I would say more but I would drop straight into Hell for commenting on what needs to be said. ++STENDEC++

Zach

October 23rd, 2009
4:58 pm

My first experience to hockey was when the Thrasher were an expansion team. Before Kovy and Heater I was a big Donald Audette fan. (unrelated point) HOWEVER, after Heatly’s stupidity killed Snyder and asked to be traded for his own benefit instead of taking responsibility I lost all respect for him. Then he pulled more shenanigans up in Ottawa. Bottom line, Danny Heatly is a prick, who only cares about himself. Living in Miami makes it hard for me to be there on saturday, but I would gladly boo him every time he touches the puck.

Kaat

October 23rd, 2009
5:59 pm

I felt for a long time people should take pity on Heatley. In some ways, I still do. It’s not easy to be the survivor in something like that. (Ask Slava Kozlov — he had a similar incident as a young man in Russia.) It’s obvious to me, that he’s running — from Atlanta to Ottawa to San Jose. But he can’t outrun himself. I think he deserves pity for that.

On the other hand, he’s shown himself to be a pretty big jerk lately. A prissy little prima donna who seems to not be at all thankful for the mercy and kindness he’s been shown. He really put Ottawa in a tough spot. I’d never boo a player, but if I were the booing type, Heatley might just get one from me.

(As an aside, I thought the best thing I’d ever seen was Heatley’s first game against the Thrashers as a Senator in Philips Arena in which people cheered “Hossa! Hossa! Hossa!” That sent a similar message, but in a more positive way. They also booed Heater, but I thought it was awesome they embraced Hoss like that.)

English Teacher

October 23rd, 2009
8:21 pm

blacknblueland – “Yeah, I think after the Ottawa shenanigans even the most devoted Heatley apologists will be on their feet booing.”

Count me in there.

Dwayne

October 23rd, 2009
8:45 pm

there’s no booing in hockey, there’s no booing!!!

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Brendan

October 23rd, 2009
10:25 pm

Penguins trailed Florida, 2-0, for a good chunk of tonight’s game. But Sidney Crosby took over the 3rd period, scoring a PPG and a short-handed goal, and had the only shootout goal, for a 3-2, shootout win. Way to steal a point from our division rival, Florida! Meanwhile, Colorado and Carolina are still knotted at 2-2, with 10:00 left in the 2nd period. Go Avalanche!!

Ron Mexico

October 24th, 2009
1:57 am

As far as Heatley goes, I echo many of the sentiments already expressed. His recklessness cost a young man his life, we supported him and he turned his back on us and spit in our faces as a city. The Ottawa drama that occured over the summer only shows his true colors even more. For all these epic feats of douchebagginess (if that’s a word), he deserves to be relentlessly booed everytime he even sets foot on Philips Arena ice. And I would absolutely love to see somebody throw a pacifier on the ice–that would be PRICELESS!

John

October 24th, 2009
3:49 am

What gets me about the Heatley situation is if he was bringing home anyone other than his friend, the system comes down harder on him. If he’s bringing a local girl home and the same tragedy occurs, her parents may not be as forgiving as the Snyders. Heatley was given a SECOND CHANCE at LIFE, and he took it as an entitlement. And him ripping into the Atlanta fans afterwards was just idiotic. Maybe he needs to watch a clip of the bagpipes that opening night again, I dunno.

Atlanta may not be Toronto when it comes to hockey. We may not have an original 6 team, and we may not sell out every single game. But it’s a damn good sports town, and a team that has some dedicated followers. I lived in Boston for years and there were Bruins games where you could hear a pin drop, and the John McKenzie glory days were but a whisper compared to the sox (Celtics? Forget it!). Now that they’re doing well again, all of the sudden rumors about Kovy get manufactured. Anybody playing in Atlanta has an opportunity to build a franchise, build a fanbase, and build the game. Some embrace that opportunity. Others scoff at it and look awful. Heatley had a chance to give something back to his community, his second home, the team that brought him into the league, but instead, he left for greener pastures. He may have a few more dollars in his pocket, and play to a few more butts in seats every night, but he’ll never go down in history with the respect that a Kovalchuk, a Borque, or a Sakic will have.

