Kozlov not sure when he will return to lineup

Just back from practice and here’s our daily report.

All the players took part in practice. All the line combinations remained the same. Slava Kozlov, a scratch the past four games, skated with Eric Boulton-Marty Reasoner-Chris Thorburn. I asked Kozlov if he knew when he was going to get back in the lineup and he said he has not been told anything.

A couple of notes:

* Chicago Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino was named the AHL’s goaltender of the month for January. Mannino went 6-1-0 with a 1.28 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage.  He held opponents to two or fewer goals in all seven games,  including  his first shutout of the season on Jan. 29, with 32 saves against the Grand Rapids.

* Kari Lehtonen has appeared in three games in his conditioning stint at Chicago. He is 1-1-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage. The Wolves don’t play again until Thursday.

* Coach John Anderson on the importance of Tuesday’s game against Tampa Bay: “It’s one game at a time. We understand the importance of every point, the preciousness of each point. Last game, we got off to a bad start, but we’ve got to play all 60 minutes and grind out points when we can.”

*Clarified a report that said Colby Armstrong was waiting to see what happened with the Ilya Kovalchuk situation before he made a decision on his future with the team. Armstrong said he thought the team was waiting until the Kovalchuk situation was resolved before turning their attention to players such as himself.

Those are the highlights. Working on a story for today/tomorrow on Bryan Little. He admitted his frustration with his play this season. He was very candid. Thanks for the kind words on the Marty Reasoner feature. I really liked the way it came out. He had yet to read it as of this morning, but Thorburn was giving him crud. Looking for the next player to feature. This morning was the photo shoot for the Olympic package to run next Sunday. We took photos of all five Olympians holding a small flag from their country. They will run with a favorite Olympic memory from each player.

It feels like I keep saying that the next game is huge, but it would go a long way if the Thrashers beat Tampa Bay – and goaltender Antero Niittymaki – Tuesday. He is 15-0-0 against Thrashers in his career.

33 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

February 1st, 2010
1:59 pm

Can you please ask JA why he doesn’t try Pevs with Army and Max? I know Army has played well with Little and Kane, but the Slater line was pretty good with Little on it. Plus, there really wasn’t much wrong with Thorbs on Kovy’s right. At least they weren’t giving up a ton of goals like against Nashville.

Lines should be:

Kovy – Antro – Thorbs

Army – Pevs – Max

Kane – Slater – Little

Kozlov – Reasy – Boults / White

Also, when is someone going to ask him why Bogo and Hainsey continue to play together when they absolutely stink as a pairing? Yes, Bogo struggled early in the season when playing with Enstrom, but at least he was scoring more and they certainly weren’t as miserable as Hainsey with Bogo. Hell, even Salmela deserves a chance to play 2nd pair mins over Bogo if Zach’s 19 y/o body needs a break from 24 mins / night.

I appreciate the work you do Chris but these are valid questions for a team just struggling to stay over .500. They are capable of more.

Barry

February 1st, 2010
2:02 pm

Ya that Bogosian and Hainsey pairing needs to be blowed up. In fact, burn any records of putting those two on a line together. Erase those ideas from the coaches memory. That pairing is like a -25 or something and those first two goals Nashville got was when those two were on the ice. They have no chemistry at all and aren’t stopping anyone.

Tom Lysiak

February 1st, 2010
3:13 pm

Chris, are you or anyone else an ESPN Insider? Their tease headline says “Thrashers dealing four guys”. Then non-subscribers see “Another Thrashers player is now being dealt. Where are these moves?”

Assuming Kovy and a goalie are two of them, just wondering who the other two are according to ESPN. Army? White? Kozlov?

Russian

February 1st, 2010
3:17 pm

Interesting statement from Army, that his waiting on Kovy situation. I think everyone are waiting on Kovy situation. Unfortantely, we are still in same position taht we have been on october. I hate all BULL crap that Kovy said about Atlanta team. It is not true. If you want to stay that stay, but do not kill a team. You are a Captain of the team. If you want to go just say it. I will be a person that always chear for Kovy when he is coming here. Damn! the whole stroy about Kovy and Thrasher make me sick.

mar1jdh

February 1st, 2010
3:24 pm

from ESPN Insider: “The Atlanta Thrashers are trying to trade a handful of guys. Of course the most prominent is Ilya Kovalchuk, but 37-year-old Slava Kozlov will also be on the block, the Edmonton Journal reports.

