Thrashers lines without Kovalchuk; Krog recalled

Reporting from Thrashers practice Tuesday.

Before the players take the ice and we get an idea of what the new lines will look like without Ilya Kovalchuk, a couple of updates.

The Thrashers recalled forward Jason Krog from the Chicago Wolves of the AHL to take Kovalchuk spot on the roster.

Nik Antropov missed practice yesterday. He is also out today. Coach John Anderson said he had a “nagging groin injury” and was given the day off.

Anderson also told me not to pay to much attention to the skating lines used yesterday. It was mostly a conditioning day.

Defenseman Mark Popovic skated with a forward jersey to fill out the lines with Kovalchuk and Antropov. Anderson said he considered putting a forward jersey on Christoph Schubert, since he has played forward before.

Today, Kovalchuk is supposed to talk about the injury. You can expect an update and story after practice and interviews.

Here is what the lines look like:

Orange: Slava Kozlov, Todd White, Max Afinogenov

Red: Bryan Little, Jim Slater, Marty Reasoner

Gray: Colby Armstrong, Rich Peverley, Evander Kane

Blue: Eric Boulton, Jason Krog, Chris Thorburn

51 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

October 27th, 2009
10:41 am

Why the hell do we call up Krog??? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!! This team needs toughness and grit – a guy who can scrap in the corners and forecheck – to complement the skill we have on our top 3 lines.

Does this mean they are giving up on Antropov as a center? Why do we bring in an undersized, journeymen center when we have 5 guys who are capable of playing up the middle already? Even Sterling would make more sense as he played well the last time he was called up for Kovy drawing 3 penalties against Washington and scoring the shootout winner against the Sabres.

EDIT: Well I guess we can expect Antropov to be out of the lineup for awhile if he has a nagging groin injury. Isn’t this just swell? We all new the big guy had a history of nagging injuries and here we go…talk about wonderful timing. Why does JA labor under the misconception that Kozzy – White – Finny is a good line? They are horrible in the defensive zone and have given up the most shots / faceoffs.

Spud Webb

October 27th, 2009
10:44 am

Really, KROG??????????? Good lord. Wow, that pisses me off and ruins a tuesday.

Clemson538

October 27th, 2009
11:09 am

That is the epitome of a Don Waddell call up. Jason Krog? Seriously.. come on.. Thrashers are screwed. No Kovy, No Lehtonen, Soon to be no Antropov (who has not been worth the money). I will continue to say this, Pavelec does NOT have the mental toughness to be a number 1 goalie. He is WAY to fragile. And Hedberg, well he is obviously not a number 1 goalie. Good locker room guy, way overrated goalie.

Sara

October 27th, 2009
11:11 am

Ummmm….wow. Not what I was expecting to see at all.

Mental note to self: do not pack the vodka

Sara

October 27th, 2009
11:13 am

Clemson … outside of salary parameters due to cap issues … call-ups are a coach’s decision, not the GMs.

J-man

October 27th, 2009
11:14 am

Either Stapleton or Machacek would have been better additions than Krog. Only the puck bunnies are happy about this one.

Russian

October 27th, 2009
11:14 am

I am with you Guys! Why Krog? He is little and old center. I do not know what’s point to bring him here. Oh, please no Sterling. He is done with NHL. I hope Nik will be OK at Thursday.
Chris, Thank you for updates.

Bill

October 27th, 2009
11:18 am

this is going to be a rough month. Only hope is that Little heats up, Kozzy and White get some consistency, and the D plays out of their mind on both ends.

At least we did get a few games this season where we looked like a playoff team which is more than we got last year.

GaVaHokie

October 27th, 2009
11:30 am

Krog is second on the Wolves in points, has played the longest in Anderson’s system and has the most NHL experience… not sure what else there is to figure out.

Would I have liked to see someone else? Sure… but it’s hardly surprising.

stendec

October 27th, 2009
11:32 am

Captain Ilya Kovalchuk will return from his broken foot injury to finish with 80 goals. Kari Lehtonen will resurrect himself from the ashes of life threatening back surgery to lead Thrashers to Stanley Cup finals where they will lose in a seventh game triple overtime to the Flames. The Finnish superman will close with a .977 save percentage to go along with a 1.07 goals against average. Going to be a fantastic season! Enjoy. ++STENDEC++

stendec

October 27th, 2009
11:32 am

Captain Ilya Kovalchuk will return from his broken foot injury to finish with 80 goals. Kari Lehtonen will resurrect himself from the ashes of life threatening back surgery to lead Thrashers to Stanley Cup finals where they will lose in a seventh game triple overtime to the Flames. The Finnish superman will close with a .977 save percentage to go along with a 1.07 goals against average. Going to be a fantastic season! Enjoy. ++STENDEC++

Smoothie

October 27th, 2009
11:32 am

Russian, in now way was I advocating that Sterling get the call over Spencer, Joey C or even Gratton. Just pointing out that Sterling is at least pretty tough along the boards and in the corners. His hustle and quickness gave Washington fits last season in the 5 – 1 beatdown. And he played pretty tough and gritty against the Sabres too.

