NHL breaks for Olympics … and so does this blog

After flying home from Chicago the Thrashers shut down for the two-week Olympic break.

And so must I. Company orders (too much comp time!)

Those Thrashers not in the Olympics are not allowed to  be at the practice facility the first week of the break. They will resume practice on Feb. 24. I will return that week as well with a special project. I won’t exactly spill the beans, but let’s just say “Viv the Sieve” will make a return.

While I’m away, let’s use this blog to analyze what the Thrashers must do to make the playoffs after returning for the last month-plus of the season. Let me know what you think. I will be putting something together after I return.

Thanks, as always, folks.

97 comments Add your comment

Lee

February 13th, 2010
8:35 pm

First! Have a good break Chris!

Thrashers need to pick up the pace, if they don’t, it’ll be a blowout.

Joe

February 13th, 2010
8:36 pm

I don’t know, but the Thrashers will have some work to do. They’re only two points out, so they need a good run in order to get a good seed. They can get ready by winning three or four in a row after the break.

Down in Chi Town

February 13th, 2010
9:25 pm

If the team continues with performances like the 1st period from tonight’s game, there will be no playoffs. You have to be able to put up decent games against elite teams like Chicago to even begin thinking about a post-season appearance. We’re looking at squeezing in at the 8 seed if at all…

Brett

February 13th, 2010
9:27 pm

Pavelec is NOT the answer!!

Brendan

February 13th, 2010
9:48 pm

Well, Evander Kane has scored to make it a 3-2, game. Jimmy “second half” Slater scored the first one. If only he could start his season prior to Christmas, right?

Lee

February 13th, 2010
9:51 pm

Closer game than I thought….shouldn’t get my hopes up though.

Lee

February 13th, 2010
9:54 pm

Now I can!!!!!!!!!

Yung JB from MTL

February 13th, 2010
10:12 pm

Always Hoping

February 13th, 2010
10:18 pm

Chris-Enjoy your time off as you’ve earned it. Great job in giving us fans your behind the scenes blogs. Rest up and get ready for the playoff drive.

Brendan

February 13th, 2010
10:18 pm

Kane and Slater are now a +3, heading into the 3rd stanza. Down 3-1, after one period, the Thrashers have scored three (3!) unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead into third period. Goals by Kane, Afinogenov, and a PPG by Enstrom powered the Thrashers. But the springboard and catalyst of it all was Marty Reasoner, who lost his stick on a PK, but dove “face first” down to the ice to block a shot. The puck hit him in the forearm, and he left for medical treatment.

The play was so “gutsy,” it clearly inspired the rest of the team. Folks, they haven’t quit. I think they’re “mad.” They’re mad Kovy left. And they’re bound and determined to show the whole frekkin world … they weren’t a “one-man” team.

Now, Hossa did score tonight, for Chicago. It was a short-handed goal. Since then, Hossa has been invisible. And the Blackhawk fans have been silent as a church mouse. Atlanta took them out of the building with that three goal second period. Folks, this is impressive. Pavelec has battled back. Pavelec did NOT quit. He has made tough saves in this second period. And right now, it’s on him to hold the fort, here in the third period. And if he does it, when will the bloggers give him credit? This is the same Pavelec who made 50 saves to steal a game earlier this year from Ottawa. And stole a game from the Red Wings, I think, 2-0. (Unless that was Hedberg who made 40 saves. And I apologize if it was.)

Atlanta, to its credit, is treating this game as if a playoff berth were on the line. Here’s your boxscore: http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009020913.

In case you’re curious, it was the Islanders over Tampa Bay, Boston defeated Florida in the shootout, and Philadelphia won over Montreal. The Sabres toppled San Jose, 3-1. And Detroit bested Ottawa, 4-1.

Mike

February 13th, 2010
10:24 pm

Wow! If these guys keep playing this way, I have a feeling we will be in the playoffs. They are playing back to back games. They fall behind by two goals. Yet…they come out in the second and fight back. They don’t lay down. They don’t give up. So nice to see.

