Kozlov’s streak ends at 251 games

Thrashers veteran Slava Kozlov will be scratched from tonight’s game at Tampa Bay. He hold the franchise record for consecutive games played at 251, which will end tonight.

“I hate to be the grim reaper,” Thrashers coach John Anderson said. “I have to do what I think is best for the team at the time. Nothing is set in stone. Sometimes it helps players, it helps them get a little more motivated. Certainly I don’t like to do it, but I have to do what I think is best for the hockey team at that certain time.”

Kozlov has eight goals and 15 assists this season, off from his pace of 26 goals and 50 assists of last season. He is a minus-14 this season.

“I hope not well,” Anderson said when asked how Kozlov took the news. ” I don’t want him to be comfortable with it. It’s not like it’s his first day at the fair. He knows his numbers. Again, I hate to do it. It’s not like it’s a surprise. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. I want him to come back with more determination that ever and hopefully help our team get to the playoffs and do some damage.”

With Kozlov out, Todd White is back in the lineup after being scratched the past five games.

Here are the line combinations:

Kovalchuk-Antropov-Little

White-Peverley-Afinogenov

Kane-Slater-Armstrong

Boulton-Reasoner-Thorburn

Kubina-Enstrom

Hainsey-Bogosian

Salmela-Valabik

Johan Hedberg gets the start in goal.

Mark Popovic is the other scratch.

50 comments Add your comment

Jeremy H

January 23rd, 2010
1:05 pm

I had become a serious JA doubter, but this move proves he’s not afraid to do what it takes for the good of the team. I’m completely supportive of this idea. Kozzy has looked lost and uninspired lately. Ask Max, I’m sure he’d agree.

Smoothie

January 23rd, 2010
1:11 pm

Kozzy should have been benched even before his stint on the 4th line. He has been lackluster at best. The only reason he had a couple of assists was because he was playing against 4th line competition. He is nothing more at this point I’m afraid. Hopefully White will come back with a little bit of vim and vigor after resting that sore knee.

sisu

January 23rd, 2010
1:27 pm

I had a feeling that the reason why he was not benched earlier was the streak, good move to kick start the team.

Chris, any comments in regards to the TSN article speculating Kovy being traded soon? Lack of comments can be deafening….

Mr. Heat Miser

January 23rd, 2010
1:37 pm

Nice to see the coach slicing the raw meat. Hope it sends a message.

rob

January 23rd, 2010
1:51 pm

WOW, big woohoo. Took way to long to do this, but now you insert White right back in. Doubt he showed enough to be put back in the lineup, just the one sitting waiting for the “punishment” to end. At least have the stones to bring in 1 guy from Chicago and show the rest of the team you are serious about motivating them. This move should have been done when the new coach was hired after the dreadful last 2 months of hockey here. Then maybe the players would have understood the full ramifacations of their lack of effort and dedication. Complimenting JA now does nothing for the good of the team.
Chris,
How about asking why this took so long when Kozy has been so absent? And while you’re asking, how about seeing about bringing a few guys in from Chicago? Like to know if JA really thinks the club can make a run at and succeed in the playoffs the way they are being run now and what moves they are considering to make it more likely to get there?

Toby

January 23rd, 2010
2:35 pm

This is long overdue. It’s about time.

bartdunwoody

January 23rd, 2010
2:39 pm

It’s about time. White needed it, let’s see if it helped. Kozzy needs it. When is he going to call out Kovy? It may be too little too late. What about Bogo and Army and…………

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution [...]

Brendan

January 23rd, 2010
3:04 pm

That’s not the real Sage, above. Why is someone impersonating him?

Anywho. I’m glad that JA is “doing what needs to be done.” The next option, is a trade. That is, if you could get Kozlov to waive his NTC.

Chris Vivlamore

January 23rd, 2010
3:55 pm

sisu: Not true to my knowledge. All my reporting to date indicates that both sides are continuing to negotiate. I expect that to be the case up until and probably through the Olympic break – and maybe beyond.

Scotty

January 23rd, 2010
4:40 pm

The only bad thing about Kozlov sitting is that White will play. Oh well, you can’t have everything.

mike

January 23rd, 2010
5:40 pm

good move, but i get better idea. what about cutting dw permanent with prohibition to be nearer atlanta 1000 ml. it is ridicilous atlanta farmer system don’t have just one forward better than white. thank you don.

Sage of Bluesland

January 23rd, 2010
7:15 pm

Thank you, Don. Oh, and by the way: you’re gay.

