Keep talking about the Thrashers through the holiday

As the Thrashers are in Boston for tonight’s game, I thought I would share some an item from Ron Hainsey that I had leftover from the shots-on-goal story I did this week.

I asked Hainsey about why the team has been so successful in third periods. The Thrashers lead the league in third-period goals as we know.

So … if they play that way in the final period, thus limiting the opponent’s shots on goal, why can’t it be done all game.

Here is part of his answer about the Thrashers playing from behind:

“Our forwards skill level, and our defense too, if the other team backs up, which happens in this league when you have a lead, we get more time in the offensive zone,” Hainsey said. “Our skill level is just as good as anybody. It’s in the top five in the league forward-wise. If we get more time in the offensive zone, our guys are just that dangerous.

“That’s why we’ve been able to get into it late, because our guys are too good, especially the forwards and the D jumping up, causes the other team a ton of trouble. It’s harder to sustain that early in games because they [the opponents] are not sitting back. Other teams get a lead and they sit back. That’s when we look at our best because we are getting offensive zone time.”

After today (filling in for a colleague on some administrative duties),  I’m off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We’ll let this blog stand until Sunday, when Thrashers return home for practice.  (I have some college football stories to work on Saturday.)

Look for the Art of the Shootout story sometime this weekend. It’s the first part, from the goaltender’s perspective. Got some good stuff from Johan Hedberg. Also, there should be a story I did on the father-daughter relationship between GM Don Waddell and Chelsea. Some interesting tidbits in that, as well.

I sincerly hope that everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season and all the blessings of family and friends!

I will leave you with a (non-hockey) question. Ilya Kovalchuk was giving me crud the other day about wearing blue jeans without a  belt. What’s the verdict – belt or no belt with jeans?

Happy Holidays!

84 comments Add your comment

First

December 23rd, 2009
10:09 am

Man you guys are slacking

jcwhitingjr

December 23rd, 2009
10:13 am

Have a ver Merry Christmas! As for the jeans, with shirt tucked I think a belt is in order. Untucked can be either way. That’s just me though.

Russian

December 23rd, 2009
10:24 am

Hm, Jeans wear without Belt. What did he try to say? It will be more funny if he will wear BELT witout JEANS. :-)
Happy Holidays

erock

December 23rd, 2009
10:27 am

Blue Jeans definitely without a belt. This is the South

five_hole

December 23rd, 2009
10:43 am

Happy holidays to all.

Blue Jeans definitely without a belt. This is the South And without teeth or shoes, too. If you’re not a kid anymore, wear a belt.

Sara

December 23rd, 2009
11:01 am

With a belt and ABOVE THE BUTT (not that I think that’s an issue with C-Viv per se… just saying)

stendec

December 23rd, 2009
11:16 am

Hi Mr V. Today is the day I lost my father to lung cancer many years ago and my lovely grandchild was born not many years ago. I have plenty to be thankful for. All the best wishes to you and yours for holidays. The only Atlanta pro athletes I extend such wishes to are Falcon Tony Gonazalez and Thrasher Moose. Only men accepting big paychecks in this city who truly give a damn about fans! That said…Statistics are for losers. Can see why they are always consulted when apologists defend Kari Lehtonen! This Finn is a quitter and crybaby. Come to think of it, he does fit in perfectly on this dysfunctional squad! ++STENDEC++ Rumors of his imminent return sure Scrooged holidays!

Dwayne

December 23rd, 2009
11:52 am

Belt with shirt tucked in, does not matter if shirt is out, as long as your pants stay up. Merry Christmas to all.

Hotrod

December 23rd, 2009
11:58 am

Chris – Thanks for your reporting this year. Really enjoyed the
practice locker room article amongst many others.

The Jeans/Belt question.
First of all I like seeing the lighter side of Kovy.

The answer totally depends on your age,race,gender and
cultural existance in the world.

Knowing who you are and what you do , I think wearing a belt
is the better choice when out in public.

Elmz

December 23rd, 2009
12:00 pm

Definitely belt, with a bigass buckle..