The future is very bright with Kane and Oyuda is making the Kovy trade a little easier to take every game they play. I know it has been said a lot lately, even by me, but with Kane, Little, Entrom, Bogo, Oyuda…that is a very nice core to build upon….you have to be excited about the future. I really feel Dudley has had his hand in a lot of the moves lately and if he can build us up to where Chicago is in a season or two with as bright a future as they have now…I don’t think the Thrashers will have to worry about attendance.

Let’s hope their third period is solid! GO THRASHERS!

Brendan

February 13th, 2010
10:24 pm

Carolina defeated New Jersey, 5-2. In the loss, Kovalchuk and Salmela picked up helpers on a Zach Parise goal. Carolina is just on fire, lately. What a difference since Staal was made Captain, and Cam Ward returned from injury. Holy cow. I think they’re 11-3. It’s something close to that, anyway. It does make ya wonder what could have been for Carolina this season, after being a Conference Finalist last season.

Folks, that was the best period of hockey played by the Thrashers this seasons. I was thinking it, but it was Darren Eliot who actually said it. A-men, brotha. Let’s bring it on home in the third period. We’re 20 minutes from two GARGANTUAN points in the standings.

Mike

February 13th, 2010
10:33 pm

Please resign Colby and Kubina over the break! What else do those two guys have to show you that they deserve to be resigned? What a hit Army!!!!

(Let’s hope Army and Kubina want to stay a few more years)

Brendan

February 13th, 2010
10:56 pm

Colby Armstrong LAID OUT Marian Hossa. To the point where Hossa answered his cellphone, but it wasn’t ringin’. The ‘Hawks team trainer asked Marian what month it was, he said, “March?”

But since then, the Blackhawks have tripped and crosschecked Armstrong to the ice, right in front of the refs, with no call, either time. I understand it. The refs don’t want this game to get out of control. So, they’re going to allow some Chicago liberties with Colby Armstrong, in an effort to tone it down. But rules exist for a reason. Last time I checked, tripping and crosschecking are standard penalties called in this league.

Brendan

February 13th, 2010
10:59 pm

Toby Enstrom is in the sin bin for a slewfoot on Dustin Byfuglien. With only 3:45 left in regulation, this PK is huuuuuge.

Brendan

February 13th, 2010
11:12 pm

We’re in overtime now, with 26 seconds left. Chicago had “too many men” on the ice, and the refs didn’t call it. Instead, they called a slash on Atlanta. So, we’re on the PK for the rest of the game. D’oh!

Brendan

February 13th, 2010
11:15 pm

My vote for player of the Game: Marty Reasoner. With an honorary mentions to Evander Kane, Pavelec, and Jim Slater. What the heck, throw in Antropov, Enstrom and on and on.

When will the Thrashers make Reasoner Captain? He’s the guy leading by example.

Shootout awaits!!

Always Hoping

February 13th, 2010
11:21 pm

I’ll take the point and be happy. A total team effort tonight as they bent but did not break in that 3rd period. Chicago gave it all they had and we stood strong.

Now let’s take a few weeks off and come back on 3/2 and PACK THE PLACE. These guys have earned our support and we need to show up in force.

Enjoy yhr Olympics everyone!!!!

Brendan

February 13th, 2010
11:25 pm

Thrashers lose in the shootout, but get a point. That big second period brought them back from a sure loss. Atlanta had a chance, but they went into a defensive mode and were badly outshot in the 3rd period. Great overall game, though.

Blackhawks 5, Thrashers 4. Toewz with the only goal in the shootout. Atlanta shooters were Little, Antropov and Bergfors.

Folks, against the third-best team in the NHL, in THEIR barn, I’ll take the bonus point any time.

stendec

February 13th, 2010
11:27 pm

First a statement of fact. The Thrashers are a better team without Ilya Kovalchuk. The Devils are a worse team with him. That said. I have a new favorite Thrasher! That man is Colby Armstrong. Sorry Johan Hedberg. I still admire and respect you pal. Colby knocked that traitor son of a betch Maryann Hossa back to whatever the Hell country he came from! I leapt from my seat with utter joy. I hate that untalented sack of shet! Was hoping a stretcher would be required. No such luck! Hope Colby repeats the brutal hit when a certain Russian Devil visits Atlanta. Pavs waas a damn sieve. Gave up three early goals then choked on the tying marker. Clueless idiot looked braindead in shootout! Weak link on this night was definitely between the pipes. Moose would have brought home that much needed extra point! Thanks John Petrino. Moron! Mission was not fulfilled. Five points were required not four. Damn. Just damn! ++STENDEC++

Always Hoping

February 13th, 2010
11:29 pm

The fact that we got points in each of these three games is impressive.

stendec

February 13th, 2010
11:50 pm

Chris. Enjoy the time! This is for you and other posters. After watching the team with IK and without him. How many points, in your opinion, did he cost the team during his final do not give a damn stretch? Be honest! My guess is a dozen. Yours? ++STENDEC++

stendec

February 14th, 2010
12:05 am

Okay wise a$$es. Moose gave up early goals then closed the door to secure very important REGULATION points! Pavs Lehtonen allowed three super quick goals, one to a damn player that I personally detest, only to have the guys pull his a$$ out of the fire with four goals. That was not enough for the jerk! Johan Hedberg would never have positioned himself out of that tying fourth goal. To make matters worse the goof looked positively brainless in the shootout. Bye bye needed extra point! Yes I am pi$$ed. Six points. Six very crucial points! Were all within the grasp of the Thrashers. They “grasped” only four of them! ++STENDEC++

Kovyoverrated

February 14th, 2010
12:23 am

Going to change my name to IsBogosianstoned?. Send him back down to get his sh&t straight. He plays and reacts like he’s taken a sedative. HIT SOMEBODY! HELLO, WAKE UP!
Colby is this team’s captain. Kane is the best talent to ever wear this uniform.
Was Antropov’s eyes closed for his turn in the shootout? He was taking his time (as usual) and stood up straight, then threw the puck at the goalie.
Got 4 points from the three games, played with grit a times, and with a feather at others.

Jason

February 14th, 2010
6:23 am

Are we all afraid to say the fat lady’s singing? ANOTHER shoot-out loss to go with so many others.
forget the playoffs. My money is now on Carolina – you don note that they are creeping ever so close and will make the playoffs I predict.
My precidtion #2: Thrash in last place at end of season. One of the many reasons is payroll: they are dead last in the Southeast Division and is there any other team lower in payroll?
I wish Hockey was as popular as it is in Raleigh or Nashville – two bastions of hockey lovers.
Selah

Jason

February 14th, 2010
6:27 am

Sorry ’bout the spelling, I haven’t awakened yet. And I almost forgot: The Owners and General manager have ruined a once-proud franchise. This was Atlanta’s last hope for hockey.
JPC

ThrasherTim

February 14th, 2010
9:26 am

6-10 now in OT/SOs….that’s some valuable points slipping away.

Colby

February 14th, 2010
9:49 am

Marian can I get you some advil?
I’m sorry keep your head up next time

NHL Ready

February 14th, 2010
9:56 am

When is JA going to realize that Pav’s is not the answer. Sit SIava over White??? I think with a good coach not JA the Thrashers would be a good team. Should have picked up the Carolina coach!! Also I think Toby flat out sucks as a D-man. Just watch him no body all stick and he gets run over by the big forwards. Looses the puck and gives up the puck with a little contact. I know people like him but I sure do not. He is good on the PK and on the PP that is about it in my eyes. Records who cares he plays a ton of mintues. Need one more strong D-man, Agressive Coach and a Solid backup Goalie for JH. Then were talkin playoffs.

