Popovic out 3-4 weeks with broken foot

Just back from Sunday’s practice. It was an optional skate today and 12 players took the ice.

Here is the one piece of news. Coach John Anderson confirmed that defenseman Mark Popovic has a broken foot and will miss 3-4 weeks. He has not been put on injured reserve as of yet, but Anderson said that move would probably  happen soon.

Here’s who was at practice: Ilya Kovalchuk, Slava Kozlov, Chris Thorburn, Eric Boulton, Colby Armstrong, Bryan Little, Jim Slater, Evander Kane, Boris Valabik, Tobias Enstrom, Anssi Salmela and Ondrej Pavelec.

One error in my story from Saturday’s game against Montreal. I forgot to add a point to the Canadiens total for the OT loss. The Thrashers are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a two-point lead over the Canadiens.

53 comments Add your comment

MJMcReynolds

December 13th, 2009
1:54 pm

That’s disappointing for Pops.

Smoothie

December 13th, 2009
2:19 pm

Wow, Kovy participated in an optional practice! That’s a nice change of pace. Quite surprising as he is notorious for skipping optionals and considering his ailing foot, perhaps he is realizing just how important his leadership is to this team’s success and the difference it can make when adversity is at its peak. I smell a winning streak coming on.

Brendan

December 13th, 2009
2:20 pm

Tough break for Popovic. He’ll be back before trade deadline, though. Popovic could wind up as “sweetener” in some deadline deal. You never know. Popovic isn’t under contract next season, to my recollection.

stendec

December 13th, 2009
2:37 pm

I truly appreciate the overtime goal By Captain Ilya Kovalchuk which ensured the Montreal Canadiens would collect no more than a point at Thrasher expense. Thank you! Sincerely. ++STENDEC++

Hockeyfan

December 13th, 2009
3:52 pm

How is Kubina? He left the game late in the third last night after blocking a shot and went down the tunnel

Chris Vivlamore

December 13th, 2009
4:02 pm

Hockeyfan: Kubina was at the practice facility today, but did not practice. I saw him leaving with an ice pack on his foot. He gave me a thumbs up sign. I asked Anderson if there were any injuries and he said there was nothing to report.

Darkhorse

December 13th, 2009
5:02 pm

With Salmela in the press box already, I wonder why Anderson would say a move might happen soon?

The Earl of Bud

December 13th, 2009
5:17 pm

Smoothie – I am usually eye to eye with you anyway, but I hope you are right.

Darkhorse – I think the move that JA was referring to happening was the act of placing Pops on IR, not making a roster move for a different player. I had to read the statement twice myself, but read it again and you’ll see what I mean – “He has not been put on injured reserve as of yet, but Anderson said that move would probably happen soon.” The keyword is “that” meaning that move of putting him on IR. Again, I had to read it twice myself to understand it.

Darkhorse

December 13th, 2009
5:28 pm

That makes sense. They really don’t need to bring anyone else new in right now anyway, they just need to get the guys already on the roster playing more consistant and determined…..as in we really do want to make the playoffs.

The Earl of Bud

December 13th, 2009
5:40 pm

Darkhorse – Although I would take Pops over Ansi, I actually want Schubert and Salmella to play the entire time. Remember we also have Boris back now.

Chris Vivs – I posted this on the last blog but I will put it again here. I am curious as to whether you hear anything:

12 NHL scouts were at the Flyers game either tonight or their last game. Apparantley they are putting out feelers for a goalie now that Emery had surgery and they are struggling. The only team mentioned was Atlanta who was said to be looking to drop a goalie once Lehtonen gets back.

Chris, I know that Waddell was at the Toronto game, where was Dudley this week? How about our other scouts?

Chris Vivlamore

December 13th, 2009
6:21 pm

Earl: I have not heard anything about Thrashers being involved in a trade. Waddell is at GM meetings in California. I think it’s just talk to include the Thrashers because everyone knows they have three goalies. However, right now, they only have two goalies. No telling when Kari will be back. He’s progressing, but not skating yet.

Hotrod

December 13th, 2009
6:49 pm

We needed that win in a bad way. Still holding my breath though.
One more win and I might exhale.