He might be a tough sell, though, because he’ll cost $900,000 for the rest of the season and he’s running out of gas. Meanwhile, the Thrashers also have F Colby Armstrong and G Kari Lehtonen on the block. Kovalchuk suitors might end up pursuing Armstrong after they lose out, while the Stars have been rumored to be eying Lehtonen once he proves his injury hasn’t set him back too much.”

DWTOO

February 1st, 2010
3:28 pm

This is really odd because I thought we’d be more or less buyers this year. Really looks like we’re back in the sellers market as usual. Some things just never change.

Tom Lysiak

February 1st, 2010
3:32 pm

mar1jdh – Thanks!

The Monkey

February 1st, 2010
3:35 pm

DWTOO: I bet you’re just a grumpy old man that doesn’t even like hockey. Probably a NASCAR fan as well.

Midfield

February 1st, 2010
3:44 pm

Thrashers ARE the definition of insanity (note to Wikipedia). The organization keeps recycling personnel, while the root cause of the stagnation remains firmly entranced at the very heart of the franchise. So, what does it matter who will be dealt at the trade deadline?

Missblondie

February 1st, 2010
3:49 pm

Glad I’m not the only person who’s noticed the lack of awesomeness in the Hainsey and Bogosian pairing. They need to see other people, lol. Just look at the numbers:

Bogo had a +11 last year, but this year he’s -12.

Hainsey is already at -11, last year he was -16. He hasn’t been in the + since 2006 when he played for the Blue Jackets! Time to consider redistributing him elsewhere, I think.

Midfield

February 1st, 2010
3:59 pm

Good luck trying shipping Hainsey. Who’d want to pay 2-tier NHL salary for an AHL level defensman?

JW

February 1st, 2010
4:05 pm

To DWTOO, I’m I am just as disgusted with the managment and the team’s lack of direction and sucess as anyone. But, to say we are “back in the sellers market as usual” doesn’t make any sense when 6 though 13 are all within 2 points. All of these teams must have a playoff mindset and be ready for a grind ever game if they want to earn one of those last 3 spots. That’s being said Army should be an important piece of this team now and going forward. There is a reason why we get asked about him all the time in a trade. He has the intangibles that cup running teams need!

rob

February 1st, 2010
4:07 pm

RUSSIAN,
A true captain would not let this be an issue. If the team is dragging it out and not wanting to deal with him, then it is up to a CAPTAIN who has the best interest of the TEAM, to step forward and make this common knowledge so that the pubilc who are the reason the team is here can see and know just what is happening. If he is just being a selfish money hungry player than he is indeed no CAPTAIN. If he just wants the money than he can go the way of Hossa and bounce from team to team to team with no loyalty. But if he has the fans who have stood behind him and cheered him on his whole NHL career at heart he would stand up and let them know why things are going the way they are. The PLAYER and the OWNER should be doing this and be DONE with it already.

On a separate note I find it SAD that we have to go out of market to find even ideas of what is/may be happening with our own team. Speculate a little, see if ANYONE in the know will even give a HINT of something pertaining to the future of this team going forward!!! UGH

Jameson

February 1st, 2010
4:41 pm

Chris- It looks like your twitter link is broken.

Smoothie

February 1st, 2010
4:48 pm

No one other than Sather would be crazy enough to trade for Slava Kozlov. Would he waive his NTC to go to NY? Doubtful. We’re stuck with him till the bitter end.