Is Moose getting the nod?

Paminski

December 23rd, 2009
12:03 pm

The purpose of a belt is to keep your pants up. If you can do that without one, why bother?

erock

December 23rd, 2009
12:04 pm

people like myself that like blue jeans without a belt actually wear them that fit and dont have my hat turned sideways on my head

merculf

December 23rd, 2009
12:11 pm

GO Thrashers! Thanks for all the good stories this season so far! I was just talking to my 10 year old son about belts yesterday, if you’re shirt is to be tucked in….you wear a belt.

Chris Vivlamore

December 23rd, 2009
12:13 pm

Thrashers draft pick Jeremy Morin made U.S. World Junior Championship team.

Dwayne

December 23rd, 2009
12:13 pm

Merry Christmas Stendec, you cuddling up with the Kari build-a-bear you bought for $1025.00? So kind of you give money for charity. We all know you are not a scrooge.

Chris Vivlamore

December 23rd, 2009
12:15 pm

stendec: Great perspective. Happy Holidays.

Pavelec in goal tonight.

I’m thinking by some of the responses, I should just wear the belt!

Tech75

December 23rd, 2009
12:22 pm

Happy holidays to all, etc. Chris, if all you have to be concerned about is the belt thing, then you are in great shape.

We should all be so lucky…!

Scotty

December 23rd, 2009
12:22 pm

C-Viv, I suggest you wear overalls the next time you see Kovy. I’d love to read what he says about that!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. Thank you for the great reporting you have proveded us with so far this season. Same to all the regular posters here and on Rawhide’s blog.

FormerIslesFan

December 23rd, 2009
1:04 pm

C-Viv,

Thanks for all you do! Have a great holiday and enjoy the time off. Can’t wait to see the “Art of the Shootout” piece.

Belt when shirt is tucked; untucked it doesn’t matter (as long as the jeans stay up).

Alan R.

December 23rd, 2009
1:27 pm

Happy Holidays, Chris

Chris Vivlamore

December 23rd, 2009
1:39 pm

Thanks for all the kind words folks. I do appreciate it. Let’s hope the New Year brings some travel (wink, wink).

Scotty: I’m not sure I could ever do my job if I walked in there in overalls! They’d kill me.

Brendan

December 23rd, 2009
1:47 pm

Merry Christmas, Chris Vivlamore.

I’m looking forward to the Waddell and his daughter story. I remember, a few years ago, that his daughter was involved in a parasailing/hang gliding near accident. And that they really dodged a bullet there.

Belt with the jeans.

five_hole

December 23rd, 2009
2:36 pm

Definitely belt, with a bigass buckle.. Elmz

By my observation of most Americans, you’d never know if they have a “bigass buckle” by the stomach overlapping their belt and obscuring the buckle (sadly, myself included).

kracker

December 23rd, 2009
2:37 pm

Merry Christmas, Chris! See ya on the other side.

Just for laughs, wear a pair of brightly colored suspenders to practice!

KLS1

December 23rd, 2009
2:42 pm

Definitely need the belt if you are older than 14.

And if you are single better match the belt to the shoes (ie. black belt, black shoes – brown belt, brown shoes – sneakers ok either way)…chicks notice that stuff.

Bob

December 23rd, 2009
2:47 pm

If you’re over 2 years old, you wear a belt with pants, jeans, whatever.

Merry Christmas to all!

Putting On The Foil

December 23rd, 2009
3:01 pm

Belt depends on whether your toting a dang beeper and cell phone.

Alan R.

December 23rd, 2009
3:04 pm

Oh. As for the belt vs. no belt debate… I kind of like wearing my pants. Really. If it weren’t for a belt, my pants would forever be around my ankles. I’m not sure anyone wants to see that.

Or maybe they do. Hmm…

Anyway. Yes to belts.

Putting On The Foil

December 23rd, 2009
3:05 pm

Also, what else are you gonna hook your chain wallet and hunting knife to?

Putting On The Foil

December 23rd, 2009
3:07 pm

Caribiner and keys?