My preference would be:

Kane – Antro (Little if Nik is out) – Mad Max

Kozzy – Pevs – Army (our best line last year)

Little (Sterling) – Reasy – Slater

Boults – Whitey – Thorburn

Reasoner really seemed to excel last season with Perrin (play-making) and Stuart (blazing speed & hard-nosed hitting). I don’t see why Sterling (hands & quickness) and Slater (speed & toughness) wouldn’t make for a good temporary combination. I really don’t know how much more of JA’s obsession with Kozzy and White together I can stand.

stendec

October 27th, 2009
11:33 am

Please forgive double post. ++STENDEC++

3stripes

October 27th, 2009
11:34 am

Didn’t Krog play in Anderson’s system for like forever? Might that not give him an advantage over other potential call-ups?

I’m hoping that Anderson thinks Krog will succeed in a system he’s played in for some time, and that’s why he was called up over others. If I’m not mistaken, Krog was certainly a bonified goal scorer in Chicago – here’s hoping he has similar success here.

Dwayne

October 27th, 2009
11:45 am

I would rather be negative, i’ll hold it till Thursday night if necessary. Maybe the Thrashers rally for their Kaptain…play united…and win 7 out of 12??? Is that unrealistic? Its early still, a long road trip didn’t hurt to start the year, last 3 games were crappy(because we lost)so maybe this injury can be a rallying point. If Kovy misses 4 weeks, 12 games, do they throw him right back in the line up? Or play him in Chicago for a game or 2? Just asking. Krog, wasn’t that the name of a caveman movie from the 70’s???

DB

October 27th, 2009
11:52 am

Why call up a youngster who needs playing time to just sit and watch. Slater will see the ice time. Better our young players gain more experience.

Smoothie

October 27th, 2009
11:58 am

Perhaps Krog was called up to help some of the new guys learn the nuances of the system? Why bring up a smallish, finesse-type play-maker to play 4th line mins between Boults & Thor? Maybe he’s just practicing there for now, but if Antro is resting the groin, wouldn’t it make more sense letting Krog practice with some guys who can actually score more often than every 11th or 12th game?

Joshgekko

October 27th, 2009
12:01 pm

Maybe coach didn’t want to hurt the development of one of the better prospects by sitting him in the press box. I’m assuming Krog (a veteran AHL’er) will do just that for most of the games, putting Slater back in the lineup. As far as the top line, Id love to see Kane, Antro, Little

JLH

October 27th, 2009
12:28 pm

DB & Joshgekko get it. Slater will get the ice time, and why not? No one in Chicago is lighting it up. Esposito has no goals. Why call up a young guy who needs to play, just to sit in the press box? And Krog knows the system. I trust JA on this one. I’m not surprised at all. This will be Jimmy’s tryout for his next contract, if he gets one.

GaVaHokie

October 27th, 2009
12:30 pm

I’ve got a pretty good feeling that Antro missing is “precautionary”… I would hope he’d be ready by Thursday.

If so, Krog will watch from the press box… can’t imagine they’d scratch Slater for Krog.

Smoothie

October 27th, 2009
12:30 pm

Josh, perhaps they are optimistic that Kovy will be back in 2 – 3 weeks and figure they’d be better off with a savvy vet as insurance as opposed to disrupting the development of a youngster as you say.

Bob McKenzie had this to say about Kovy’s injury on his twitter machine:

“Thrashers are hopeful Kovalchuk won’t be out full four weeks. Fracture is to a non weight-bearing bone. Pain tolerance is the primary issue”

Let’s hope so!

Matt

October 27th, 2009
12:31 pm

WTH has Krog ever done when called up previously to make you believe that he is the player best suited to be called up NOW? Seriously underwhelmed by this news. I’m starting to get a bad vibe about this season, Kovy injured, Antro injured, Kari injured, hot start fizzling, no contract for Kovy. Badddddd JuJu man.

Russian

October 27th, 2009
12:59 pm

I do not like idea to break 3-d line. 3-d line have everything. Armi is big and strong winger. He put pressure and play very well on the boards. Pever is best Face off man in the team and he got very good shot and puck handle. Kane is young and hungry. He always goes to the net. This line is perfect right now. No reason to BREAK them. We lost player from First line and let’ s try to build First line. I really like to see Nik (Winger)-Little(center)-Max(winger). Little can handle a pressure on First line. He did already for few games. DO NOT combaine together Slava-White-Max. You will get BIG trouble. Second line could be as: Slava-White-Krog(Slater). I prefer to see Jimmy on secod line.

Lee

October 27th, 2009
1:40 pm

AHHHHH!!!!! EXACTLY WAT WE NEEDED YA KNOW??!!!! GET KOVY INJURED!!!! UGH!!!!! ok, i would be fine if kovy was out for 1 or 2 weeks BUT 4???? jeez!!!! and KROG???? WAT THE CRAP??? WE WOULD”VE WON AGAINST THE SHARKS IF KOVY WASNT INJURED THAT EARLY!!!! AND MOST OF THOSE 4 WEEKS WILL PROBABLY BE LOSSES!

Lee

October 27th, 2009
1:41 pm

BTW, AT LEAST CALL UP CRABB OR SOMETHING!

Hotrod

October 27th, 2009
2:11 pm

No pressure Thrashers, but the next 4-5 weeks will be the most important games you will have ever played in your lives to date.

You have to remain so focused on everything you do and every effort you give. It all has to be 125% with nothing left at every practice,every game,and every shift.

Good luck a lets keep this decent year rocking!

kicksave&abeauty

October 27th, 2009
2:36 pm

No Kovy —> No Playoffs. Mediocre goal tending will not get us there while Kovy convalesces.

The Earl of Bud

October 27th, 2009
3:02 pm

Pretty insightful comments that Krog having the most experience in JA’s system makes him the best candidate. As well, Slater goes back to the 4th, Reasoner moves up, so why have a young prospect sit in the pressbox?

GaVaHokie – your comment at 10:24am on the last blog cracked me up.

The orange and gray lines should remain exactly as is for awhile, even after Kovalchuk gets back. Slater moves to Krog’s spot and Antro (who as someone said above is just sitting out as a precaution) will take Slater’s spot. Kane-Peverley-Army will get the most minutes.

“We all new the big guy had a history of nagging injuries and here we go…talk about wonderful timing.”

Smoothie – be careful how you speak of Antropov. When you make statements like that you are just taunting me to go on another Max rant.

BlueSpark

October 27th, 2009
3:28 pm

I’ve got a nagging groin injury too – my wife!

I’ll be here all week – try the fish!

L

October 27th, 2009
3:31 pm

Wow….relax on Antropov! The guy is hurt, but he won’t be out for the whole season for crying out loud! And those “nagging injuries”….um, hello, he has been healthy for how many years now?? How about you do some research before going postal on the guy????

[...] in Atlanta are getting a look at the Thrashers lineup without Ilya Kovalchuk today at practice as they recalled Jason Krog from Chicago to take his [...]

Chris Vivlamore

October 27th, 2009
5:05 pm

Just finished the story on Kovalchuk. It should be posted soon. Check out the things Anderson said about not accepting defeat because Kovy is out. I’m not sure the extent of Antropov’s injury. He’s been walking around, but not skating. Anderson said the lines that I have above from today’s practice are current, as in without Antropov. If he can go Thursday – or tomorrow at practice – then they will change. Of course I will let you know. Thanks all.

buldog/52

October 27th, 2009
5:16 pm

Krog has been best player on Wolves this year. Sterling just got back for 4 game suspension. Crabb not playing well in Chicago. Small not all bad.

Bravos33

October 27th, 2009
5:22 pm

I dont know how everyone else feels, but I think the next two games (Wash and Ottawa) are extremely important. If we can play good hockey games and come away with 3 or 4 points in those games then we will be fine. If we stuggle, especially in net, then we may be looking at a rough patch that could get us behind the 8-ball. Lets hope we are ready to play Thursday after the time off. Go THRASHERS!

The Earl of Bud

October 27th, 2009
5:33 pm

Thanks for the updates Chris. That is interesting to know that those are how the lines are looking.

buldog/52 – Are you from Chicago that you are watching them? How does Esposito look? Postma? Kulda? Those are the 3 that I am most interested in that have the best shot of making it to the Thrashers.

The Earl of Bud

October 27th, 2009
5:35 pm

Bravos33 – that couldn’t be more true, but it doesn’t help that each of those teams are at/near the top of their division and each has already beaten us in regulation.