As for Bogo & Hainsey, they’ve been an “official” pairing since the St. Louis game on 11/8. However, in the 7-0 slaughter of the LA Kings, Bogo was a +4, but only on the ice for 2 of the 7 goals with Hainsey. Since they’ve been together, these are their stats:

Bogosian: 3 G – 9 A with a -10 in 41 games
Hainsey: 2 G – 7 A with a -11 in 41 games

Prior to that, Bogosian was scoring a lot more with Toby on his pair. You can run the math probably, but these are the numbers for Z-Bo, Toby, Ronsey & Kubina before 11/8:

Bogosian: 6 G & 2 A with a -4 in 13 games
Hainsey: 1 G & 4 A with an E in 11 games
Enstrom: 1 G & 9 A with a -1 in 13 games
Kubina: 3 G & 5 A with a +4 in 13 games

Yes, we were only 6 – 6 – 1 thru the first 13 games, but I wonder if JA hit the panic button when breaking up Toby & Zach, Ron & Pasha? And in case your curious, here are the numbers for the bottom pairing thru those first 13 games:

Popovic: 1 G & 1 A in 8 gms (E rating)
Schubert: 1 G & 1 A in 11 gms (-1 rating)
Salmela: 1 G & 1 A in 9 gms (E rating)

So it’s not as though our 3rd pairing was killing us at ES. Things were fairly balanced with respect to our D pairings up until that point. While we were only .500, we had only allowed 1 more ES goal than we scored (32 vs 33). Of course, our PP was clicking early and helped us get the majority of our 6 wins. We lost 4 one-goal games, but gave up 28 goals over 7 games with the old pairings.

Perhaps a better way of looking at things is the number of times each D-man was on the ice out of those first 33 ES goals:

Bogosian – 15 times
Enstrom – 12 times
Hainsey – 10 times
Kubina – 9 times
Popovic – 7 times
Salmela – 5 times
Schubert – 8 times

One could probably argue that we were taking more chances offensively on our blueline to try to make up for the loss of Kovy and his scoring 6 of those 13 games. After Kovy went down to the Sharks, the team gave up 16 ES goals versus 13 ES goals scored. In the first 11 games of the season, the team scored 4 more ES goals than yielded. Not sure you can blame the results against COL and NYI soley on the pairing of Bogosian & Enstrom.

Lastly, the Thrashers worst month was December in which they had a miserable record of 4 – 10 – 1. During that month, both Zach and Ron were a combined -21 with 5 G & 16 A. Bogosian had 6 G & 2 A by himself in the first 13 games paired with Toby Enstrom. I think I’d rather have Bogosian scoring goals if he’s going to be a minus player along with Enstrom while Kubina allows Hainsey to freelance a bit more as the stay at home D-man. Enstrom appears to be a better stay at home D-man than Hainsey when comparing the two as Toby is a better skater and just as strong on his skates as the somewhat feeble Hainsey.

Brendan

February 1st, 2010
5:40 pm

Tell ya what I think, I think Slava won’t play again until he waives his NTC.

Not Blind

February 1st, 2010
5:47 pm

Slava will retire a Thrasher

Midfield

February 1st, 2010
6:20 pm

Kozlov has no reason to waive NTC: he is here because he wanted to stay here with the family, not for any other particular reason. He’s already won a couple of Cups, Brendan.

Sam

February 1st, 2010
7:50 pm

Hope we don’t lose in another shoot-out vs TB because Kozlov’s a scratch. To not be prepared for that possibility again would be stupid.

Thrasher Blue

February 1st, 2010
8:07 pm

Sam – there is no guarantee we get to a shootout with Kozlov in the lineup.
Chances are that game would have been lost in regulation b/c he is a liability at this point.

Big Trade

February 1st, 2010
9:50 pm

Why not trade Kovy for Andy Sutton. I think the Atlanta Spirit is out of money. They need to run aminor league club.DEAL WITH IT. SUCKER.

Sam

February 1st, 2010
10:57 pm

Kozlov was +1 and had 4 assists in the 5 games before he was scratched. I’ll take that kind of liability.

AND be prepared for a SO with the best SO scorer in the league.

RocEnite

February 1st, 2010
11:03 pm

How about a goalie for this team..Havent won anything with Ilya Kovalchuk deal him for a some kind of goalie..and a few players..there has to be some stud young goalie ( Nemi from chicago) and get some quality Dman..See T.Myers (buffalo) A.Greene (jersey)..young guys that are going to be players..Wadell stratgey miss the playoffs , kovy leaves and thrashers get nothing in return..Wadell could have at least tried to pull a deal with the flames and picked up Dion Phaneuf for a little more than a bag of pucks err I mean Kozlov (flames are desperate for offense) and maybe a young forward..The status-quo is not working..

