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

Get The Puck Out

February 16th, 2010
9:09 am

I’ll cheer for the thrashers, win, lose, or draw. I f you’ve got a problem with the Thrashers just GO AWAY. We the true fans will cheer for our team. You cheer for whatever you want. Just GO AWAY.

Smoothie

February 16th, 2010
10:29 am

JLC – your ignorance knows no bounds apparently. You may go now.

JR

February 16th, 2010
11:29 am

a bit hard to post prolifically when the nhl is shut down for a few weeks.

the thrashers sent out an email to their [and i assume hawk] season ticket holders offering hawk and thrasher tickets at reduced prices for the rest of the season. good move. may get some first timers to attend and they will hopefully create energy from the larger crowds.

Joyaman

February 16th, 2010
12:28 pm

OLYMPIC BREAK REFLECTIONS:

The three-game road trip just before the break revealed a few things:

1. The post-Kovy roster is much more of a team, as now every player knows he must pull his own weight for 60 minutes in order to win. No more 20-minute vacations.

2. The PK is improved with Oduya, while the PP needs an overhaul.

3. This team is capable of getting up for, staying in games with, and winning against legitimate playoff teams. The question remains, however, can they bring it for 60 minutes against the other bubble teams and the cellar dwellers?

4. While the remaining core seems promising, the younger players still need a productive, two-way-player captain as their motivator and mentor. There are a handful of veteran’s on the club that have the will to be that guy, but none of them are productive enough to carry the team on the off nights or through a sustained win streak (required at this point for a legitimate playoff run). For all of his production and his heart, Kovy has never been a two-way player and therefore will never be a role model.

Along with many of you, I am torn as to what the best possible outcome is for the Thrashers this season. This would be an easy answer for a club with a solid foundation: Grow playoff beards, make the cut, go as far as your talent and drive can take you in the playoffs (six-to-seven games vs. a #1 or #2 seed or into the second round against a #3 or #4). Look to next year with genuine prospects of moving upward.

Ah, but not so fast. This is after all, a DW Production, where eeking into the the playoffs on a bottom-feeder budget is the goal, and anything beyond that is gravy. This behavior will continue as long as his role of playing a GM on TV is renewed by the slumlord bosses at ASG. This side of me would rather have the team sink to its natural talent level to expose the man behind the curtain once and for all.

That being said, there’s no way I’ll ever root for an Atlanta NHL team to lose a game or a series. I just can’t allow my emotions to take over by paying a penny more in rent to the slumlords. Solution: Continue to watch and pull for the Thrash on TV and at viewing parties in hopes that the empty till at Philips forces out DW, ASG – or in my dream world, both.

Go Thrash!

JLC: Go check the attendance figures for the Flames, who made the playoffs in six of eight years. They blew away the numbers put up by the Hawks over the same period. 2006-2007 also proved that Atlantans will fill the building if there’s even a sniff of hope for success. The problem is that at ASG, the sniff is the only objective. They haven’t the will (ASG), the brains (ASG+DW), or a plans (see “brains”) to field a NHL contender.

j nes

February 16th, 2010
12:59 pm

JLC, do you have nothing better to do than post messages on a blog about a sport you claim to have no interest in? If so, I feel very sorry for you, but I am glad you found place where you can be heard. Keep venting and crying buddy, just let it all out. We Thrashers fans are a frustrated group too so we can identify. It must be hard not having any real friends or family to talk to.

JLC

February 16th, 2010
2:34 pm

Hey j nes…why don’t you go back north and take all of your hockey loving boys with you. ATL would be a better place without all of you. Hockey does not belong in the southeast. I’m sure there are some Canadien cities dying to get a frachise that it will support.

Mr. JLC

February 16th, 2010
3:47 pm

That’s enough JLC or Mom will put a password on the computer.

Brendan

February 16th, 2010
4:02 pm

USA 2, Switzerland 0, 2nd period.

fes

February 16th, 2010
4:04 pm

Schroeder

February 16th, 2010
4:08 pm

Brendan

February 16th, 2010
5:35 pm

3-1, USA over Switzerland. It’s a final. Ryan Malone and Bobby Ryan scored for the Americans, along with Backes, I believe.

Otto

February 16th, 2010
5:44 pm

As a native Georgian, I would rather see the other Pro Teams leave before the Thrashers. Any true southerner follows college teams.

JLC must have carpet bagger ancestors.

JLC

February 16th, 2010
11:26 pm

Boys, boys…just rufflin’ some feathers here. But in all seriousness, the overall fanbase for the Thrashers is pretty weak. The ownership group can never agree on where to go to lunch and hockey gets very little coverage on talk radio and the AJC. The NHL’s TV deal is with VS Network for god’s sake. Just saying…

JLC

February 16th, 2010
11:26 pm

What the hell is a carpet bagger anyways?