John

October 24th, 2009
4:01 am

And a few thoughts about the caps game…it was a bizzare game on both ends of the ice, with flashes of brilliance compared to lethargic stretches. But the caps are a deep team with a core of guys that have been together for a few years, and they really know how to manufacture goals. Varmalov let a few softies in…that one Bogosian got…ya gotta have that, just like Pavs has to have that 190 footer, weird bounce or no. I thought it was good that Atlanta came back, and even more encouraging that Hedberg came in and was able to kind of chill things out and get the Thrashers doing their end to end thing again. It’s one game, and Pavelic has to have a game like that in the NHL to learn from.

Andy

October 24th, 2009
11:13 am

I will be booing the ungrateful bum for all the reasons listed above. Screw him and his bad grill.

Hockeymom

October 24th, 2009
12:44 pm

Booing Heatley is not going to change the past influence the future of this team. I think you all need to let it go.

The Earl of Bud

October 24th, 2009
12:59 pm

Hockeymom – wouldn’t booing Heatley show that we are the passionate fans that he claimed he didn’t see when he was in Atlanta? Wouldn’t that show others that this is the hockeytown that Heatley should have never left? Just wondering.

The Earl of Bud

October 24th, 2009
1:04 pm

Chris – I also wanted to say kudos to you on including some stats on the prospects in that Peverley article. While I don’t think many of those Wolves will make the big squad here, it is nice to see that Postma is developing nicely. And Morin & O’Dell are doing well in the juniors.

On that note as well, Chris Carozzi (Thrashers prospect) is leading the league in GAA, so we have another good goalie coming up in the system.

Sage of Bluesland

October 24th, 2009
3:19 pm

Well, I’m glad to hear that all of his penalty has been observed and served–in Canada. Thank you for the follow-up, Mr. Vivlamore.

I don’t know if I believe it entirely–but at least it’s off the books in Atlanta…

Heatley deserves every boo he receives. I hope San Jose continues to choke as long as that classless punk resides on their roster.

LAC

October 24th, 2009
4:52 pm

Everyone remember the comments of one dan boyle after saying, How BAD it would to be picked up by Atlanta, and another nasty comment too as I recall. Hope he gets the treatment, because he DIRECTLY offended ALL Atlanta remember that !

The real Ron Mexico

October 24th, 2009
5:30 pm

I find it insulting the you and Mike Vike would use my birth name to hide your genital herpes from society. Wait, that is a good thing, keep hiding it.

Brendan

October 24th, 2009
8:48 pm

Peverley has scored on the PPG, taking the injured Kovalchuk’s spot. It’s 4-2, San Jose, as we head to the 3rd period. Ondrej Pavelec is now between the pipes for Atlanta. San Jose’s 4th goal was a very unfortunate clearing attempt by Hainsey … that hit Marty Reasoner … and caromed past Hedberg, to make it, 4-1.

In other news, Philly’s Mike Richardson got a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for absolutely leveling Florida’s David Booth, at the Philly blueline, with his head down. Booth saw him at the last second, but after impact, Booth took a face-plant HARD to the ice. He didn’t move again. And was carted off on a stretcher. I hope he’ll be okay. Florida is a division rival, and Booth would be huge loss for them, but that’s not the way we cheer to beat Florida. I hope Booth is able to make a good recovery from this.

Brendan

October 24th, 2009
8:50 pm

Hey, look at this! Toronto, idle for a week, is losing, 2-1, to Vancouver after two periods. That Leafs are 0-6-1 on the season. So, when does Kessel get here, to save the Leafs? Is the answer, “just in time to watch Boston draft 1st overall?”

Brendan

October 24th, 2009
9:11 pm

Evander Kane has scored very early into this 3rd period, to make it, 4-3, in favor of San Jose.

Brendan

October 24th, 2009
9:55 pm

Here’s tonight’s boxscore.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009020134

Heatley was a strong soldier. It’s hard for him to come back to Atlanta, and all the painful memories. And yet, he scored a goal and had an assist. That man must have nerves of STEEL and will of IRON. God Bless you, Dany Heatley. Shine on, you crazy diamond! :roll: