Thrashers hold optional skate Friday

Just back from Duluth – can it please stop raining? - as  the Thrashers held an optional skate.

Taking part in practice were: Bryan Little, Todd White, Max Afinogenov, Boris Valabik, Anssi Salmela, Chris Thorburn, Jim Slater, Eric Boulton, Marty Reasoner, Evander Kane, Colby Armstrong, Slava Kozlov, Johan Hedberg and Ondrej Pavelec. Nik Antropov skating a little in a warmup  suit before leaving the ice when practice started.

I caught up with Mark Popovic in the locker room. He is wearing a walking boot on his broken foot, similar to the one Ilya Kovalchuk wore. Popovic said he broke the foot in the game against Philadelphia on Nov. 28. He played two games on it, but when the pain would not subside got an x-ray to determine the extent of the injury. He’s hoping to be back by the new year.

Thrashers spent much of the morning breaking down the game film of Thursday’s 6-5 win over Dalls. A good teaching video is what coach John Anderson called it. The coaches also held several routine players meetings.

Tomorrow night will be the Thrashers Fan Club’s charity auction of custom player Build-A-Bear’s. Each come autographed and with a personalized voice holiday greeting from the player. The auction will be held underneath the Omni scoreboard and ends at the end of the second intermission. All the players are available in a stuffed bear except for Hedberg – his is a moose of course.

I must finish story for today/tomorrow on Jim Slater. I talked to him about his first goal, which kind of got lost in all the drama, and what it has been like being scratched for most of the games this year.

18 comments Add your comment


December 18th, 2009
3:13 pm

Kovy needed to break down his defensive effort, or lack there of.


December 18th, 2009
3:13 pm

oh, he wasn’t there. imagine that. by the way first and second


December 18th, 2009
3:23 pm

Wow, Maxy is trying to win the Players’ Player Award…the only Eastern block player to skate. Although I’m sure Kubes and Antro are definitely banged up…they have carried a heavy burden. If Kovy can’t damage his foot any further, why was he not out there? Perhaps he was busy signing a new contract…’chat right.

Sorry, but I can’t stop busting Kovy’s chops…I need to mentally prepare myself for when he leaves.


December 18th, 2009
3:24 pm

Oh yeah, where was pretty boy Ron Hainsey?? Getting a perm and a pedi?


December 18th, 2009
3:46 pm

Uh oh, here we go again. Time to head back to the other blogs!

Run for your lives!!

R. Stroz

December 18th, 2009
4:06 pm

Smoothie – Some individuals can’t move on.


December 18th, 2009
5:21 pm

Did everyone read about the “Wild” Fire in Ottawa… would be funny to see the Wild play in some burned up, crusty jerseys tomorrow night.


December 18th, 2009
7:23 pm

Slow day indeed, good to see that guys are on the ice who seem to get limited playing time due to the roster size. With so many games recently I would imagine the guys would take days off when possible.


December 18th, 2009
8:30 pm


Ondrej (Czech Republic), Nik (Kazakhstan), and Slava (Russia) are Eastern Block players.

All three were technically born in either the USSR or Eastern Bloc countries. Imagine if the iron curtain had not fallen. I’m no expert but I think Russia, Latvia, and Balarus would be consolidated into one Soviet team in Vancouver. The Czech Republic and Slovakia would be one team too.


December 18th, 2009
9:20 pm

Can someone explain what an “optional skate” really means. I can understand making the physical part optional for those with aches and pains. However after giving up a combined 95 shots in 2 out of the last 3 games I would think that a film session should be required for everybody.


December 18th, 2009
9:27 pm

You mean watching the film on skates?


December 18th, 2009
10:16 pm

It’s almost better for the guys to be on the road. Then they have fewer distractions, not much to do except team practice sessions, skates, film and coach meetings, etc. At home many players will have to take care of all manner of family or home or buisness related activities. If the practice is ‘optional’ and you need to meet w/ your insurance agent or home decorater or shop or do something with the wife/gf/kids, well that’s what you do. Don’t forget, the compressed Olympic schedule compresses the available time for the home and personal life as well as the game schedule.


December 19th, 2009
12:09 am

Captain Ilya Kovalchuk needs to learn one thing. Actually two. The first is to lead by example. If a damn optional skate is called participate. That is what a true leader would do! In this instance absence does not make the heart grow fonder. The second conerns the financial pie. Take the majority of team funds for yourself if you insist but then spare me your prima donna attitude about heading in the right direction to win a championship. Once you are the highest paid whatever in the NHL do not go into Maryann Hossa mode every time you have a pity party. True fans such as I know when you are going all out or dogging it. The Thrashers cannot pay top dollar to anyone who fails to play like every shift is their last one. True captains play out of their minds every second of every shift. Have you done so lately IK? Did not think so. Either serve up a few body checks or start wearing a dress with a chicken on the front. The choice is yours. I personally expect you to bolt. Fine. I wish you well. Only, as my good friend Josey Wales once said, “Don’t pi$$ on my boots then tell me it is raining.” I know lies when I hear them. I know insincerity when I hear it. Don Waddell is not the only one misleading Thrasher fans. Right el Kapitan? Sorry for soap box sermon. This really bothers me. Good night/morning all. ++STENDEC++


December 19th, 2009
1:28 am

Tampa beat St. Louis, though the Blues made a game of it. Florida doubled up Carolina, 6-3. At what point are the ‘Canes mathematically eliminated? Some years … just aren’t meant to be, I guess. These ‘Canes were Conference Finalists last year. The Capitals LOST in regulation time, to the Canucks. Buffalo beat Toronto. Ottawa lost to New Jersey. So the Devils are coming into Blueland, still on that hotstreak, as Brodeur attempts to best Terry Sawchuk’s record. Chicago beat Boston in the shootout. The Bruins got a late goal to salvage a point from this game. Tim Thomas smashed his goalstick at the bench, after the loss. Toews and Kane both scored on Chicago’s two attempts. Both were great skills competition goals.

Dray from Calgary

December 19th, 2009
1:30 am

stendec – Frikn eh


December 19th, 2009
6:05 am

Lots of snow up here in WNC…

Everyone should take a look at Pav’s new goalie mask, Has Atlanta Flames logo on one side and Phil Myre on the other… Odd he chose Myre
since he went to St.Louis in 1977 with Gibbs/Bennett for
Bob MacMillian/Dick Redmond/Belanger… Dan Bouchard was here start to finish…

Better be a tight defensive group tonight, NO lapses like with Dallas…


December 19th, 2009
8:05 am

I think this is a BIG game at home for Atl. Having already beaten Satan’s helpers once, this could be a statement game. Play some D and take it MAR-TAN BROOO-DUER. This is the top team coming into the BULB.


December 19th, 2009
11:21 am

stendec-I have to agree with your sentiments on the Kovy thing. Kovy still has quite a bit of immaturity in his game, on and off the ice. Don’t get me wrong, he does more for this franchise than anyone else.

If you want to be the superstar performer of your team and the NHL while getting paid more than anyone else, then you need to lose the Weird Al Yankovic aspects of your game. When your goalie is in trouble, do something original like PLAY YOUR MAN TIGHT, not skate around in circles beside him like a ballerina watching a mojor scoring chance take place.

And I know Kovy’s not the only one on this team failing to play a very good two-way game, but he is the one that wants the big pay day and the leader of the team.