Last seven Thrashers goals from defensemen

The Thrashers are off today following Sunday’s shootout win over St. Louis.

However, let’s not let that stop us from blogging. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the last seven Thrashers goals, over two and a half games, have come from defensemen.  After Bryan Little scored against Columbus on Thursday the Thrashers have gotten goals from: Tobias Enstrom and Pavel Kubina against the Blue Jackets, Zach Bogosian, Kubina and Christoph Schubert against the Islanders and Enstrom and Ron Hainsey against the Blues.

Concerned? Sure you like scoring from the defense, but all the scoring?

It’s funny because on Friday, the day after the Columbus game, I asked coach John Anderson about Enstrom. It seemed, to me, that he was hesitant to shoot from the point. I wanted to see if Anderson thought I was off base. This is what he said:

“I don’t think Toby is the kind of player that thinks shoot first. I’ve been talking to him about it. He’s got a pretty good shot. You’ve obvioulsy seen that. Sometimes it’s a confidence thing. You learn from that experience. He’s primarily a feeder and a disher, that’s just the way he is. Sometimes it’s very difficult to change the stripes on that zebra.

“He has to shoot sometimes in order to create space for other guys he’s going to pass it to. Because if he’s not a threat to shoot they don’t worry about him shooting. Obviously now, he’s had a couple shots. I was [ticked] off at him five or six games ago. I said ‘Next time you cross the line, make sure it gets on net. I don’t care how hard it is.’ We scored a goal right off. It wasn’t my genius. In order to make the pass from here to here to here, if  he doesn’t shoot once in awhile they won’t respect him so they will just back off.”

In the last three games, Enstrom has two goals and two assists.

I asked Enstrom Sunday about the wealth of scoring the Thrashers have had from defenseman lately. All he said was “That’s good. We just have to get our forwards scoring and everything will be perfect.”

Bogosian has six goals, third on the Thrashers and tied for first in the NHL for defensemen. Kubina’s three goals have come over the last four games. Mark Popovic scored his first NHL goal against the Canadiens.

Let me know what you think.

46 comments Add your comment

Thrashfan39

November 9th, 2009
8:49 am

What’s the record for consecutive goals by a defenseman?

kracker

November 9th, 2009
8:52 am

Seven in a row by Thrashers D-men…that easily has to be a team record.

Hey, I’ll take goals (and points) anywhere we can get them with the Kaptain out.

fes

November 9th, 2009
9:03 am

I’m just glad someone is stepping up and putting the puck in the net since several of the forwards continue to struggle to find their shot.

Chris Vivlamore

November 9th, 2009
9:07 am

A little more research: In the six games without Kovalchuk, the
Thrashers are 3-3. During those six games, 12 goals by defensemen, 7 by forwards.

kracker

November 9th, 2009
9:20 am

Chris, you can pretty much count the Sharks game as being a game where the team played without Kovalchuk, though I don’t think our defemsemen scored in that game.

Chris Vivlamore

November 9th, 2009
9:27 am

kracker: That’s true. All three goals in that game scored by forwards.

J.B.

November 9th, 2009
10:01 am

What’s going on with his contract negotiation? Did the broken foot put discussions on hold?

Darkhorse

November 9th, 2009
10:06 am

Very happy about the offense from the D and hope to see it continue. I think hesitation or lack of individual confidence has led to many of the forwards passing on scoring chances to get the puck back to the point. It just happens the D has been able to get quite a few through recently.

There seemed to be some indecision at times in the Blues game yesterday with regards to the fowards deferring their shots to the D. Now Antro and Kozlov put some good shots on net and Kane had a few nice chances, but overall only Peverley seems to have embraced the scoring torch since Kovy went down. Little appeared to have a tough time shaking his man to get a clean shot off. We really need him to find a way to tickle the twine more consistantly.

Chris-On another note, I was curious if Kovy was traveling with the team on road trips while he’s out?

Chris Vivlamore

November 9th, 2009
10:29 am

Doing some more research on where the Thrashers defensive scoring ranks in the league and came across this on the Carolina Hurricanes site: Manny Legace signs with Canes.

Darkhorse: That depends on each trip. Kovy said he wants to travel, Anderson wants to make sure in his keeping up with conditioning. I think he went on the Ottawa/Montreal trip. Not sure about others. He was at Philips last night. Saw him leaving. Still has a walking boot on.