Jimbo

February 14th, 2010
11:00 am

Thought that Enstrom played a strong game. Unfortunately, he got bull rushed by a 250 lb. forward and got a questionable penalty. He made smart moves behind the net and his pases were on target. Also, had a highlight move around the net and to open ice in front of the net. Too bad it didn’t result in a goal.

Without Kozlov and Kovy in the shootout, we’ve gone from a good shootout team to a bland, easy to stop group. There have to be a few guys with pet moves that goalies are not used to seeing. Peverley? Kane? Enstrom? Bogosian? Talk about easy to anticipate and stop moves- Little, Antropov and Bergfors.

rob

February 14th, 2010
11:08 am

Good effort, Pavs had no chance on 2nd goal, but Hossa’s shorty?!?!?! DAM. Dman got left out to dry on that one. Caught in no man’s land, neither forcing Hossa wide or cutting the pass to a point Pavs only had Hossa to worry about. Oh well.
Chris,
I had a thought, not sure good or bad, but a thought to throw out there nonetheless. Dudley doesn’t want the GM, and I can respect that. We need his talents, so let him do what he wants. That being said, how about going out and finding a GM/Coach. 1 person, 2 jobs. I think with Dudley doing his thing, that would be a good idea. That way we can get a coach gm on track with Dudley’s personnel moves. That would cut a salary out of the management, would make ASG happy there, would get rid of DW, and we need someone with a sense of DEFENSIVE hockey here. We simply can’t rely on 3+ goals a game to win every night, we need to be able to win 2-1 games just as easily. That means a STEADY goalie is KEY to our future well being. Our current combo is good for at LEAST 1 soft goal a game, and our defense (while improved with Oduya) is still suspect to being responsible for at least 1 as well. A strong goalie would nulify a lot of that.

Curly

February 14th, 2010
1:28 pm

Great game by the the Thrashers. I would have to pin the shoot-out loss on JA though. This is the second shoot-out in a row with questionable choices for the shooters.
Little – Awful in the shoot-out this year
Antropov – WTF ???
Bergfors – Unknown, Too much pressure to put on the Rookie new to the team

I would have prefered to see:
Kane – is hot right now and accurate with his shot
Afinogenov- The most exciting scorer on the team
Peverly – probably the best on the shoot-out after Koslov

Curly

February 14th, 2010
1:42 pm

Congratulations to Arturs Kulda on his first NHL Point! (Secondary assist on Max’s goal)

Drew

February 14th, 2010
2:12 pm

Curly – agreed

Ward

February 14th, 2010
3:27 pm

Great second period…best , perhaps, in two seasons…Blackhawks are a fine team…Thrashers did themselves proud!! This current team will be appreciated over the next 22 games…playoffs or not..these guys don’t give up…..they are a team……….

Chris Vivlamore

February 14th, 2010
4:13 pm

The Thrashers re-assigned Arturs Kulda to AHL Chicago on Sunday.

Lee

February 14th, 2010
5:33 pm

Ugh, either the Blackhawks have really good shootout shooters, or we have really bad ones.

Lee

February 14th, 2010
5:33 pm

Pavalec is not the answer for success in shootout.

JR

February 14th, 2010
7:35 pm

jimbo: what games were you watching. kovyhas been terrible in shootouts.

East Point Bob

February 15th, 2010
9:02 am

When you return Chris, start asking some tough questions of the GM for a change, Ok?

You are too much towing the company line from my viewpoint.

Brendan

February 15th, 2010
10:54 am

Hossa DID NOT PLAY for Chicago in their last game. I don’t think he’ll miss the Olympics. But I’m curious, now, as to how well he performs in them. And what his ice time will be.

For the record, I have no anomymosity for Hossa. I was never particularly in his camp, even as a Thrasher. But I don’t really think he’s done anything wrong. Hear me out, okay? Hossa re-signed with Ottawa for three years. They blindsided him with a trade to Atlanta. Hossa put up a career-best 100-points in 2006-07. Then, he wanted out, after the NY Rangers sweep. I can’t say as I blame him. I do wish that he would have preferred to stay. But, really, that’s his call. And in his shoes, I wouldn’t have any faith in the Atlanta Spirit or Don Waddell, either. So, he “honors” his contract, forcing a trade out at the deadline to Pittsburgh. In Pittsburgh, has a fabulous playoffs. Twenty-six points in 20 games.