[...] continued [...]

merculf

January 23rd, 2010
7:49 pm

where’s the live blog tonight?

rob

January 23rd, 2010
8:42 pm

sisu,
could you ask chris my question please? i am not trying to be an a$$, just asking questions that I think the paying fans who support the team should know the answers to as we decide how much money we want to spend on them. If the team buckles down and plays hard and aggressive, with some ACCOUNTIBILITY for their actions, then maybe more fans will come out and buy tickets etc etc etc. So Chris,as the team writer, could you please see what the future may hold and what the thoughts of the coach/gm are? Thanks

Russian

January 23rd, 2010
8:48 pm

ANYBODY. IF player sit as Healthy Scratch such as Slava or White Did they got to Pay??? I just wondering what is a rule??? Please let me know. Thanks,

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

January 23rd, 2010
8:57 pm

Good move by Coach Anderson, just way too late. I just don’t understand why something like this hasn’t been done earlier. There are plenty of Chicago players that could have saved the season. I wonder if it’s too late to save the season.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ben Wright, John Manasso and Chris Vivlamore, Chad Bryant. Chad Bryant said: RT @ajcthrashers: New Thrashers blog posted. Kozlov scratched after 251 straight games. http://bit.ly/4pj6yb [...]

Brendan

January 23rd, 2010
10:04 pm

Okay, folks. Here’s your updated standings. http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?type=con#&navid=nav-stn-conf. The outcome of tonight’s Bolts-Thrashers game will determine 13th place in the Eastern Conference.

And, here’s your boxscore. Kovy and Little are a +1 right now. http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009020767

Brendan

January 23rd, 2010
10:29 pm

Headed to shootout, sans Kozlov. D’oh!! I mean, Yay?

Brendan

January 23rd, 2010
10:30 pm

Finny, Kovy, and Little were 1st three shooters. Now, in extra round. A near goal, there by TB.

Lee

January 23rd, 2010
10:36 pm

What the hell??!!! You don’t put Little in the SO lineup and you most certainly don’t put White in there too!

Lee

January 23rd, 2010
10:38 pm

Oh, Kozzy, wish you were here, best SO shooter on the team.

Brendan

January 23rd, 2010
10:39 pm

Peverley missed. And then, John Anderson, the General, sent out … (pause, wait for it,) Todd White!

I’m sure … that Anderson … meant, Bogosian or Kubina. But he had a braincramp. And sent out Todd White. Allright. That’s all I needed to see. Anderson goes out the door, with Waddell. He’s out of ideas.

stendec

January 23rd, 2010
10:42 pm

Thank you Mr Moose Hedberg sir for the point. Thank you for giving a damn about the team. Thank you for caring. You are the only professional hockey play in Atlanta with heart. You are the true captain of this otherwise disposable bunch. Hey El Kaptain Ilya “Could Not Hit Side Of A F#cking Zambonie” Kovalchuk how about at least pretending that you give a flying f#ck! All of us true fans know that you do not. That pitiful apathetic shootout attempt made me want to put the hockey stick of Mr Hedberg upside your uncaring skull! Captain? Captain my a##! You Siberian scumball piece of shet. Have renegotiated your contract. Top offer is $1.99, one stale hot dog and one flat soda pop per game. Take it or pack up. Sorry Russian bestard! ++STENDEC++

stendec

January 23rd, 2010
11:04 pm

Everyone was overjoyed that John Petrino sat Kozlov. I agree the bum does not have an ounce of true NHL talent. The quitter does very little well but he can do one thing exceptionally well. Kozlov can score shootout goals. El Kapitan “Only Hustle At Olympics” Kovalchuk was the feed man on nine, count em, nine, man advantages. How many power play goals did the overrated piece of Siberian shet score? Not a one! How many did the team he captains score? Zippo! Had Kozlov streak remained intact the Yardbirds would have left Sunshine State with two points instead of one. Thanks again Mr Moose Hedberg sir. As for rest? Hell is not even half full! ++STENDEC++ Will settle for Hamilton! Oh yeah, fire whiner John Petrino. This second!

B. Thenet

January 23rd, 2010
11:22 pm

Our coach is in a slump

StateBird

January 24th, 2010
12:15 am

I don’t mind benching Kozy but NOT when it means putting White in. If you want to call up somebody with some desire and effort then fine, but not White. And then to compound that error by using White in the shootout was unforgivable. There are at least 5 others players, starting with Kane, who should be on that list above White.

kicksave&abeauty

January 24th, 2010
8:06 am

I think JA needs to have the team partake in shooting practice next. Can we find someone, anyone that can get the puck on net?

Geeze this team is pathetic. No hope in hell of any playoffs.

Goodbye Kovy, good luck. Hope you get that big contract, and who knows, maybe you will even play a little D on your next team.