Russian

November 9th, 2009
10:36 am

Legace went to Carolina. Interesting move.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2009
10:59 am

Chris, I like JA’s decision to switch the D-pairings (and not just because I suggested it on your blog before it happened!) as it forces Tobias to be more aggressive as he is speedier and more dynamic than Kubina. Kubina is a wily vet who knows when to pinch (for the most part) and when to “fold ‘em” so to speak. Enstrom is very savvy too, but he often tends to be conservative when playing with the “gun-slinger” Bogosian.

Having Bogo play with Ronsey is pretty much the same formula as Hainsey is often going to err on the side of caution (which sometimes gets him in trouble). But you could tell Zach was being more judicious in his decision-making last night. He’s still a D-man and defense must come first no matter how many goals he’s capable of potting.

Chris Vivlamore

November 9th, 2009
11:02 am

OK, more research. Someone said they like stats. Zach Bogosian has six goals. That’s more than the combined totals of all defensemen on 10 different teams. Thrashers have 16 goals from defensemen. Easily tops in the NHL. Rangers are next with 13.

Sam

November 9th, 2009
11:29 am

Bogo has the worst +/- of any D-man on the Thrash…2nd worst on the team at -4. Bogo also didn’t get the trailing shooter yesterday and that directly resulted in a Blues goal. As long as our D play solid D, then scoring can be a bonus.

In contrast, Toby, his defensive partner for all games minus Sunday’s, is even. Toby’s HAD to be the one playing defense in that pairing, Anderson.

I’d rather see solid DEFENSE from our D-men first (uh, hence the name of the position), and scoring from our 0-for-6 PP (from yesterday) and our forwards.

Because having defense that scores isn’t solving the 51 and 45 SOG games the Thrashers have had recently. And that has nothing to do with Kovy being out.

Hope someone in Thrashers’ management is paying attention.

Sara

November 9th, 2009
12:50 pm

Legace signing is really unsurprising given the injury to Cam Ward. Although, that team’s dug such a big hole for themselves it’s not like there’s much of anything to salvage.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2009
12:56 pm

Indeed, hopefully our more conservative, take-fewer-chances approach to yesterday’s game was evidence of our coaches deciding that we must emphasize team defense and timely, opportunistic (shoot to score on the damn PP please!!) scoring until Kovy returns. To wit:

In the first 7 games played with our beloved Captain, our goals scored avg was 3.57 and our goals allowed avg was only 2.71. Since that fateful night against San Jose when Kovy was felled, we have given up an avg of 3.57 (strange that it matches our scoring rate in the first 7) goals per game, but only scored an avg of 3.14 (largely due to our D-men scoring over a goal per game during that stretch).

Our team defense MUST BE better until Kovy comes back. Our forwards are obviously struggling to score goals and so our defense needs to be much stingier over the next couple weeks.

The Earl of Bud

November 9th, 2009
1:01 pm

Got to love the new d-pairings. All this time we were juggling forwards and it was the pairings, not the lines that needed to be mixed. I’m still not convinced of the lines though until we get back to our opening night lineup as this scoring will eventually fizzle and as Sam said, it’s the forwards job to put it in the net first, then the D can tack on.

Smoothie, got to agree that Hainsey the cautious partner will be good for Bogosian. I like watching Zach go up and down the ice. BTW, I am furious that I didn’t come up with “Enstromboli” first. Kudos.

Chris, keep the stats coming, I like ‘em as well.

Legace to the Canes didn’t catch me off guard one bit. Rick Nash was going on an attempt toward the net against Cam Ward when his skate cut Ward’s (gulp!) groin. He will be out for weeks and couldn’t even fly back with the team so had to stay in OH.

GaVaHokie

November 9th, 2009
2:25 pm

Thrashers have 16 goals from defensemen. Easily tops in the NHL. Rangers are next with 13.

I expected this and hope it stays that way… I’m hoping to see more and more of it… that was the point of adding Kubina. Well, first was his size, but it was also to have as many mobile defenseman who could jump into the play as possible.

Bogosian has had a few breakaway goals… Kubina even has a goal standing in front of the net… I love the versatility.

GaVaHokie

November 9th, 2009
2:31 pm

Chris… I’d like to see some follow-up interviews with Kubina. I’d like to know if he’s happy with the situation he’s in now, if he’s enjoying Anderson’s style? Does he like having the green light? etc.

