More practice for the power play

Monday’s Thrashers practice was a little bit back to basics … and a lot more power play.

The practice began with passing drills and skating drills. But ultimately, staring at a power play that is 6 for it’s last 73, the power play was worked on.

The personnel was switched up slightly.

Unit 1: Kovalchuk, Enstrom, Little, White/Kozlov, Antropov

Unit 2: Kubina, Bogosian, Afinogenov, Armstrong, Peverley

“We switched it up a little today,” coach John Anderson said. “I thought it was much better. We ran a competition today, if you got a shot on net it was worth a half point and if you scored it was a point. … At least I could see some excitement and noise out there.”

Here were the line combinations:

Kovalchuk-Antropov-Little

White-Peverley-Afinogenov

Kane-Slater-Armstrong

Boulton-Reasoner-Kozlov

Chris Thorburn missed practice for what Anderson called a family situation that required him being out of town. He is expected back for tomorrow’s game against Anaheim.

I talked with Kozlov about being scratched in Tampa, breaking his streak of 251 straight games. This is what he said:

“I’m disappointed,” Kozlov said. “It was my first scratch in a long time. Nothing I can do but work hard in practice. Hopefully I’m going to play in the next game. There have been a few players scratched this year. I’ll try to be positive.”

I asked Anderson if it was his team’s luck that on the night Kozlov is scratched, the Thrashers lose in a shootout.

“That’s the dark cloud that’s hanging over us,” Anderson said. ” He’s so wonderful at it, probably the best in the league. I was planning not going to a shootout and winning the hockey game. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Both goalies were very good. It was just a matter of who snuck one in there first.”

Kozlov is 4-for-6 in shootouts this season.

While the Thrashers list Christoph Schubert’s injury as “lower body,” I have learned that it is to the  PCL  in his right knee. Anderson said the diagnosis is still 2-to4 weeks, but thought it might be “sooner than later.”

Finally, there was another shattered pane of plexiglass near the end of practice. This time it was a Zach Bogosian shot that did the damage.

45 comments Add your comment

J.B.

January 25th, 2010
2:25 pm

that game should have never gone to a shootout; should have been a thrashers win 1-0 if not more. the interference call leading to Atlanta on the PK was one of the worst officiating f(oul) ups I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing. oh well, maybe we’ll catch a break sometime…who knows when.

Incidentally, I wouldn’t mind hearing that coach spent an entire practice on passing drills at some point soon. I cannot believe how many bad passes I’ve seen in the past two months.

Lee

January 25th, 2010
3:19 pm

They definetly played BETTER, but did they play GREAT, absolutley not.

JA-Thought you should’ve put Antro and Army in the SO lineup.

Carlos

January 25th, 2010
3:55 pm

I personally would like to see a completely different setup on the PP. Starting with Bogo or Kubina on the point instead of Entrom. Also I would rather see 2 people croud the net when the puck goes to the point and not one. Third I would like to see them start using 2 PP lines instead of the first line staying out until 20 seconds is left. The Kovalchuk angle is old and teams have found a way to contain it unless they do some thing completely different.

Lee

January 25th, 2010
4:44 pm

What’s up with bogo?? I mean I know he’s had that wrist injury, but still. He sucks out there!

erock

January 25th, 2010
4:46 pm

We want shots on net instead of hitting the glass. That’s what we already have been seeing. Shaking the lines up with the same people get the same results.

Brendan

January 25th, 2010
4:52 pm

One can only hope Kozlov was so perturbed, that he extended a trade request. That continues to be my wish.

J(Z)

January 25th, 2010
5:03 pm

Why in the WORLD was Todd White used in the shootout??????

rob

January 25th, 2010
5:18 pm

WOW so now we’re getting points in practice for a shot or goal. How original, I am sure the guys will respond well to that and all will be well in our little hockey world. Sad that 10 years of hockey have netted us one 4 and out playoff run, and even though we are not far out of the playoff race even now with the dreadful month and 1/2 slide, it is still clear we are not a serious contender. So my question to DW and JA is, do you consider this a success story? Will you look back at your tenure with the Thrashers as something you are proud to have been a large part of, or will you realise it as the utter failure it is and the multitude of hockey fans you have let down?

