Power play gets a workout

Your Friday report from practice before leaving for Tampa Bay for Saturday’s game.

As expected, special teams are the order of the day. Most of the practice was devoted to the power play.

Despite saying he might change the power-play personnel,  the players remained the same during practice.

Unit 1: Kovalchuk, Peverley, Afinogenov, Enstrom, Hainsey

Unit 2: Little, White, Kozlov, Kubina, Bogosian

Nik Antropov missed the practice.

Here are the line combinations after special teams practice:

Blue: Kovalchuk-White-Little

Gray: Kozlov-Peverley-Afinogenov

Orange: Kane-Slater-Armstrong

Red: Boulton-Reasoner-Thorburn

As I found out after last night’s game, defenseman Christoph Schubert was put on injured reserve. He missed three games with a lower-body injury. He was placed on IR on Wednesday, the Thrashers off dayWith Mark Popovic all but ready to return, I’m not sure if there will be a call-up. Stay tuned for news on that.

Hoping to find out today when Kari Lehtonen will begin conditioning stint in Chicago. He is at practice this morning. Stay tuned for news on that also but I think it will come today.

You may have noticed, Ondrej Pavelec sporting a new blocker of late. He also has a new glove and new pads that he is breaking in. They are not ready for game action yet.

30 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

January 22nd, 2010
11:51 am

Are you kidding me? He’s going back to that disaster of a line Kozlov – Pevs – Finny?! What the hell has Kozlov done to deserve going back to the 2nd line. JA has lost his mind. Or he doesn’t have the guts to what needs to be done. White back on the 1st line!? I hope that he was just a practice dummy. The lines should be like this:

Kovy – Pevs – Thorbs (Pevs is your best center, period.)

Kane – Antro – Max (at least Kane will work in the corners while Antro stays high in the slot)

Army – Slates – Little (while I liked Kane on this line, we need Army on this line to crash the net; Little gets manhandled)

Kozlov – Reasy – Boulton (Kozlov doesn’t deserve more than 8 mins / gm)

PP Unit 1: Peverley, Kovy (right circle), Antro (in front), Hainsey (Kubina is our best defensive player and should save his energy & Bogosian (he will actually shoot unlike Toby)

PP Unit 2: Little, Kane (left circle), Army (in front) Kovy (left point), Enstrom (cuz he’s left-handed)

Darkhorse

January 22nd, 2010
12:27 pm

I hope these guys are getting chewed out by somebody with some authority around the locker room. What a bunch of quitters……

And they wonder why all the folks in the surrounding suburbs don’t want to come down and watch the slow death that is the 09/10 Tharshers and their captain fade into obscurity.

This team and its’ management make me really sick.

Thanks for the updates Chris….

Russian

January 22nd, 2010
12:30 pm

**to Smoothie**
Oh man. I am with you. Anderson is not a NHL COACH.
Any way I like your lines, but let me change something.
Kovy-Pever-Maks (he will play with Kovy)
Kane-Slater-Little (I want to keep them. Slater is better than Antro in Face off)
Army-Reason-Thorbs (Good line to keep out opponets from our net)
Slava-Antro(White)-Bolts
I like your PP units. I hope they are going to win in Tampa.

Michael B. Shapiro

January 22nd, 2010
12:44 pm

Max needs to get away from Kozzy. In fact I think the entire team needs to get away from Kozzy. He’s toast. Hard to find good fits for top two lines. Kovy, Nik, Max, Kane, Pever, Slates….maybe. Not sure if Little’s problems are being with Kozzy or just squeezing his stick too tight. Love Reasy’s grit, Thorby’s too. Army is having a fair season.
Someone needs to light a fire under Tobi to shoot on the PP. I know the numbers look better for Doris but he scares me every time he touches the puck and many times when he misses.
Another couple of losses that should’ve been wins (can you say Florida and last night’s fiasco with the ‘canes) and we’re toast for the post-season.

R. Stroz

January 22nd, 2010
12:49 pm

What is Anderson smoking?

ChippersLoveChild

January 22nd, 2010
1:01 pm

So depressing, apparently I am not alone in just being fed up, seems like the rest of the bloggers are right there with me. Time with Kovy is running out and then who knows what this mess will become? I want to continue going to games, because I really want the Thrash to stick around… but this ownership and DW make it really hard for me to will myself to games because I do not want to support them.

ChippersLoveChild

January 22nd, 2010
1:03 pm

Kari is going to the Wolves for a two week assignment, just got that off Ben’s twitter, thought I’d pass it along.

Smoothie

January 22nd, 2010
1:05 pm

Russian – I don’t know about Kovy & Max together. In fact, Max shouldn’t be playing with any other Russian (perhaps Antro since he is technically from Kazakhstan :wink: ), but the numbers don’t support putting Max on the wing with either Kovy or Kozzy. To wit:

Kovy’s been on the ice for 37 goals allowed. Of those 37, Max was on the ice with him for 22 of them.