The Earl of Bud

December 13th, 2009
8:02 pm

Thanks Chris. Yes it is natural to say our name first given the whole Lehtonen scenario, plus I think we were rumored to be doing a trade with them last year involving one of our goalies. But it would still be nice to know if one of those 12 scouts were any of ours. I’m not saying that automatically means we’re involved in a trade but it’s fun to at least know there might be some interest or that we are scouting a particular team’s players who we might be after.

StateBird

December 13th, 2009
11:58 pm

Chris – The HNIC crew reported that Alexander Medvedev (KHL) was recently in Atlanta, presumably to meet with Kovy. Have you heard anything to either dispel or confirm this report? If not, hope you can ask around. Thanks.

[...] -Thrashers defenseman Mark Popovic is expected to be sidelined three to four weeks due to a broken foot. [...]

Sara

December 14th, 2009
8:06 am

EOB – according to an article out of Philly (with due credit to The Falconer, which is where I saw it), ATL had two scouts at the Philly-Sens game. However the Lightning were also mentioned by name as offering Mike Smith, though the asking price was apparently too high. The story mentions that Holmgren has long been interested in Pavelec (which makes one wonder if that’s the deal that almost went down that the draft). http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2009/12/11/sports/doc4b21c6031f1d0663288139.txt

I’d say at the moment it’s all moot. Kari isn’t playing – I’m not certain he’s even skating yet – so we do not have a goaltender to give up. Kari does the Flyers no good and I don’t see us moving either Moose or Pavs until Kari not only gets healthy, but actually plays and plays well.

StateBird – I’d say it’s distinctly possible Medvedev was here. He was in Washington very recently to talk to Ovechkin and some others. Medvedev is highly involved with the Russian Olympic team and I think that’s supposed to be the agenda behind his current trip to the US (though I’m sure the KHL never wastes an opportunity to try to convince Russian players to come home plus Medvedev is allegedly interested in purchasing an NHL franchise).

Russian

December 14th, 2009
8:24 am

I looked all Russian news and talked to my friends from Russia. I could not find any information about Medvedev came to Atlanta and talked to Kovy. I think it is just Big Rumor. I found one more thing. SovSport(Russian newspaper) took interview from Maks and Kovy after thet won game at Saturday. One of the question was about Kovy contract. He said that he will meet his agent at Monday in NYC and get more information about hios Contract. Also Maks and Kovy said that if Coach wanted to change lines they will play their best game to make a victory.

Bob

December 14th, 2009
10:08 am

Chris, can you get Waddell on the record with the status of Kovy’s contract talks? Can you get Kovy’s agent on the record as well as to where the talks stand? It’s pretty obvious something is bugging Kovy and his play reflects it.

Chris Vivlamore

December 14th, 2009
10:13 am

Bob: I’ll talk to Waddell again on Thursday when he returns from GM meetings. I will certainly ask again. Kovy’s agent keeps things quiet. I know Kovy and agent were supposed to meet while in New York. We’ll see what happens. I’m on it. I appreciate the interest. Thanks.

Bob

December 14th, 2009
10:39 am

Thanks, Chris. Sat’s game was only the 2nd I’ve made it to this year, and I was shocked to see Kovy floating and disinterested. You can tell his heart is not in it and that makes me worry the contract is a problem.

five_hole

December 14th, 2009
11:40 am

IF We were going to move a goalie, it would have to be Pavelic. Lehtonen has zero trade value right now, as he’s always injured. Moose has been a career backup. And I’d have to say that Pavelic has improved his value based on his record.

My question is, would anyone want to trade Pavelic and having to take a chance on Kari staying injury-free the rest of the season? Personally, my fingers were shaking, just typing that question.

Bob Kovy was “floating” but he also logged 27 minutes of ice time. We wanted to keep him out there because he’s a premier winger and who would you rather have on the ice? He was permanently stationed next to the Canadien’s blue line so that if he could get the clearing pass, could be in on a break (or at least a 1-on-1) on Carey Price.

Sara

December 14th, 2009
11:52 am

Keep in mind too that the Thrashers flew home from Vancouver on Friday afternoon. They were all likely jet-lagged – that was a ferocious roadtrip for them.

So far this season, Kovy’s rushed back from a broken foot injury (literally when one accounts for his last minute dash to the airport to make the flight for the NYR game) and played through a bout of the flu. Yeah – real disinterested guy there.