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

January 25th, 2010
5:46 pm

Again, Coach Anderson’s solution is to rearrange the lines.It doesn’t matter the combination, something isn’t working! I have lost faith in his ability identify and maintain talented players. Where is the guy who won all those championships in Chicago? What happened to the guy who found Peverly?

Chris, has Coach Anderson mentioned bringing someone up from Chicago or on the wavier wire?

erock

January 25th, 2010
5:47 pm

The day after the Olympics will be wholesale trades day. We can only hope. So long Kovy

NHL Ready

January 25th, 2010
5:49 pm

Rob you said it all in two words LET DOWN. This season has been the biggest let down ever with so many good players. We have to look at the Coach and GM we need a change sooner the better. Get JA out of there!!!

rob

January 25th, 2010
6:00 pm

New coach, STRONG CAPTAIN!!!!! C’mon Chris, let’s start a trend here and make the GM and Coach as uncomfortable as we all are when we’re watching a team that on paper actually has a shot being mismanaged outta contention, and the heart gutted outta hockey in Atlanta. Not just an “oh by the way question” but an indepth look at what is going on. No need to even bring up Kovy, just the club as a whole and the direction it has (or doesn’t have depending on your perspective) The fan faithful here is deserving of that at least.

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

January 25th, 2010
6:02 pm

Maybe Norm Maracle is free.

Barry

January 25th, 2010
6:05 pm

So did they actually work on moving around on the powerplay or just standing around passing and taking shots with no traffic in front of the net? Doesn’t matter how much you practice if you happen to practice the wrong way of doing things. As per your stats the other night Chris about the special teams it’s obvious the special teams is what had the Thrashers doing good early on the season, but the poor special teams lately is what’s killing this teams playoff hopes.

Mike and the Mechanics

January 25th, 2010
6:13 pm

Norm “All I Need Is A” Maracle “All I Need Is Food”

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

January 25th, 2010
6:21 pm

How about Milan Hnilicka? Both him and Norm are still playing and they have GOT to be better than Pavs.

Chris Vivlamore

January 25th, 2010
7:08 pm

Rockem: There are no plans to bring anyone up from Chicago for the roster spot. I’ve asked twice. My belief is they are keeping the spot available for when Lehtonen returns from conditioning stint.

Sam

January 25th, 2010
7:13 pm

Hey…I wanted to check something out with y’all. Sometimes I check out Ben’s Blueland Blog over on the Thrashers.com site. Yesterday I tried to post a few times under the thread “Who steps up” and got a message about my post being “moderated”. Anyone else ever got that message? Then, later, I just couldn’t post at all…any thread. Same thing right now…after 4 or 5 tries. Anyone have the same kind of trouble?

I just wasn’t aware that was a “moderated site”. I even cleared my cookies…emptied the cache. I find it hard to believe it could have been something I said.

BigSchu8

January 25th, 2010
7:53 pm

THe problem with the Thrashers is that we are one dimensional. Sorry to say but Kovy, although he is a superstar, just doesnt lead the team like he should. He scores but to win consistently in the NHL, you need to have a committment to defense and playing well without the puck. If Kovy leaves, it will be a new beginning. If he doesnt, things wont get better.

Scotty

January 25th, 2010
8:18 pm

Sam, I’m sure that since Ben Wright gets a paycheck from the Atlanta Spirit he’s under strict orders keep a tight grip on the comments posted. I mean, we wouldn’t want any “Fire Waddell” or “Spirit Group Sux” comments posted on Ben’s blog would we?

Same thing with hard questions being asked there like, “So Ben, how long before Todd White is waived”? or “If Waddell fails to resign Kovy, shouldn’t Waddell be fired because really he’s been a failure ten years running”? or “Tell me Ben, wouldn’t you be a little more comfortable with Dudley in charge of trading Kovalchuk than Waddell”?