Fan from Carolina

January 24th, 2010
9:42 am

JA, you really were whining about the ‘phantom’ call. The refs gave the Thrashers half the 3rd period with the man advantage. Get real! Yes it was a tough game to watch but that call isn’t the reason for the loss. The Thrashers PP was just not good, period.

rob

January 24th, 2010
11:12 am

Take away the dreadful PP and the rest of the game was a hard fought game between 2 teams vying for a chance at the playoffs. Every game will/should be like that. That being said, the PP coming through would have put us up nicely, another opportunity wasted. WTF was White doing in the shootout? If I end up throwing something at the TV and breaking it, I am sending the bill to the Thrashers LOL Oh well, guess we will be on pins and needles for the next month hoping that somehow they can pull this out…..too bad the staff hasn’t done anything to give the fans confidence they would be able to make the leap this year. If Nik can stay healthy I say give him the C.

Jimbo

January 24th, 2010
11:30 am

B. Thenet- A slump? I thought that you had to have a history of success before falling into a “slump”. This guy comes in with the wrong strategy (so called “system”) and can’t fire up anyone- even the faithful fans (I am one). About Kozlov’s only contributions these days are in the shootout and he’s riding the rail for this one. I’m afraid that the fat lady has begun to sing “TURN OUT THE LIGHTS, THE PARTY IS OVER”.

Curly

January 24th, 2010
12:23 pm

Todd White??? In the shoot-out??? With the game on the line???
It would have to be down to two players left to use (White and Valabik) before I would use White.

stendec

January 24th, 2010
12:43 pm

Afternoon Chris.

Glimpse of things to come…

Peoria opened scoring at 15:52 of the first period when defenseman Bryce Lampman took a slap shot from the boards at center ice (*). The shot took a wild bounce in front of Wolves netminder Kari Lehtonen and ricocheted into the net under Lehtonen’s blocker. (Guess what passes for his mind was on return to Atlanta because the Wolves winning streak of seven in a row which the shet goalie ended singlehandedly certainly was not)

(*) Exactly how many feet/yards is that? Just curious.

Better rush gutless Finnish sieve back into Yardbird lineup ASAP. Sounds like the untalented LaLa Land loser is in midseason form! Apologists love those long range goals. Bad bounces and monkey pucks are always culprits. Finn fraud has NEVER allowed legitimate goal during his career.

Know for damn sure the Wolves will be glad to get him the Hell out of Chicago. Forcing a decent club in Illinois to play commode residue rejects from the big club like Sori Letemin (early and from a neighboring city) is simply not fair. The Wolves are TRYING to WIN hockey games.

Play Mr Moose Hedberg until he drops. Prideful competitor is the only professional hockey player in Atlanta with heart who actually gives a damn about winning and the one remaining fan!

++STENDEC++

stendec

January 24th, 2010
12:43 pm

Afternoon Chris.

Glimpse of things to come…

Peoria opened scoring at 15:52 of the first period when defenseman Bryce Lampman took a slap shot from the boards at center ice (*). The shot took a wild bounce in front of Wolves netminder Kari Lehtonen and ricocheted into the net under Lehtonen’s blocker. (Guess what passes for his mind was on return to Atlanta because the Wolves winning streak of seven in a row which the shet goalie ended singlehandedly certainly was not)

(*) Exactly how many feet/yards is that? Just curious.

Better rush gutless Finnish sieve back into Yardbird lineup ASAP. Sounds like the untalented LaLa Land loser is in midseason form! Apologists love those long range goals. Bad bounces and monkey pucks are always culprits. Finn fraud has NEVER allowed legitimate goal during his career.

Know for damn sure the Wolves will be glad to get him the Hell out of Chicago. Forcing a decent club in Illinois to play commode residue rejects from the big club like Sori Letemin (early and from a neighboring city) is simply not fair. The Wolves are TRYING to WIN hockey games.

Play Mr Moose Hedberg until he drops. Prideful competitor is the only professional hockey player in Atlanta with heart who actually gives a damn about winning and the one remaining fan!

++STENDEC++

j nes

January 24th, 2010
1:27 pm

I wonder if #17 realizes that as he holds this team hostage he is risking millions of dollars every time he steps on the ice to skate around in circles. Players will tell you that injuries happen more often when you play not to get injured, and he looks like someone who is doing just that. I do not wish for Kovalchuk to get injured, but if I was on the other side of the negotiating table, I would tell him that he is not going anywhere until the end of the season. He could then either sign a new contract at a reasonable price, not sign and try to get this pathetic team to the playoffs anyway, or continue to skate in circles without a contract in hopes that a real hockey player doesn’t end his career when the puck happens to find him. However, knowing the history of the franchise, I would predict that the captain is traded for a draft pick that never develops (or blossoms and leaves at the first opportunity of free agency as Bogosian and Kane will do).

Sorry to be a pessimist but the last two losses feel like coffin nails.