TrueBlue

December 23rd, 2009
3:30 pm

No belt = white trash.

You should wear a belt no matter what you wear…jeans, khakis, dress shorts, etc.

Always wear a belt.

Putting On The Foil

December 23rd, 2009
3:43 pm

Hey Jethro. How ’bout a piece of rope?

Chris Vivlamore

December 23rd, 2009
4:10 pm

TrueBlue: Man, that’s harsh!

Hockey Biltong

December 23rd, 2009
5:17 pm

Happy Christmas to all .Chris, thanks for your hard work.Keep it up.

Hockey Biltong

December 23rd, 2009
5:18 pm

P.S. nobody really cares about a belt;
they are all watching the puck….

Matt

December 23rd, 2009
6:18 pm

Merry Christmas everyone and best wishes for the New Year.

As to belt, almost never wear one with jeans, but wear one with all other pants. Jeans are casual and I think you can get away with no belt on casual clothing. I like “Krackers” suggestion of Mork-like suspenders and see what reaction you get!

Sam

December 23rd, 2009
6:38 pm

Kovy’s styling. I’d take his advice.

Plus, a belt, IMO, is a no-brainer…especially if you’re tucking in a shirt.

I’d say you and Ilya have officially bonded.

LAC

December 23rd, 2009
7:35 pm

If there is ANYONE on this blog that thinks this team will win one
of these seven road games, PLEASE let me know. 3 goals in just over TEN MINUTES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have HAD IT now with john anderson, we need a coach who knows how to
still in his players to play DEFENSE !!!!!! We have NONE !

We look like pure $HIT tonight, I have switched to Man vs Food on the Travel channel, I don’t know WHY I watch anymore, this is complete BS.

Drastic changes need to be made and the team, or crap head waddell refuses to. The NESN announcers are already panting at the #17 contract talks…

Well time to watch another great food challenge, much better than watching a BUNCH of misfits try to play hockey…

East Point Bob

December 23rd, 2009
7:56 pm

Just watched the Waddell interview, the look on his face tells it all.
I do not believe Kovy will stay here, the team is too cheap and Waddell
is a horrible General Manager. You simply cannot believe the man about anything.

Matt

December 23rd, 2009
8:04 pm

3-2 now at the first intermission. WTH has Opie been smoking today??!!

Typical start, come out flat, fall behind and then FINALLY start to play.

Trade Kovy now, cause no way, no how is he re-signing with Mr. Fraudell and the No Spirit Group. Thanks to you Grinches, hockey is going to die a second death in Atlanta.

stendec

December 23rd, 2009
8:57 pm

Laughingstocks of NHL are on display tonight! Anyone who would like a good holiday chuckle should tune in to the Yardbirds against the Boston Bear Cubs. Yardbird netminders (sorry Moose) a sieve with four marshmallows in two periods. The no-score offense of Coach John Petrino is clicking on all cylinders. Kapitan Ilya Kovalchuk is doing enough figure eights to make an Olympic figure skater proud. Russian has become worthless piece of shet biding his time before escape from Atlanta. Cannot be faulted for that. Can be faulted for his Maryann Hossa act while under PRESENT contract. The losing streak lives on. Not a damn thing to look forward to except quick drop to bottom of standings. No playoffs for these heartless quitters. Damn them all. ++STENDEC++ Worse than an expanision unit. By far!

stendec

December 23rd, 2009
9:14 pm

Make that TWO damn goals by Moose! A pair of soft markers, so far, by Moose in two periods. Sieve Pavs smoked so much something he allowed a trio of marshmallow goials in 20 damn minutes! Heartless uncaring bestards. To Hell with these untalented a$$holes! Ship the ball-less wonders to Hamilton. As soon as damn possible! ++STENDEC++ Losing streak will never end. Rightfully so!

LAC

December 23rd, 2009
9:18 pm

What a bunch of LOSERS, Matt & Standec are 100% correct.

If anyone believes this team will resign 17 and make playoffs, PLEASE tell me ?