So you can’t blame him for that, it’s his employers.

Brian

January 25th, 2010
8:19 pm

I live in south florida now and watching the guys play on center ice from day one. The problem is Kovy’s deal it is weighing on the whole team! Something has to give and only after it does the guys will pick up the tempo. One last thing the team needs is some players with a mean streak. Oh yeah FIRE WADELL NOW!!!!!!!!

R. Stroz

January 25th, 2010
9:22 pm

Sam – Freedom of speech isn’t tolerated on the Thrashers boards. Critcal comments are erased.

Put another way, the Official Thrasher Boards amount to little more than groupthink.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink

Brendan

January 25th, 2010
10:00 pm

R.Stroz, that link you provided was so good … it just HAD to be FATTENING! Well played, sir.

Brendan

January 25th, 2010
10:12 pm

Any blog that stifles free speech … is not worth having. For the truth is its first casualty. It’s one thing … if seriously disturbed people firebomb and harrass a blog, to the point where Ben Wright, or whomever, has to ban them. That’s not stifling free speech. That’s preserving the “value” of the blog. If the blogmaster doesn’t step forward, then many posters might leave, finding it too unsavory to continue visiting.

I don’t envy Ben Wright’s position. His options, at this point, are to discuss new possible line combinations. Yawn. Next.

Sam

January 25th, 2010
11:12 pm

I have no idea if Ben’s censoring or if its just a website problem. I’m guessing the latter til proven otherwise. Any of you care to test the waters over there and see if you can post before we go too far with this discussion? Some posts ARE getting through.

I don’t name-call, Brendan. I don’t “firebomb”. I don’t “harass”. I disagree and present facts and logic to back up my reason for disagreement. I’m a season ticket holder and I have thousands of reasons (literally) why I’m invested (literally) in this team’s performance and future.

And if the Blueland Blog is now moderated, just post that. State what the new code of conduct is on the blog. That’s what websites and blog sites do. When you sign in, if there are boundaries, they post a statement of them and you click on a box to say “I agree”. Simple enough for Ben to do.

Jimbo

January 26th, 2010
9:22 am

Chirs: In your other article you quote Hainsey that “we are trending toward better hockey”. What in the world? what ever happened to quotes like “we are committed, we are busting our tails to get to the playoffs, etc”. Trending??? Gimme a break. This is the most complacent, non-accountable team I have ever seen. No fear of job loss. No fear of income reduction. Everyone sits or is shifted around without any pain. Well Hainsey old boy “We are trending away from Phillips Arena en masse”. Who wants to wait for the right wave?

Bob

January 26th, 2010
10:56 am

“This is the most complacent, non-accountable team I have ever seen. No fear of job loss. No fear of income reduction. Everyone sits or is shifted around without any pain.”

Yep, when they see Waddell keep his job year after year, even when he’s obviously failed in his job, why would they care? When it stinks at the top, the malaise seeps down through the entire organ-i-zation.

Brendan

January 26th, 2010
11:07 am

Sam, you’ve convinced me. I don’t think you’re doing a blessed thing wrong over at the Blueland Blog. Maybe it is just a website problem? If so, I hope Ben gets it fixed quickly.

Bob, sometimes I wonder … if Gearon, Jr. and Grossman could just sit down, face-to-face, if this thing couldn’t get fixed. Ya know? Kovy cannot come out and say something like, “I won’t re-sign here so long as Waddell is going to remain in charge.” He can’t. He just can’t. I don’t know how Kovalchuk views Waddell. I don’t know if Kovy blames ownership more than Waddell, or what. We never speak. Nor would he tell me that, even if I asked him. Nor would he tell Vivlamore, if Chris V. asked him.