Wadd the Ell

February 17th, 2010
12:16 am

Rumor has it there’s another big deal in the works, even over the Olympic break: http://tinyurl.com/yda92hh

Mrs. JLC

February 17th, 2010
12:30 am

You’ll have to forgive our son JLC. We know he looks older and he is. Lord knows we tried to stop him from quitting high school.

It`s About Time

February 17th, 2010
1:22 am

Somebody needs to put a slapshot at one “JLC”, and put it dead-center, just a little above the 5-hole.

waddell please go

February 17th, 2010
7:14 am

Same owners same dead bed pan GM trade away people to help pittsburgh win stanley cup u see don did get team in playoffs oh wait that other team…further more u can shut u blog are bog whatever u still stink n not askin Teflon don (which is peelin off) waddell why fires the coach that took us to playoffs next year….never will i know hartley told waddell we need resign these guys n get some more defense n goalie to. Nope waddell fired cause he was upset hartley not let him be on ice behind bench actin like a coach…which we know waddell could not even win if coach his son Peewee hockey team…..its time for change n i not mean on in the white house either I mean here are this team will be in quebec in couple years n win a stanley cup to…..

JLC

February 17th, 2010
8:52 am

Wow, never knew this could be so much fun getting a bunch of pasty skinned cannucks all hot and bothered. This is probably the most turned on most of you have been in years. But let me repeat myself…The NHL’s TV deal is with the VS Network…pathetic!!!

kracker

February 17th, 2010
9:10 am

Don’t feed the trolls…

Brendan

February 17th, 2010
9:44 am

Hockey will be “just fine” once someone comes to own the team that wants it to truly succeed, rather than to just adhere to self-imposed budgets, as propped up by revenue-sharing dollars.

Brendan

February 17th, 2010
9:56 am

As a follow up, it’d be easier for the Thrashers to be starting over as an expansion team, than it is to win back its disenfranchised fan base. Think of it this way, “Isn’t it easier to find a new girl, than it is to be absolved for cheating on the one you’ve got?” That’s where the Thrashers are, in terms of treatment, by the Atlanta Spirit, LLC.

Otto

February 17th, 2010
10:44 am

The fan base is still strong. 3rd highest attendance for the Saturday night game after the trade. If Waddell was traded IMO many fans would come back even stronger.

Jack

February 17th, 2010
1:50 pm

Although are fearless leader denied it, any word on the strength of the rumor fot the thrash to move to canada?

Wadd the Ell

February 17th, 2010
4:09 pm

Jack, not sure about the move, but here’s yet another sign Waddell has just given up:
http://tinyurl.com/yda92hh

Lee

February 17th, 2010
5:36 pm

Finland – 5
Belarus – 1

Jack

February 17th, 2010
6:36 pm

Funny Wadd but unfortunately i am sure not too far from the truth.

waddell please go

February 17th, 2010
9:36 pm

hey hey folks winnipeg will have hockey next year we gone n when u have paper boy waddell sayin its humor we gone sounds like what happen in 1979 flames bye….sorry atlanta u should had kept full but alasowners the GM worst we hever had!

Brendan

February 17th, 2010
11:04 pm

For the record, I like Winnipeg … and I hope that, one day, they do get a team. Just not ours. Phoenix used to be Winnipeg Jets. Phoenix is faltering. Why not let Winnipeg reclaim its old team?

Some people re-marry their ex-wifes. It’s not entirely unheard of.

Andrew G

February 18th, 2010
11:48 am

It’s good to see this team playing as one. I love the grit and hard nosed play. I loved the hit Colby laid on Hossa. Unfortunately, it sparked the Blackhawks moreso. Good finish to a rough week. Just inch your way into the playoff standings. #6 would position them well for a playoff series against Buffalo.

Brendan

February 18th, 2010
3:21 pm

I don’t mean go on a ‘rant’ here, but yesterday or the day before, I heard John Kincaid, on 680TheFan between 6-7PM, state that “you cannot blame Don Waddell for not coming to terms with Kovalchuk.”

I didn’t happen to have my cellphone with me at the time, or I would have called the station to grill Mr. Kincaid on that particular point. I know a lot of the members of this blog don’t like Kincaid, and that’s fine if you don’t, but he’s not always wrong. Or always right. But I’d like to pin John Kincaid down on this point. Did he, or did he not, in the offseason of 2008, post an article on the 680TheFan website, advocating that Kovalchuk be traded, with two years remaining on his contract? The answer, here, is “Yes, he did.” And whyyyyy did he advocate doing that? Well, his answer is multi-dimensional. But I think it’s fair to characterize it as (1) the ownership was still in turmoil, (2) Don Waddell’s been ineffective as a GM, unable to build a winner, (3) there was potential for relocation problems down the road, and (4) team budgets are a concern, for a Superstar player trying to win the Stanley Cup.