I have HAD IT with john anderson too at this point, A coach has to preach DEFENSE… DEFENSE wins games & playoffs, in the LAST 4 games
19 NINETEEN GOALS AGAINST !!!!!!!!! and game 4 is NOT over.

This teams stinks, and there is NO need for all you waddell supporters and those who claim this is a GOOD team. They are BAD and getting WORST,
The fast start was a Fluke and anderson has LOST CONTROL of the team, it is a clear as the clear blue sky. He has NO idea what he is doing and this so called “system” he tries to employ, is a complete BUST.

Get rid of #17 ASAP, he’s not going to stay here… He wants to WIN and the Atlanta Thrashers with this ownership and the WORST GM in ALL Professional sports “still here”, we will NEVER WIN !

stendec

December 23rd, 2009
9:21 pm

BRING BACK FLAMES! Pay Captain Ilya Kovalchuk what he is worth. No more than $300 per game plus all the concessions he can stomach! Not worth any more than that! Mary Ann Hossa quitting bestard. Deport his a$$ back to Russia. Team will not be any worse! This heartless uncaring group has hit rock bottom! ++STENDEC++

LAC

December 23rd, 2009
9:40 pm

Well 20 goals in 4 games…. Average 5 goals against.

I have had it with these losers, I simply cannot understand why we have completely lost it on defense.

I say get the HELL rid of zach B. He stinks worse than anyone, hainsey Always out of position, enstrom, who cares about offense, he does NOT play defense always beaten to the outside and never can control anyone
in front of the net. But this zach clown is the worst defenseman we have, he has NOT A CLUE how to play defense, he has to go NOW !

And how about pavlec, what is his problem all of a sudden ?

He could not stop a street hockey gang in Dunwoody now.

anderson has lost TOTAL control, time EVERYONE wakes up
and realizes how AWFUL this team is, Also GET RID OF #17 NOW !

Since the contract mess came out, the team has tanked…

Face it folks, The truth hurts, and Facts are Facts, and 20 goals
against in 4 games is proof this coach has LOST control !

Thanks waddell you have done what you always do, Kill Hockey in Atlanta !

stendec

December 23rd, 2009
9:42 pm

The losing streak officially lives! May it stretch on well into 2010. Another totally embarrassing debacle by a completely heartless bunch. Apologists who wish to merrily chip in positives (close, never gave up, fought back) can shove it up their collective a$$es! TRUE fans are damn tired of the same tiresome excuses. Freefall to bottom continues. Yardbirds should be there before too long. Pavs should have waited until after game for those alcoholic holiday drinks! Three goals in less than 20 minutes? Was that really Kari Lehtonen? Hope these losers wind up in Hamilton! Not that I dislike Hamilton. Just want them the Hell out of Atlanta. Maybe the Hamilton folks will overpay an NHL has been star by millions of bucks! Hopefully Yardbirds will not! ++STENDEC++

12345

December 23rd, 2009
9:58 pm

We are now offically headed for our accostomed place in the NHL,
out of playoff picture, and nothing but playoff fodder for the real teams of the NHL who want and know how to win. I do agree Anderson has lost complete control of the team and the contract mess, compliments of Don Waddell, has killed the entire team. Where has the defense gone ?

Lastly I quit watching after the Waddell interview, that man is so disgusting, he makes a complete fool of himself, the team and the city, and from what I can tell cares nothing about the fans of the team.

Thrashy Thrashy

December 23rd, 2009
10:33 pm

I’d fire Don Waddell any day of the week. It doesn’t really matter what the team’s doing.

Brendan

December 24th, 2009
12:42 am

East Point Bob, 12345, and Thrashy Thrashy, I have to say … after watching the Waddell interview … I’m not filled with confidence. I agree with those who say, “You’ll never get the truth from quotes in the media.” Even John Anderson said, “I think Don’s done a good job of not negotiating the contract through the media.” What that means, I have no idea. If Waddell makes any quote, whatsoever, it’s a report to the media on the negotiations. An answer of “no comment,” is non-negotiation through media. Right or wrong?