Max has been the biggest defensive liability (of the forwards) all season as he’s been on the ice for 49 goals. 22 times he’s been with Kovy. 16 times he’s been on the ice with Kozlov. Only 11 times has he been on the ice without Kovy or Kozlov. And 7 of those times he even had Antropov as his center. He even drags down the +/- of our best defensive center! Perhaps Max is the one who should be on the 4th line?

Smoothie

January 22nd, 2010
1:12 pm

Strike that part about Max and Antro. Of the 11 times Max has been on the ice for a goal against without Kovy or Kozzy, Antro was only the center twice. Pevs was his center for 5 of them, White 3 times and Reasoner the other. Max should not be any higher than the 3rd line.

stendec

January 22nd, 2010
1:13 pm

Nice report on powerless play.

Nothing but hogwash propoganda.

Certainly not your fault as messenger.

Oh well.

Worth repeating…

I have no respect for Ilya Kovalchuk.

I have even less after reading this quote which was attributed to him (thanks Chris):

“I think we work(ed) hard (if he actually thought that then his mental capacties are to be brought into serious question). We (I) got (off to) a(nother in a long line of) slow start(s) again (pre game vodkas can have that effect). We (I) have to prepare for the game’s better (just what the Hell do prima donna millionaire IK and these other worthless quitter bums do DURING practice?). This was a huge game for us (me), but we (I) have a lot of games (Olympic ones) ahead of us (me). If we (I) play with the right intensity (skating figure eights while awaiting breakout passes are tiring and worth the millions I steal, uh, earn), hopefully things (a big fat contract which I do in no way deserve) are going to go our (my) way (I still get paid so screw my critics and my teammates).”

This is the Atlanta TEAM CAPTAIN?

Sigh.

++STENDEC++

John Petrino sounded like a blithering idiot himself. Oh well. Guess he sees his phoney baloney job slipping away. Right Russian?

Kari Lehtonen returning? Big f#cking deal. Will just make team life support playoff aspirations end that much earlier. Hate Finland! Hope Finns ousted from Winter Olympics early!

TheFan79

January 22nd, 2010
1:21 pm

This team is going nowhere until major changes are made.
It is time to clean this house. There will be no playoffs this year
in this town.

[...] source Under NHL rules the assignment can last up to two weeks, which would put Lehtonen back in Atlanta around February 6, giving him about a week with the Thrashers before the Olympic break. [...]

Smoothie

January 22nd, 2010
1:33 pm

Kovy – Pevs – Thorbs**

**Thorburn has only been on the ice for 2 ES goals in the month of Jan: once with Slater & Reasy (NYI) and the other time with Slater & Kane (TOR). No reason to take Thorburn off that line. Kovy works harder to get his own shots when there isn’t another Russian across from him. Pevs should get more pucks to him in prime position.

Army – Slater – Little

Slater and Little work really hard, cycle well and back-check pretty well; having Army on the same line will work better than Kane because Kane seems to get too offense / forechecking-focused and doesn’t get back on a rush. Army knows he’s not fast enough to get too carried away in the O-zone.

Kane – Antro – Max

The only way to cover up for Max is against weaker competition and playing alongside Antro; perhaps Kane can jam home some of Finny’s weak-ass wrist-shots. At the very least, Kane will be in the right place at the right time as he has a nose for the loose puck. Playing against weaker competiton will keep these guys from getting burnt so often. Antro can stay high and get back on most plays.

Kozlov – Reasy – Boults (occasionally White when Kozlov needs a break)

Changing the D-pairings wouldn’t be a bad idea either as Bogo needs a break from playing against the best forwards and so many minutes. His offense isn’t out-weighing his deficiencies on D. Let him play 10-12 mins ES with Boris on the 3rd pairing. He can get 3-4 mins / night extra playing on the PK with Big Bo as well. Salmela can play with Hainsey on the 2nd pairing. There will still be breakdowns because Hainsey isn’t physical enough, but I think Anssi can be taught to watch for this and bring the help if necessary. Kubes and Tobes are fine. They will have an occasional bad game but that happens playing against the best forwards all the time. Can Salmela handle 20 mins / night tho?

stendec

January 22nd, 2010
1:43 pm

Ilya “Even My Misfires Are Worth Big Bucks” Kovalchuk to the once Atlanta Flames? No. No! NO! NOOOOOOO! I love the Calgary Flames. I hate the Atlanta Yardbirds, uh, Trashers, eh, Chickens, duh, Thrashers! Chicago? Home of organized crime kingpin Barack Hussein O…, excuse me, Al Capone, and the Blackhawks. Where the Siberian shet can be reunited with his booty buddy Maryann Hossa? Sounds like a good fit to me. I say good riddance to bad rubbish! Let one of the other players skate just as impressive figure eights for a whole lot less moola. ++STENDEC++ In the words of Captain John Luke Picard, Make It So.