Then, he FINALLY becomes a UFA, free to pursue his dreams of playing for the Red Wings in Detroit. He FORCES his way in, and has a “decent” year and 15-points in 23 playoff games. Not great. Not horrible, either. The Red Wings cannot keep him, due to salary cap concerns. So, he chooses Chicago, a traditional market that is up-n-coming. He signs for 12-years. Then discloses what many had suspected, that he had a bad shoulder, and needed corrective surgery since 2007. He finally gets it, after taking two shots at the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh and Detroit. Now, here Hossa sits, on the verge of the 2010 Olympics, TAGGED HARD by Colby Armstrong.

Hossa has had some bad luck. Some people might call it, “karma.” I thought the Penguins made Hossa a very fine offer to stay. In his shoes, I think I would have taken it. But that’s his call, not mine. I repeat, I have NOTHING against Marian Hossa. If he plays in the Olympics, I hope he does well.

KLS1

February 15th, 2010
12:36 pm

Marion Hossa carried the Thrashers the years he was here. He was a beast on the power play and the penalty kill. How many “superstar” players are on the penalty kill and actually backcheck…he did it all for this franchise for 3 years while our other “superstar” did figure 8’s.

I agree he is not the most physical player, but he was the most complete player in the league the years he was here. Its too bad he decided to leave but there is really nothing to knock him for other than that he did leave.

Lee

February 15th, 2010
1:41 pm

Hey what channel will the Winter Olympic Hockey be on?

Durocher

February 15th, 2010
2:18 pm

If we can – now – assume that the Thrashers are at least no worse than they were before the Kovalchuk trade, then I think the team will return to the playoffs. With 30 points in 27 home games, and 32 points in 33 away games, the Thrashers – with 14 home games and 8 away games left – are on pace for 86 points. That doesn’t seem like much, but it is a point or two better than what teams like Montreal, Tampa Bay and the New York Rangers are on pace for.

At some point – perhaps – we will be able to sniff at the success involved in simply making the playoffs, but we’re not at that point yet. I’ll be happy with that.

JLC

February 15th, 2010
4:36 pm

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear..does it make a noise? If the Thrashers leave town does anyone give a s*%t? NOPE! Please leave Atlanta asap!!!!!!

Schroeder

February 15th, 2010
4:51 pm

JLC,did you finally get DSL in your singlewide trailer,go find you a nice NASCAR blog to insult and stay off this one!!! If a tree falls on your trailer does it knock your camaro off it’s cinder blocks?

sisu

February 15th, 2010
6:39 pm

Woman’s hockey is off to a typical start, the two power houses are crushing the opposition…

Can’t wait for the men’s teams to start playing. Short tournament can end up being wacky.

I hope that the players that go for the Thrashers return healthy and ready to go for the final stretch. Looks like a lot of us will be living at the bulb in March with so many home games…

JR

February 15th, 2010
7:04 pm

ok.jlc asked for it: if a tree falls in the forrest and there is no one there to hear it, is the man still wrong?

you betcha!

JLC

February 15th, 2010
10:41 pm

Hey Schroeder…look here dude, I hate NASCAR as much as I hate hockey. The Thrashers have had 1 decent year in their existence. They have gotten rid of all their “star” players. They consistently lose $ and they have a weak fan base here in ATL. They are practically fielding a minor league team out there, they might as well change their name back to the Knights. The NHL should have done us all a favor and made their strike permanent.

JLC

February 15th, 2010
11:02 pm

Too prove to everyone that nobody cares about the Thrashers in this city…there are only 50 posts on here in over 2 days! Check how much other blogs get in just a few hours.