The Earl of Bud

December 14th, 2009
12:11 pm

Why would Waddell, Kovalchuk, or Kovalchuk’s agent say anything about contract status? What do they have to gain by saying anything to the press? If Kovalchuk really wants to sign here, wouldn’t it be smart to not sign in Sept and in Jan instead to sweat another million $$ out of the Atlanta Spirit? Think about it, everyday Kovalchuk doesn’t sign his value goes up to Waddell, the Spirit, and anyone hoping to re-sign him in Atlanta. Maybe he is just holding out for the most money in the city he wants to play in. So why would he say that he is going to sign if he is playing for more leverage?

On the complete opposite end, if he doesn’t want to sign at all, why would he say that? What if he changes his mind? How pissed would his Russian comrades be at him before the Olympics? What if we go on a 12-2 run and he realizes this is the place? His value would be killed and Waddell might trade him to Phoenix. So again, why tell the press and the whole world what’s going on in your head, what your true intentions are, and what you are going to do before playing your hand out?

Kovalchuk is not a cherry picker but boy he isn’t a Selke candidate either. But for you guys to think that you can just snap your fingers and have Chris get the truth out of a GM, an agent, or anyone without beating him with a bag of oranges might be a tad ludicrous.

Dwayne

December 14th, 2009
12:16 pm

I’m sure every team in the NHL realizes that Atlanta does not have a goalie coach, so problems that OP has, or health issue like Kari has MIGHT be looked upon as the reason. If I am a goalie coach, and I am asked by my Boss, “Can you get him right”? My ego says “hell yes”!!!

Dwayne

December 14th, 2009
12:22 pm

“Kovalchuk is not a cherry picker” ….have to disagree. I was a master at cherry picking, albeit a different sport. He is a cherry picker, even ATL commentators pick it up, they even show the replays of him skating in circles when the other team scores when he is on the ice. Come on EOB, you are one of the few on this blog that are usually spot on.

Sam

December 14th, 2009
12:42 pm

Viv will ask the questions about Kovy’s contract status because its a big story in the NHL and its right under our noses. espn.com has already done 2 stories on the contract talks. The hype is going to increase the longer he’s not re-signed. No matter whether Waddell and Kovy answer or not, the outside pressure should be there. That’s the role of the objective journalist to add pressure and spotlight to a story of interest.

In this case, it would be great to have some hometown representative asking about the re-signing of this city’s NHL superstar….you know, like we WANT him here.

Kovy’s a bigger, better catch than Hossa…and there was a circus around him at the time. Our press, IMO, should be leading the way on this story, especially with the access they get vs what outsiders get….whether they get the answers or not…the questions should/will get asked.

The Earl of Bud

December 14th, 2009
12:47 pm

Dwayne, you only 1/2 quoted me. I said “Kovalchuk is not a cherry picker but boy he isn’t a Selke candidate either.” So I am definitely saying that he has his defensive lapses and no one will confuse him with Lehtinen, but I just don’t think he’s camped out there ALL the time. To me, cherry pickers are guys I played with that never come back to our side of the red line. And I know guys like that. Kovalchuk isn’t that bad. But like I said, he’s no Selke candidate either so I do agree with you, just not to the same degree.

I didn’t even finish that line of thought now that I reread that line. I was going to say that while he’s not a cherry picker he does coast around a lot. Point being just because fans seem him coasting now means absolutely nothing regarding his desire to play here because he has always been that way. How is his coasting now any different than his coasting around at any other point in his career?

The Earl of Bud

December 14th, 2009
12:53 pm

Sam, fine, ask the questions. But who really thinks we are going to get an answer that is any different than what Hossa, Campbell, or any other FA said? And why would we think we are going to all of a sudden get the first honest answer in the history of free agency?

Do we really need to request that the standard questions get asked as if something will come out of it other than the same scripted answers which are probably the best answers to give if you are being asked?

The Earl of Bud

December 14th, 2009
12:58 pm

Moose to start tonight. Hope we hold them down to 19 shots again.