R. Stroz

January 22nd, 2010
1:46 pm

After looking at Anderson’s line change solutions, I’m convinced he’s getting his advice on how to avoid a strategic disaster from Martha Coakley.

docsbro

January 22nd, 2010
1:47 pm

Please, PLEASE, cut Kozlov!!! I get sick to my stomach every time he is on the ice. Although he does have a three or four game streak of getting hammered along the boards. Maybe they are just hoping he gets hurt so that no one has to do the dirty work of benching him!!!

Barry

January 22nd, 2010
2:04 pm

Good grief. Why is White centering Kovy again? Why are we going back to the old lines that tries to make the fancy play with nobody going to the net? I do hope to see two D men on the points on the power play. If Kovy is on the point the entire team knows we ALWAYS try to work the puck to him which equals predictable power play.

Chris Vivlamore

January 22nd, 2010
2:10 pm

Sorry, put the news on Kari up on Twitter (I can do that from my cell phone), but just getting to my computer on the plane to Tampa.He literally left practice today and went straight to the airport. I will have a story on it, hopefully by the time we land.

sisu

January 22nd, 2010
2:39 pm

So Kovy is being officially traded per TSN

sisu

January 22nd, 2010
2:40 pm

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=307228 is the link I was referring to…

TrueBlue

January 22nd, 2010
2:55 pm

Sisu…..Did you even read the article you posted?

sisu

January 22nd, 2010
3:16 pm

TrueBlue, yes I did read it…it says more or less officially :)

StateBird

January 22nd, 2010
3:26 pm

I would trade Kovy for Phaneuf yesterday.

Jimbo

January 22nd, 2010
3:52 pm

Apparently JA has no motivational ability. Why can literally every other team in the NHL come out in the first period of a home game with energy and hustle- NOT US. We come out so timid and indecisive. And, why in the world isn’t Kozlov viewing from the press box? All this sorry bunch has done this year is to re-arrange the “Deck Chairs”. Where is the threat that a poor performance leads to the press box or worse, to the minors? Not here- all the weak links get to play every night. THREATEN SOME LOSS OF INCOME, JOB SECURITY and let’s see what we get?

StateBird

January 22nd, 2010
3:58 pm

Well said Jimbo. As Captain, Kovy should bear some of the leadership responsibility and accountability as well.

Thrashy Thrashy

January 22nd, 2010
4:28 pm

I’d rather build defensively than offensively now. If Kovy is going to be moved, let’s quit trying to win solely with offense. that means a new GM and coach. I like Anderson’s candor, but candor isn’t getting these guys to play smart hockey. Waddell’s a tool, but we’ve known that for years. I’m not saying we have to rebuild, but the mentality of the team has to change in order for it to be a consistent winner. We have good young talent on the club now. Let’s add to that and start notching some victories.

Jimbo

January 22nd, 2010
5:09 pm

Thrashy- Anderson’s offensive strategy may lead to some exciting plays but it is not sustainable over the course of a full season and is certainly questionable for playoff hockey which is dominated by close checking and no-mistake positional play. Any number of folks have commneted that his so-called strategy does not have a defensive compoonent to it. I haven’t seen it and we have problems protecting leads- a perfect indication that we don’t have the “stopper strategy”. 10 years Donnie Brilliance voiced his strategy to start from the goal out and signed Damian Rhodes as his first FA signing and drafted Norm Maracle early in the player draft. He never followed through with a consistent strategy and has what I would describe as a Strategy of Hope. I agree that we appear to have a pretty good group of D-men with some others in the wings- Kulda, Oystrick, etc. and some good young forwards. Shouldn’t be too a total re-tooling to get a GM and Coach with a conservative, denfensive flair. What we’ve had for 10 years has been depressing and totally inconsistent. I don’t go to many games anymore. I can get depressed and frustrated watching the news.

tired of wasting money/time watching slackers

January 22nd, 2010
7:28 pm

NON hockey playing hockey team!!!! PATHETIC, SOMEONE needs to be fired, demoted,and traded. Any HOCKEY town would DEMAND it! Sorry A$$ efforts should result in someone playing a long stretch in some small canadian town! Shuffling poor performers from line to line continues to reinforce the knowledge that NO ONE in management has a clue about the game of HOCKEY!
Go out, chase the puck (small round black rubber thing), hit someone (wearing opposite colored jersey to make them easy to see), and shoot the freaking puck at the net (puck may even bounce off back of some unsuspecting team mate not paying attention). I expect to see some signs at the rink asking for some PRIDE to be shown out on the ice, and if I decide to go watch another game with a piss poor performance like that, I will be heckling all the non skating home team players.
White, Armstrong, Kozlov all need immediate reassignment. Free lunch is over, get outta here and bring in someone with the hunger and drive to actually play some freakin hockey!!!!

Dwayne

January 23rd, 2010
8:06 am

I will now turn my money and support over to the White Basketball League. Hopefully they will bring back those short-shorts and lower the goal to 8 and 1/2 feet.

rob

January 23rd, 2010
9:19 am

can SportsSouth broadcast the wolves on nights the Thrashers aren’t playing so we can see what they have up there? Might be nice to see some guys playing hard.