Considering he’s on a one-year contract, it would be nice to get a feel for his desire to stay here.

[...] With the injury to Ilya Kovalchuk, it was understood that someone would have to pick up the slack and start scoring for the Thrashers, but I don’t think anyone expected it to come solely from the defence. [...]

Chris Vivlamore

November 9th, 2009
2:35 pm

GaVaHokie: You read my mine. Kubina is on my list as the next player profile. Hope to talk to him in depth this week. Thanks for checking in.

J.B.

November 9th, 2009
2:36 pm

I second Hokie’s request for questions to Kubina. I’ve been pleased with Max’s efforts thus far as well, overall, and would like to hear what he as to say to those same questions about being in Atlanta, the style, contract situation, etc. I assume no contract is being discussed until after Kovalchuk’s gets resolved though…

Chris Vivlamore

November 9th, 2009
2:38 pm

Don Waddell says he is happy for Legace, calling him a “class guy.”

Chris Vivlamore

November 9th, 2009
2:40 pm

And of course, that’s read me MIND.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2009
2:40 pm

Thanks EOB! I usually get a lot of help with fun nicknames from my g/f who loves hockey. But when it comes to our naming rights battle, I get to take credit for “Swedish (En)stromboli”, the “Bogosian Explosian” and the “French Canadian Dip”, which is what I affectionately called Eric Perrin when he was here.

But she has given me so many others including “Have-a-loose-stool” for Havelid’s crappy play, “Richie Rich” for Pevs since he looks like Macaulay Culkin and “The Slava Kozlovs” because she thinks that would make for a great rock band name. Needless to say we have a lot of fun at the games and she keeps me from getting too serious during the games.

As for the actual hockey, I sensed a change among both Toby and Zach. I think Zach certainly heard the message loud and clear about being too cavalier with his jumping into the play. Too often times he has left Tobes hanging and I think their comfort level had reached the point of taking one another for granted. Now, with the new pairings, both of them can excel at what they do best, but with a more conservative complement in Hainsey and Kubina. I’m really starting to like the Schubert / Popovic pairing…Salmela and Schubes, not so much.

GVH, I’d like to see more of Kubina diving down to the off-post on the PP like they’ve done a few times. Toby knows when to stay at the blueline and Kozzy is generally pretty good rotating back from the half-wall. Not so sure about Kubina / Enstrom with the Antro-Max-Pevs unit though. Good to have Hainsey out there with those guys cuz they seem to enjoy free-lancing quite a bit more. Now if we can just get Antropov to shoot the puck when he’s open from the circle!!

Chris Vivlamore

November 9th, 2009
2:50 pm

Anybody have suggestion for the next off-the-ice Q&A you’d like to see?

The Earl of Bud

November 9th, 2009
3:04 pm

“calling him a “class guy.”

Chris, are you sure he wasn’t talking about another goalie of our’s who is the “glass guy”? Sorry, it had to be asked.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2009
3:08 pm

Chris, I think you should talk to either Bryan Little or ask Colby Armstrong to help you put together an Athlete’s Guide to Fine Dining in the greater metro area. Per his twitter account, he really enjoys eating out. I want to know if he’s had the shrimp & grits at Horseradish Grill…absolutely to die for! LOL

The Earl of Bud

November 9th, 2009
3:10 pm

Smoothie, have you ever heard “Mookie Blaylock” play? Not sure if they are still around and if they would change to the Slava Kozlovs.

I actually would like to see Zach keep jumping in. The guy can skate through the zone and get through, why not turn him loose? Oh yeah, our forwards don’t cover for him.

Chris, I think folks hear might like (and you can check with them) to hear about Rick Dudley as well. Players are great but sometimes a front office guy will do. Of course he probably wouldn’t tell us what we would want to hear about.

The Earl of Bud

November 9th, 2009
3:16 pm

Chris, I just read that Evander Kane was limping around in the doctor’s room after the game yesterday. Any news on that? Thanks.

J.B.

November 9th, 2009
3:26 pm

oooohh mannnnn where’d you read that? Linky plz.

The Earl of Bud

November 9th, 2009
3:36 pm

JB, let me go find it. It was his left foot. Chris, any news there would be much appreciated.