But my point is this. When Ovechkin’s contract came due, Ted Leonsis, the OWNER, sat down to do the negotiations. And Ovechkin didn’t have an agent representing him. So, the two sides spoke openly and frankly, with minimal politicking over augmented commissions. The result? A 13-year/$124 million deal. Ovie stated his concerns. And was granted his ‘out clause’ if certain things weren’t met. And Leonsis voiced his concerns, as well. And they worked it out. This season, the Capitals will win their third straight Southeast Division Championship. The results speak for themselves.

Why can’t Kovalchuk/Grossman sit down with Thrasher ownership not named Levenson, to hammer out this deal, and address Kovy’s concerns. Up to and including whether the current GM figures into the equasion. And if he does, as an owner, he’s got to decide what’s more important to him. Keeping Waddell. Or keeping Kovalchuk. Sadly, I think I know the answer to that. They value Waddell more.

Alan R.

January 26th, 2010
11:33 am

One can only hope Kozlov was so perturbed, that he extended a trade request. That continues to be my wish

This is an amusing concept. The player plays like crap for the entire year, gets scratched as a result of said crappy play, and then (hypothetically) asks for a trade because he was scratched for playing like crap?

I hope you’re kidding. Kozlov is a great player, but has sucked it up bigtime this year. He deserved the scratch.

ex-STH

January 26th, 2010
11:38 am

I’m so sick of watching Kovy on the ice, lately. He seems to have no interest what-so-ever of even being out there. And he’s the captain?!? This whole Kovy situation is completely and totally weighing on the team. He needs to be traded ASAP because everyday day DW waits, its a lesser value for Kovalchuk. If JA wants to send a message to the team, he should sit Kovy and not the hard working defensive minded Kozlov. The Thrashers played fine without Kovy on the ice earlier this season. Everyone not so prone to try to get it to Kpvy to score and they tend to shoot more themselves. TRADE KOVY NOW!!!

Kovy's Agent

January 26th, 2010
11:59 am

Absolutely brutal, but true, article in TheHockeyNews.com this morning about the Kovy situation and how the CBA that followed the lockout was supposed to prevent such a mess of strong teams picking the crown jewels of the weaker teams. The conclusion was that even a perfectly drawn CBA can’t overcome bad management/ownership….ouch!!

Not Blind

January 26th, 2010
12:12 pm

Kovy for Iginla. A change would do both teams and both players a world of good. I think a player like Iginla would put fans in the seats.

lou

January 26th, 2010
12:58 pm

The Thrashers missed a great opportunity this past week to pick up a lot of points against teams they are evenly matched with and against some teams they are much better than. On another matter, could they have a WORSE home schedule. They are becoming irrelevant here since they play what seems to be every home game on a Tuesday or Thursday. Meanwhile the Hawks are home like every Friday or Saturday. I don’t know how much the team is able to be involved in scheduling but if you want people to come to your games, schedule a weekend game once in awhile.

Headed to Vancouver in a few days

January 26th, 2010
1:11 pm

I heard Kovalchuk will be in the Olympics.

When is the figure skating competition anyway?

Diego from Lilburn

January 26th, 2010
4:38 pm

Headed to Vancouver – hahaha! If they give out gold medals for perfectly executed figure eights then he has a lock on the top of the podium!

Not Blind

January 26th, 2010
4:40 pm

Want to bet that Kovachuck matches Ovie stride for stride and hit for hit in the Olympics?

stendec

January 26th, 2010
9:34 pm

True Thrasher Captain Moose Hedberg singlehandedly secured two points at Loseland. Thank you Mr Johan Hedberg sir. You are a professional in every sense of the word. If one of the damn fools in blue had not physically restrained Mr Hedberg so the Ducks could score then he would have recorded a shutout. This man not only cares about fans but possesses a tremendous heart. THE HEART OF A WINNER! See Russian slacker Ilya “Pay My Slacking A## Millions” Kovalchoke was a healthy scratch. What? He was in lineup? Guess I failed to notice since the talentless bestard was his usual invisible self. What? Missed an empty net in closing seconds which almost allowed Ducks to register equalizer? Not a bit surprised! Will miss Moose Hedberg when team relocates. Will relish exit of el kapitan. Uncaring SOB! Hope he savors Olympics. Sincerely hope Russia gets routed. Embarrassed! Sick of this Maryann Hossa quitter. Thanks again Mr Hedberg sir. God bless you! Will always be #1 goalie to me. ++STENDEC++ Kari who?

