Thrashers limping to the halfway point

The Thrashers’ season will be at the exact midpoint after Saturday’s game againt the Islanders. At 39 games in, the Thrashers stand at 18-17-4.  A six-game losing streak looms and it’s not the only thing that has changed (or remained unchanged in terms of the Ilya Kovalchuk contract) since the quarter mark.

The Thrashers were once at the top of the league in special teams. The penalty kill, once the best in the NHL, has slipped to No. 20. The power play has slipped to ninth.

While the goaltending has been strong, but it’s worth noting that Ondrej Pavelec has allowed three or more goals in his last nine starts. He’s been pulled from three of them.

The Thrashers continue to be outshot. The total is now up to 29 of their 39 games. Add the two games where the shots-on-goal totals were even and Atlanta has only held the advantage in eight contests.

We are still talking about the Kovalchuk contract negotiations. The offseason has come and gone as has training camp, the start of the season, 20 games into the season and Christmas, all points when the team hoped to have something done. Now the New Year is right upon us. GM Don Waddell has admitted to a “snag” in the talks. The longer the talks drag on, the more of a distraction they will become. If we get to the Olympic break, then the trade deadline looms. Waddell told me in the offseason he would not trade Kovalchuk under any circumstances. However, if negotiations reach more than a snag, that could well change.

I will be working on a Thrashers at the halfway point story, but would like to hear from you. What do you see as the good and bad so far? Highlights and lowlights?

I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year’s eve and a great 2010.

55 comments Add your comment

Sage of Bluesland

January 1st, 2010
9:59 pm

“…[per SisuSheep]…The real issue with the team is that the goaltending has become a huge question mark….”

Wow. If you honestly believe what you just typed, you’re so far off base it’s not even funny…not even recoverable…

Are YOU bumbling Don Waddell? (Because you sure do sound like it!)

Wow.

Sage of Bluesland

January 1st, 2010
10:04 pm

…oh, and Brendan’s spot-on on his post above. The ownership must actually believe they “are in possession of one of the great hockey minds of our generation in Don Waddell.”

I laughed really hard at that.

“…They’re [the ownership] just wrong in their judgement. And until fans stay away in DROVES, telling them the reasons why they are abstaining from attendance, the owners just won’t get it, enough to make a change….”

Pay attention, folks. Herein lies the real answer. I espoused this many years ago–to no avail and much scorn from the sheepset here in Bwuewand…Had my posts banned at the official site [surprise, surprise]…

Maybe the truth simply hurts? Oh well, it’s practically too late now…there is no more ‘goodwill’ from this town related to hockey or the Thrashers…There’s only Don Waddell.

FAILURE.

LAC

January 1st, 2010
10:14 pm

sisu, Are you BLIND ? Are YOU really don waddell ?

You show me you know NOTHING about NHL hockey, don waddell is THE WORST GM in All of pro sports hands down.

It is NOT a personal attack.. It is facts, look at the record and quit your whining, people like you are not TRUE fans !

Brendan

January 2nd, 2010
1:12 am

Goaltending was the only thing saving this club, this season. The shots against are out of control. It’s amazing that we’re above .500, being outshot in what, 80% of the games? If goaltending is suddenly failing us, it’s about time. The issue is … that this team doesn’t play defense. There is a serious and genuine lack of defensive awareness. They’re soft in the neutral zone and back up to the faceoff circles in the defensive end. And folks, that’s just, plain unacceptable.

That, and the genuine lack of grit on this team.

When this city lost the Atlanta Knights, I was excited that they were being replaced by an NHL product. I had NO IDEA … that the coming decade would be one without a single playoff win. That NOTHING continues to be done about that … is staggering. Commissioner Bettman cannot be pleased by the way the Atlanta franchise has been run.

To be clear, I’d rebuild a dozen times, if need be, until we finally got it right. I just wouldn’t rebuild with the same person, over and over again. As an owner, the most important decision I have to make … is who will oversee the franchise. And then, not falling into a coma, if things aren’t working out. The “who” is just as important as the “how,” in terms of the way the franchise is run. Putting on arm-chair owner hat, I’d fire Scotty Bowman over these results.

LM

January 2nd, 2010
3:02 am

The Atlanta Thrashers will continue to lose a lot of one goal games. At some point they’ll put together a nice winning streak but will fall just short of making the playoffs. This team is a tease at best and at worst is awful. The only thing worse than this team is the GM, Don Waddell.