Long Time Fan

October 27th, 2009
7:56 pm

First Blog but I will tell you what! this crap with the Thrashers is not NHL Hockey. I have been a long time Hockey fan 41 years. These decisions are weak coaching decisions. He is playing his minor league players his pals not real players. I think we will see Manny in net some time this season (if he is still in Chicago at that time). We have weak coaching and weak goaltending(always been that way from the start). Why do you start Hedberg Sat? why do you call up a nobody? This coach should have been let go last year and he will fail again this year. Listen to his press conference to passive not my type of coach. The Thrashers had a lot of good players come and go I hope we get to keep Kovy but if we start losing on a regular basis he will not stay. Sorry to sound gloom but just had to say it.

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution [...]

stendec

October 27th, 2009
8:55 pm

Poll question choices should be yes, no and Hell no. Guess which one would be my choice? ++STENDEC++

stendec

October 27th, 2009
9:01 pm

Falcons are fine except when they play somebody worth a damn or semi damn! Thrashers are an equal opportunity franchise. These heartless ice guys lose to everybody! Put up bit of fight on road but lie down like betch dogs on Loseland home ice. Without exception! WHEN IS SAVIOR KARI LEHTONEN EXPECTED BACK? Oops. Should not have said back. My bad. Hope Ilya Kovalchuk packs his thermal undies for journey to Siberia. They will be needed! ++STENDEC++

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 27th, 2009
11:00 pm

The Falcons lost to Keith Brooking’s new team…how ironic.

[...] -With captain Ilya Kovalchuk sidelined due to a broken foot, The Thrashers recalled forward Jason Krog from Chicago of the AHL. [...]

Jimbo

October 28th, 2009
8:24 am

Stendec- Love it man! That frontal lobotomy is obviously working. When does Roman Ndur reappear as Darth Vadar to throw fear into NHL.

Good news for a change

October 28th, 2009
10:02 am

Toby

October 28th, 2009
10:40 am

Yes…that’s obviously false news as that’s dated almost a week ago. The media is all over Kovy and the second he resigns, it’ll be everywhere.

Good news for a change

October 28th, 2009
10:50 am

Toby,

What’s false about it? All it said was “near” an agreement, and it was reported by multiple sources.

Spud Webb

October 28th, 2009
10:57 am

I don’t want a prospect up to sit in the press box. I want a prospect up to PLAY. I don’t care about knowing the freaking system. Why TF would I want to watch Krog play??? I’ve seen it, it’s not that impressive, I’ve seen Slater play, it’s not that impressive. I don’t care if Espo has scored a goal in chicago or not this year. I wanna see someone who might, just might add a spark to this team, in a time of NEED of a sparks. Krog will not do that, slats will not do that. Just disappointing. Used to it for the last 10 years. Someone will need to step up in the next 4 weeks and hold this together!!

kracker

October 28th, 2009
12:08 pm

Hey, these guys took it to the Sharks for the whole 3rd period without Kovy, so they still have enough talent to compete. But can they stay competitive for 4 or 5 weeks without Ilya? I guess we will find out.

This loss could be great for Kane’s development if he can handle being a top liner. And don’t get all hung up on what number line Kane is said to be on, JA will be playing whoever is clicking. If what we call the 3rd line is getting the most minutes that pretty much makes them the actual 1st line in my mind.

buldog/52

October 28th, 2009
12:38 pm

earl of bud. Kulda has looked the best of the 3. Postma 2nd. espo looks confused at times. maybe with new oach in chicago he will play to his protenial.

The Earl of Bud

October 28th, 2009
12:42 pm

Thanks buldog/52. Although Postma has only been in the AHL a few weeks he is already putting up some points, so that is nice to see.

Spud Webb – knowing the system is crucial. If you don’t know where to be, you will not get the puck, the other team’s players are going to be open and not covered, etc. It is extremely important to be on the same page as everyone else. Since this is only a short term thing and very important time, you don’t want a rookie who may get lost out there to screw things up when we will already be vulnerable without Kovalchuk.

Russ

October 28th, 2009
1:01 pm

Kovalchuk leads the team in power play minutes. That’s why Krog was brought up, they are not going to gamble too much power play time on players Anderson doesn’t normally give it to. Krog will probably get 5-6 minutes of power play time and 1-2 shifts a period even strength at most.

Hard to judge the young players in Chicago just yet. The team looked completely disorganized on the ice until the recent coaching change. Better to let them get consistent work in before submitting them to a third coach in 3 weeks.