Dwayne

December 14th, 2009
1:07 pm

I did not get to see the first 2 1/2 periods Saturday night, why so few shots by habs?
EOB, i’m just like any other media, only use the part of the quote that suits me. (i use the “media” loosely)

Bob

December 14th, 2009
1:55 pm

Goodness, Chris will ask the questions and then we can see the answers. I can guarantee you there’ll be no answer if he doesn’t ask, why in Lord Stanley’s name would you have a problem with him asking a question.

Sara, I completely agree that Kovy came back quickly from the injury. The change many of us have noticed has come in the past couple of weeks. Something has happened in the last two weeks, rumor was 2 weeks ago that the signing was imminent, now nothing. See if you can catch the replay of him scoring the game winner Sat. nite, that’s not our Kovy and he mutters something to himself as he skated behind the net after scoring, you can see it on the replay. Our old Kovy goes ballistic, jumps the glass, and mobs his teammates. Something is up with the contract and it’s happened in the past couple of weeks, that’s clear as day.

Chris Vivlamore

December 14th, 2009
2:11 pm

A little tidbit as I finished research for a story I’m writing Tuesday/Wednesday. Thrashers still lead the NHL in goals by defensemen with 21. Phoenix is second with 20, followed by Montreal, Pittsburgh and tonight’s opponent New York Rangers with 18.

Kaleb

December 14th, 2009
2:31 pm

Read that Kovy and his agent were meeting in New York today to discuss contract issues. Any word on that?

The Earl of Bud

December 14th, 2009
3:23 pm

Bob, goodness, do we really have to spell it out for Chris to ask the questions? Do you really have to post that you want the parties “on the record” as if now the clouds will open up and all truth will be revealed to us? Goodness, don’t you think Chris would tell us something if it became newsworthy?

Sorry people, but we already went through Hossa. We already have the gloom and doomers who need a reason to be negative. No use focusing on something that won’t be beating a dead horse. Any answer we get will be the same thing Bouwmeester said last year and the same thing Hossa and Campbell said the year before. To ask that something be “on the record” in these circumstances is laughable.

The Earl of Bud

December 14th, 2009
3:26 pm

Bob, I forgot to add though. I am so happy you can use the scientific method and measure the joy Kovalchuk expresses after scoring a goal to claim beyond a reasonable doubt that it is a proven theory that something is wrong with his contract.

Sara

December 14th, 2009
4:10 pm

Bob – I caught that mumbling on the replay that night … I was hearing a string of Russian curse words in my head. Honestly what I took away from that was that he was still really frustrated with himself for missing so badly on the shot before the game winner, especially if taken in the context of Anderson’s post-game quote: “You want your big scorer to feel good about himself, not want to kill himself.”

I just don’t buy all the hype about the contract being an issue. Kovy has always maintained he doesn’t pay any attention to it – Grossman knows what he wants and he’ll call Ilya when he gets it out of Waddell. And I tend to believe Kovy when he speaks. Couple that with Enstrom literally laughing when some caller to the post-game show asked if the Kovy contract was becoming a problem in the lockerroom and I think the fans/media are really the only ones with the problem (not that there isn’t precedent for concern but in this case, I think it’s a tad unwarranted).

The Earl of Bud

December 14th, 2009
4:59 pm

I heard Tiger Woods was mumbling something before he crashed his SUV. Can any of you elaborate on that as well?

jerry

December 14th, 2009
5:01 pm

Did anyone practice passing the puck at practice? They could use it.

Bob

December 14th, 2009
5:58 pm

“Couple that with Enstrom literally laughing when some caller to the post-game show asked if the Kovy contract was becoming a problem in the lockerroom and I think the fans/media are really the only ones with the problem (not that there isn’t precedent for concern but in this case, I think it’s a tad unwarranted)”

I didn’t catch that, did Enstrom answer the question and what did he say.

Waddell himself said if we’re still talking about this contract come Christmas time, there’s a problem. Unless my calender’s broken, there’s a problem.

Could anyone understand why Kovy said in the arena post game interview (after he got #1 star)? I heard him thank the fans for coming out (it was a decent crowd), but I couldn’t understand much else.

Dwayne

December 14th, 2009
6:30 pm

I read Kovy’s lips after the game winner, and I quote “Its about time I had a f#!&^08 game winner”! Don’t believe me? Ask him.