But I digress. What I actually wanted to say was that Waddell refused to look into the camera EYE with any of his statements. He blinked a lot He had his head turned, and his body language was nervous/uneasy, and reflected that of a criminal during a traffic stop, with a few bricks of cocaine in the trunk. Waddell seemingly stopped just short of saying, “Ya know, this is actually my wife’s franchise. I’m just driving it to the store for some milk. So, I can’t really answer questions about the contents of the trunk.” I don’t know if that was INTENTIONAL on his part, or what? But that’s how I saw it. He looked away. He looked down. He was evasive. He heaved a heavy, disgusted sigh before saying, “We’re gonna take some time to reevaluate our position a lil bit.” He said things like, “These contract negotiations have been interesting, since so many OTHER FACTORS have come into play. We want to take some time to look at how our franchise is progressing and where we’re going.” Waddell dropped the, “We’ve hit a snag in the negotiations” comment. I tell you. I think I’d prefer to hear NOTHING. I mean, if these are the comments, these comments don’t do ANYTHING for me. What has changed? The season is nearly HALF over. And we’re still in “wait-n-see” mode? We’re PAST kicking the tires, of 20 games. See, that’s why I posted, back in May or June, during the playoffs, that Waddell should have a 1-year deal in place with Kovalchuk by no later than July 14, 2009. That would give BOTH parties a FULL YEAR to evaluate the franchise. And if it tanks, they could always trade Ilya at the 2010 draft, with that FULL YEAR still remaining on his contract for the 2010-11 season. Bygones.

Brendan

December 24th, 2009
1:06 am

Thrashy Thrashy, I’d make a friendly wager, RIGHT NOW, that even if Kovalchuk plays elsewhere next season, that Waddell keeps his job. I’m NOT saying that it’s “right or proper” for Waddell to keep his job for an eleventh season. What I’m saying is, unless the franchise is sold to new ownership, Waddell is probably staying. And if you’re thinking, “My God, Brendan. Haven’t the AS,LLC seen enough to fire that man?” Here’s my reply, “It very well may have been the AS, LLC who told Don NOT to re-sign him over $8 million. Or whatever.” Remember, DW is THEIR employee. He can’t go OVER THEIR HEADS spending THEIR money, without THEIR CONSENT. If Bruce Levenson, et.al, decides that what’s best for the franchise is to take the recouped $6.5 million and go shopping in free agency, then that’s what they decide. It’s THEIR call. It’s THEIR money. It’s THEIR franchise. And if they LOVE/ADORE/WORSHIP/ADMIRE and GUSH over Don Waddell, then that’s the way they proceed. What about accountability? Well, if back-to-back 76-point seasons, and a playoff sweep before that, didn’t get Waddell fired, then what would? Waddell is doing PRECISELY what they’ve asked him to do. He’s adhered to self-imposed budgets. He’s found bargains over the years, like Recchi, Metropolit, Sim, Afinogenov, etc. He’s in “Year Three” of their very hushed up “4 year building plan.” I’ll never be able to prove that, of course. But budget speaks to intent. Even if they didn’t have the money PRECISELY BECAUSE Belkin wasn’t contributing, they could have liquidated some of their other assets to prop up the Thrashers. They didn’t/chose not to. Waddell, in the multi-year building project, has found some nice prospects like Bogosian and Kane. So, in the eyes of the ownership, he’s doing a MASTERFUL job. They’ve LOVED these past two drafts, including latter round selections and trades, like netting a 2nd rounder for Matthieu Schneider at last year’s trade deadline. Plus moving Christensen for O’Dell. Etc. I seriously doubt that this ownership will/would fire Waddell over the loss of Kovy. They’d just chalk it up to, “Every franchise loses good players to Free Agency. That’s the effect of a salary cap.” And while you might be sitting there at your keyboards, thinking, “PFFT! Yeah, right! That’s not just a GOOD player, that’s the Captain and Face of the franchise.” I’ll remind you that the AS, LLC didn’t make their money running sports franchises. They’ll do whatever they please. Including renewing Waddell, if INDEED his contract expires this June.