Headed for Vancouver in a few days

January 26th, 2010
9:34 pm

@Diego: I’ve already put money on Kovy taking gold, and the bookies laughed in my face.

Seems like they haven’t been watching Thrashers hockey this season.

First round’s on me after I win big in Vegas!

igotbigballs

January 26th, 2010
9:36 pm

Hedberg isn’t the captain, and neither is Kovy.

As it turns out, they’re both GAY, but not as GAY as stendec, who is bi-curious.

Kari Lehtonen

January 26th, 2010
9:43 pm

Enter your comments here

stendec

January 26th, 2010
10:02 pm

Hey igotbigballs (no dount that is indeed your legitimate bestard Christened name). Too damn bad you do not have a STICK to go with them! Oh well. Life is not fair. Stupid SOB! ++STENDEC++ Please refrain from insults on Mr Moose Hedberg. Veteran warrior does not deserve them. Show some respect you a$$hole!

MB

January 26th, 2010
10:24 pm

Thanks Adam for the voucher to tonight’s game. Overall solid effort…especially from Moose and Peverley. Haven’t seen many games lately, so I’ve dismissed much of the Kovy bashing as the usual betching. But as a fan of his, I’m very, very disappointed to say that the guy couldn’t have cared less tonight. Didn’t seem to be trying at all, not even on the offensive end of the ice. Then after a obligatory tap of Hedberg’s pads at the end of the game, he rushed off the ice like there was contest to be first in the locker room. Just sad to see. Wish I felt happier after an all-too-rare victory.

ex-STH

January 26th, 2010
11:03 pm

MB, I was there tonight and watched Koval-Puke the whole night. HE WAS A WASTE OF SPACE!!!! As I said yesterday, please sit Kovalchuk and play Kozlov! I know Kozzy is having a hard time right now but at least he PLAYS! Kovalchuk was so disgustingly WORTHLESS on the ice tonight. I’m willing to trade both Kovy and D-WADS for a bag of pucks!!!!

Brendan

January 26th, 2010
11:28 pm

Okay, folks. Here’s your boxscore. http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009020780.

A few things standout from that boxscore. Thrashers were outshot, 35-34. This is still too many shots again. Thorburn was in a fight. But, to me, the story of this game was Zach Bogosian’s team-leading 24:08 in ice time. On the evening, all the Thrashers d-men were “even” on their +/- stats. Here’s how the minutes breakdown: (1) Bogosian, 24:08, with 3 shots, (2) Kubina, 22:11, with 2 shots, (3) Toby Enstrom, 19:38, with 2 shots and an assist, his 35th of the season, (4) Ron Hainsey, 18:16, 4 shots, (5) Boris Valabik, 17:33, 3 shots, and finally, (6) Anssi Salmela, 14:29, 1 shot.

Other interesting items … Peverly got his 25th assist of the year and Max Afinogenov marches towards 20 goals, with his 17th of the year, which was ALSO the game winning goal (GWG). Finny finished a -1, 3 shots, and 14:28 in ice time. And yes, Todd White played and was a -1, with 1 shot, and 13:04 in ice time.

Hooray, a regulation time win vs. a Western Conference opponent. I think Jonas Hiller is a superb goalie. They’ve got a nice tandem going in Anaheim. The Ducks needed these points. I think they’re around 11th place in the West.

Brendan

January 26th, 2010
11:31 pm

Florida won a big one at home vs. the Habs. They’re 5-1-1 in their last 7 games. And guess who’s in the 8th and final playoff position, right now? Yep, the Florida Panthers. Did it start with their game vs. the Thrashers?