Sara

December 14th, 2009
7:17 pm

Bob – he did answer it, though I think the laughter was longer than the answer (and let me add to that that I was standing right next to the table during his interview to read his facial expressions and he didn’t look uncomfortable or awkward at all). He said that it wasn’t an issue, that no one in the room was talking about or thinking about anyone’s contracts. They are all, Kovy included, focused on playing their game and dealing with the season in front of them.

An interesting add on to Waddell’s previous comments about there being a problem if we’re still talking about this at Xmas time … I caught something on Twitter the other day that came from the 590 broadcast up in Canada that the owners had said they weren’t concerned about getting Kovy signed any time real soon. Now the person who posted that commented that perhaps Kovy wasn’t interested in a contract any time soon however I’m not sure that person was aware of the original “internal” deadline of Xmas. That for me was the context in which I viewed that comment – and if Waddell and Grossman are engaged in constructive dialogue that appears to be heading in the direction of a signature on a contract, then obviously it would be idiotic for the organization to halt negotiations at some pre-set deadline. Personally, I refuse to stress over it at all. As far as I’m concerned, Kovy has until July 1st to sign a contract. He may be willing to sign now based on what he’s seen of the club so far or he might want to wait until the Thrashers clinch a play-off berth or he might want to wait and see if they get swept out of the play-offs yet again. Only Kovy (and presumably Grossman) knows what the “threshold” is that will ensure his signature on a contract. What I definitively believe is that Kovy has enough respect for his teammates and the fans in this city to not play games the way Hossa allegedly did. If he has made up his mind that he will not sign here under any circumstances, he will tell Waddell that and let the organization do with that what they will. But as long as he’s a Thrasher, he’s going to respect the fans and the uniform and play committed hockey (Kovy style at any rate).

As for what else Kovy said – I couldn’t tell ya. I can never understand those post-game interviews because the crowd is always too loud – especially when it’s Kovy. :)

In an unrelated note – watching the opening minutes of the game tonight we look sloppy sloppy sloppy. Ugh.

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
7:44 pm

What a 1st period by Hedberg! Very chippy play between the Rangers and Thrashers. It’s going to be a physical night. Kozlov had the PPG, to put Atlanta up, 1-0. Atlanta tends to play well at MSG.

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:18 pm

It’s 2-2, with 10:30 left in regulation. It’s important for the T-birds not to the lose the one point they’re so close to getting.

Once again, Colby Armstrong pots a goal. He must have heard us talking about his lack of production. He’s turned up his game ever since. I’ll credit the poster named “Mr. Mike.” He was the first to ride Colby.

Hedberg has been tremendous in this game.

In training camp, if you’d asked me who I thought the Rangers MVP for this season would be, … I’d have said Henrik Lundqvist. It’s been Marian Gaborik. And it’s not close. Gaborik has the Ranger’s 2nd goal. I think Gaborik might be the NHL leader for goals? Someone check that.

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:31 pm

5-on-3 PowerPlay! C’mon Thrashers! Give Lundqvist some credit for holding the fort, thus far.

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:33 pm

Hedberg just save the game by stopping a 2 on 0 breakaway. How could that even possibly happen???

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:38 pm

No “audition” for Kovalchuk, if you’re thinking the Rangers might be where Kovy is playing next season.

We’re in Overtime now, 2-2. Moose is the reason Atlanta is assured of at least one point tonight. Kozlov scored on the PP and Army, short-handed. Let’s get that BONUS point!

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:43 pm

Shootout is next! Shots: 48-27, in favor of NYR.

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:55 pm

Thrashers win!!! Shootout goals by Kovalchuk, and WHAT A DANDY!!, and Kozlov, who made it look easy. Forty-six saves for the Moose, who should be where credit is bestowed for this game. And it stopped Gaborik in the shootout, too. The 2nd Ranger shooter overskated the puck and never got his shot off.

Kovalchuk’s shootout goal will be the play of night, hopefully. It was a thing of beauty, to steal one of Darren Eliot’s favorite expressions.

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:57 pm

Hotrod

December 14th, 2009
10:18 pm

I will eat my crow like a man.

Army, you are hot! Way to go! Keep it going Kozzy.

Hedberg, you are just sick! What a win.Congrats.

I deleted the 5 on 3 power play from my memory bank.