Brendan

February 1st, 2010
11:58 pm

Kozlov doesn’t like criticism, Midfield. That’s why he’s here, hiding out in Atlanta, collecting NHL pay, in nice weather, low taxes, and total anonymity. It’s not Kozlov who wants the NTC waived.

If I were to devise a strategy to get Kozlov to waive it, here’s what I’d do. I’d sit his posterior up in the pressbox ’til he figured it out. The magic words he must utter, to play again this season, are … “I’m ready to waive my NTC.” Otherwise, let the retirement begin! It’s not a bad seat, up there in the pressbox. He’s getting FULL PAY to watch. He’s living where he wants to, in Atlanta somewhere. All he has to do is practice. Then watch the games. And rack up the free frequent flyer miles. It’s a sweet gig, if you can get it. No work and pay! It’s fabulous.

J-man

February 2nd, 2010
6:14 am

Sam – You have hit the nail on the head my friend. That is my problem with Anderson – he scratches people AFTER they have improved their play. Even White had played better right before he was scratched for 4 games. At this point it seems that Kozlov may be scratched simply to put him in a mood to waive his NTC. If Anderson really thinks that White is a better option than Kozlov, well, I have to question whether a guy with that kind of decision making should be a head coach.

DWTOO

February 2nd, 2010
7:59 am

JW – That’s why I’m puzzled by the dialogue – it’s more of who can we get for rather than who should we be after to make the playoff run. With 6-13 so close I would rather we be proactive.

THE MONKEY – You are just a beer swillin’, DRINKO playing, hairbag who likes them Euro sissies in their fancy sports cars.

Midfield

February 2nd, 2010
10:30 am

I’m not arguing with you at all, Brendan. It will take more than the organization is able to do to motivate Kozlov at this point. However, Kozlov is not the problem. I’m afraid, Kozlov is just another red herring in the ‘organization’s’ persistent strategy expressed in the eternal motto “Defer and Deflect.”

rob

February 2nd, 2010
11:38 am

Chris,
Enjoyed the articles on players, and little bio stuff like that is great to show the fans who the players are. And the practice/line combo/scratches are needed writing. But certainly on top of all that are more pressing things as well right? Reading these blogs on the Thrashers shows a knowledgable fan base basically being ignored by the ownership/gm/coach. Of course the fans don’t run the team and you could argue (I guess) that they have no accountability to the fans right? Only the fans are the consumer here, and the team the product being sold by the owners/gm/coach right? I would guess you travel with the guys and are buddy buddy with some of them, and that is well and good, but who is reading the articles in the AJC here? The fans, right? Can’t we as the consumer at least get a little love? Give us something that has bearing on the team, which is poised on the edge of a couple of different cliffs (players/playoffs/fanbase). If no one wants to tell you, as the team reporter, anything of signifigance, and you are just as in the dark as we are…..well then let us know that they aren’t talking about anything and would just like to see nice little articles about players and practice. All that is great reading for a casual fan without much interest in hockey but for the rest of us…..

Chris Vivlamore

February 2nd, 2010
12:07 pm

Quick update from morning skate: Kozlov and Salmela are the scratches tonight vs. Tampa Bay. Mark Popovic returns to the lineup. Pavelec will start in goal.

Have to run to meeting but will get a new blog up when I return so we can talk about tonight’s game.

ex-STH

February 2nd, 2010
2:03 pm

I think Kovalchuk is going to the Flames. Hopefully White can go with him and put Kozlov back in the lineup until March 3. Calgary has too many forwards and only picked up an extra few to move along in another trade. I could see Hegman, Kotalik and that young Swede prospect (Backlund?)coming this way.

Brendan

February 2nd, 2010
2:22 pm

Ask yourselves this question. Is the way to make your team better … to raid the Toronto Maple Leafs, NY Rangers, and Atlanta Thrashers?

Uph, uph, uph. Don’t gaze at the standings to make your determinations. Just decided, based on your hockey experiences over the past few seasons. Now, what’s your answer? See, ‘cuz that’s why Darryl Suter should be fired.

Brendan

February 2nd, 2010
2:30 pm

Midfield, point well-taken.

Drew

February 2nd, 2010
2:52 pm