Brendan

January 24th, 2010
2:14 pm

Chris V., I’m stuck in the SPAM filters.

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

January 24th, 2010
2:15 pm

I used to be a big fan of Coach Anderson. But lately it looks like he’s out of ideas. Maybe he didn’t have a lot to offer in the first place. All he seems to be doing now is shuffling the lines. I thought he had a good handle on young players in Chicago but hasn’t called up a single player! The players on the ice aren’t the answer!

Brendan

January 24th, 2010
2:17 pm

Rockem Sockem Thrasher, October and November, sometimes even December, are for shuffling lines. If it’s not “figured out” by now, it’s because it doesn’t work.

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

January 24th, 2010
2:41 pm

Brendan, we’re about to hit February. Either he’s unable to call up new players or he’s unwilling.

The way the year started I thought we’d have a better record. Instead the team looks stale. They keep trotting out the same results. This team hasn’t been a threat since early December

Brendan

January 24th, 2010
2:55 pm

Segue, Rockem Sockem, the Thrashers are 8-19 since December 1, 2009. Officially, that breaks down to 8-14-5, for 21 of 54 points. Yeah, that’s not cutting it.

I didn’t used to think Anderson was the problem, or part of it. But when I saw him trot out Todd White, with a critical point on the line, instead of Bogosian, Kubina, heck, even Enstrom … I lost it, man. I was actually fine with Finny, Kovy, and Little as choices. I would have led off with Peverley, followed by Kovy, and probably Little. With my 4th shooter as Bogosian. Maybe Afinogenov 5th. But Todd White doesn’t shoot until the 12th round.

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

January 24th, 2010
3:32 pm

Brendan, I agree. I just hope that the Thrash get back to winning. It’s getting very hard to watch a game.

fanfan

January 24th, 2010
6:52 pm

It is not the coach. Start with the owners @ DW. Only a few players care (excluding #17). Shame of this city. Sell, sell, sell!!!

KLS1

January 24th, 2010
10:28 pm

Anderson is handcuffed because he has to coddle Kovy and build a gameplan around all the holes that come with Ilya’s game, especially now that he has the “C”.

Brendan

January 24th, 2010
10:29 pm

Rockem Sockem & fanfan, I think it all comes down to this. An organization run without accountability … is no different than a spoiled child, whose parents give him presents for C’s and D’s on his report card, while he’s constantly in trouble at school. What’s possibly going to change his behavior? What are the consequences for bad grades? None. What are the consequences for principal’s office visits? None. What is the likelihood he’ll be getting another present or loving hug soon? Virtually certain. And when the kid says, “Shut up, Mom! I’m going next door to play,” the mother says, “Don’t be too long, then. Come back in an hour.” And the flippant child says, “I’ll come home when I’m done.” And we get to buy tickets to witness this egregious display.

We’ve got an out of control, spoiled brat of an organization, where the players are in charge. And it’s not about to ’straighten up and fly right’ any time soon. Why would it? It’s NHL PAY!!, for beer league performance. When I hear the NHL refer to its teams as “clubs,” it’s only TRUE insofaras the Atlanta Thrashers are concerned. It’s like … a country club, only for hockey.

Normally, when this situation occurs, a coach and/or a GM gets fired. Why? It’s easier to fire the $1 million coach or $1 million GM than it is to fire the $54 million salaried roster. But in Atlanta’s case, the players are in charge and the Coach and GM stay, too. It’s quite a scene, that’s for sure.

Imagine, just for a second, that the Thrashers organization wanted to retain Kozlov, while re-signing Kovalchuk. And Ilya says, “No, pay me HIS SALARY, plus my new raise.” How is that any different than a kid saying, “Better buy TWO video games, ‘cuz I’m NOT sharing with my brother or sister.”

Dwayne

January 25th, 2010
8:57 am

18-8-5 over the last 31, 93 pts, playoff bound. quick exit. Thats with or without Kovy. Probably have a better chance at that without him. Here’s a toast to my first ever WTF on this or any other blog.

Jimbo

January 25th, 2010
9:31 am

fOR ALL WHO WANT CHANGES IN THIS SINKING SHIP- just got word that Donnie Brilliance is working to re-sign some of our old favorites in an effort to make March a Nostalgia Month. How about the return of Ramzi Abid, Tomi Kallio, Mr. Speed Steve Rucchin, the Great Hnat Domenichelli, infamous Lubos Bartecko and our alltime favorite Rumun Ndur. We’re not just going “throw back jersies”, we’re going all the way- “throw back players”.

jake

January 25th, 2010
10:52 am

Good move. Kozlov was sloppy and uninterested, but can’t say much for his replacement, either.

Sage of Bluesland

January 25th, 2010
2:18 pm

So………Thrashers still suck? Great reporting per always, Vivs.