Okay … well … then how can Kincaid turn-around to say, “Don’t call me up to blast Don Waddell, who made Kovalchuk the most lucrative contract offer in NHL history, for Kovy’s walking out the door.” Well John, didn’t you PREDICT this very course of action over two years ago in your article? Did you more than just hint around that the architect of the team, its GM, Donald Douglas Waddell, hadn’t done a very job of it, and that ultimately, Kovy would walk because of it? A simple “yes” or “no” will suffice. Well then, I’d say, fans CAN blast Don Waddell for the Kovalchuk departure. Should Waddell be EXCLUSIVELY blamed? No. No, I think there’s plenty of organizational blame to go around.

Don Waddell is given marching orders. He TRIES as best he can to fulfull those orders, to keep his job. I get it. Truly, I do. If the owners said, “Get me a Defenseman to anchor our blueline and fix our PP,” then Don’s got to go get one. Does it have to be Alexei Zhitnik? Probably not. What do the owners care who it is, so long as the move works. And in their short-sightedness, they’re pleased with the 2007 Southeast Division title banner, hanging from the rafters of Philips Arena. The move worked, for short-term gain, longterm loss.

Likewise, Waddell’s not going to just resign. He’ll work every last, blessed day of his contract, scraping for each and every nickel he’s got coming to him. It’s up to ownership to recognize the problem. Stop. You wouldn’t hire an arsonist to run the Fire Department, would you? You wouldn’t put a Priest in charge of an abortion clinic, would you? You wouldn’t send a GM in whom the players of the league have clearly given a vote of “no confidence” to renegotiate their contracts, would you? Errr. Well, ya see … (fumbling) … ummn.

Yeah, that’s the point. You can’t send Don Waddell to renegotiate Kovy’s contract when Kovy probably sees Waddell as part of the problem with remaining in Atlanta, in the Prime Years of his career. Potential free agents Manny Malhotra and Brian Campbell said “no” to Atlanta. Marc Savard, Frantisek Kaberle, Marian Hossa, and Ilya Kovalchuk … have said, “thanks, but no thanks” to Atlanta. How ownership keeps on missing this vote of “no confidence” is rather staggering to ponder. You can lead Atlanta Spirit owners to organizational control … but you cannot make them THINK. Apparently.

Brendan

February 18th, 2010
3:53 pm

Brendan

February 18th, 2010
3:54 pm

Okay, so it’s Kincade, not Kincaid. Shoot me.

Swami

February 18th, 2010
5:42 pm

Viv The Sieve?

B

February 18th, 2010
7:43 pm

Gary's Dad

February 18th, 2010
11:57 pm

Who are these Thrashers that you speak of. What do they do. Where do they live.

Lee

February 19th, 2010
6:52 am

Oh….I thought it was Kincaid too.

Jack

February 19th, 2010
11:02 am

Kincaid is a waste

Jack

February 19th, 2010
4:05 pm

Belkin please don’t pay, it is the best scenario for everyone

kracker

February 21st, 2010
1:34 pm

Belkin is a scumbag. At least he has to pay $2M by Thursday so maybe the Thrash can afford to upgrade the roster for the playoff push.

cheese

February 22nd, 2010
8:09 am

no wonder hockey is not as popular as the other professional sports. the writers take off when the olympics are on. if it was any other sport the other writers would still cover what is going on with the olympics. there is just not much coverage all year round.

JR

February 22nd, 2010
10:49 am

the AJC has always given short shift [is that the ciorrect word?] to the thrashers. chris travels on the team plane otherwise the newspaper wouldn’t have him at the away games. plenty of info on nascar and college sports though. even high school sports get better coverage.

JR

February 22nd, 2010
10:50 am

of course, the word was correct, not ciorrect. ciorrect is a hurling term used to describe the hapless US women’s team.

cheese

February 22nd, 2010
11:07 am

the media needs to do their job to keep the interest in their respective cities. chris could of at least covered on all whats going on in hockey up in vancouver. instead he is taking a break!? you are right JR, better coverage even in high school sports. i dont hear writers taking a break due to the olympics for the falcons or hawks. they even put up blogs throughout the offseason for their respected sports.

DWTOO

February 23rd, 2010
11:22 am

Well, I’ll stick up fro Chris. He’s taking some time off – he’s entitled to it. What the AJC should do is assign someone to pick up for him to cover the Olympics.

JR

February 23rd, 2010
1:09 pm

i suspect that given his druthers, chris would be in vancouver. the AJC is the problem. their sports section is a ghost of what it was just a year or two ago.

Jack

February 24th, 2010
9:12 am

you would thnk he would take vacation when the Thrashers are not playing like July or August not during an olympic break and when a trade deadline is approaching. Great Job AJC. They sure know how to cover sports and news….