Chris Vivlamore

November 9th, 2009
3:48 pm

I’m taking another step in the new world of blogging and updating the related blog links on my page. If you have something I should link to, let me know. ANYTHING THAT’S HOCKEY RELATED!

Smoothie

November 9th, 2009
4:01 pm

Guys, Kaner took a pretty hard slapper off the left foot last night. I recall him skating gingerly off the ice at one point. However he was out there at the end of the game. Perhaps he aggravated it and it swelled up like a grapefruit…hope he doesn’t have a broken bone too!

Yikes!!

Darkhorse

November 9th, 2009
4:19 pm

Chris-How about a Q&A with Kozlov sometime soon? If you can get the info out of him, I would like to hear his own critique of his contribution and play this season thus far, if he’s feeling “older” than he thought, retire or play next year? With Kovy out, I think he is one player who has the ability to lift his game and contribution, but I have yet to see it. Also, see if you could talk him into telling a funny story that happened in recent history. I know there’s a decent personality under his poker face.

The Earl of Bud

November 9th, 2009
4:32 pm

Thanks Smoothie, I totally missed that. That would be bad if it is another broken bone. Just so I know whether or not to get superstitious, is it Kovalchuk’s left or right foot that is broken now?

[...] post is being inspired by a statistic I read on blogs.ajc.com that talked about the Thrashers’ offensive [...]

Smoothie

November 9th, 2009
5:02 pm

EOB — almost forgot to mention that I have not heard of a band called Mookie Blaylock, but I’m quite familiar with the player. Too bad the Hawks pretty much sucked while he was in the backcourt. I guess they had a couple playoff appearances, but Steve Smith was aging and we had no front-court (stiffs like Koncak, Henderson and Adam Keefe come to mind unfortunately). If they have a website, I’ll check them out!

The Earl of Bud

November 9th, 2009
5:27 pm

Smoothie now that I think aboutit they were a Buffalo band, not an Atlanta band. I can’t even keep track of which local bands are from which city anymore. But it was the only player-named band reference that I could possibly come up with.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2009
5:36 pm

There’s a band called “Five for Fighting” I believe, and another Quebecois band which is named after Dale Hawerchuk. I think they are called Les Dales Hawerchuks but I may have the exact name wrong.

The Earl of Bud

November 9th, 2009
7:53 pm

I was thinking player names and I had never heard of Les Dales Hawerchuks, even being a Buffalo guy. I should’ve at least thought of 5 for fighting. I’ve heard 100 years about 100 thousand million times.

Rob

November 9th, 2009
7:56 pm

Mookie Blaylock is Pearl Jam’s original band name – before they were sued by Blaylock, The New Jersey Nets (his team at the time) and the NBA.
They named themselves that because their 1st box of demos came with a Mookie Blaylock card in the box.

The Earl of Bud

November 9th, 2009
9:56 pm

Rob, we had some awesome bands from Buffalo and Southern Ontario when I was in school (Goo Goo Dolls, Barenaked Ladies, Tragically Hip) but I think this has to be a different band. This was a little local band and Pearl Jam was one of those Seattle grunge bands (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, their list is a whole lot longer than Buffalo’s). I’m going to have to start calling some college buddies on this one if you are right.

Pop quiz – when Better Than Ezra (“Good” can’t think of their other big songs) had to come up with a name so the DJ can announce them, what band played right before them?

J.B.

November 10th, 2009
8:31 am

Desperately Wanting is probably the other BTE song you’re thinkin of…

GaVaHokie

November 10th, 2009
8:40 am

The Earl of Bud… I’m going to guess “Less Than Jake”.

GaVaHokie

November 10th, 2009
9:20 am

EOB… Pearl Jam was definitely called Mookie Blaylock. I knew that without looking it up, but I looked it up anyway just to get the year… it was in 1990.

Smoothie

November 10th, 2009
10:33 am

That’s pretty interesting stuff about Pearl Jam…I don’t know how I don’t remember hearing about that. But then again, I hated the Seattle music scene and didn’t really pay attention to Pearl Jam until Eddie started taking on Ticketmaster. For that I will always respect them even if I’m not all that keen on their music.

If anyone wants to check out Les DaleS Hawerchuk (now that makes it a lot funnier), they are touring…albeit in Quebec:

http://www.lesdaleshawerchuk.com