Update: Thrashers prep for big game with Lightning

The Thrashers practiced in Duluth Friday morning before leaving for Tampa Bay and a date with the Lightning Saturday.

The Thrashers are 1-2-2 against the Lightning this season, losing the last four games.

The good news: The Thrashers will enter the game tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference. They better news: They have two games in hand on the Rangers and three on the Canadiens, the teams that share their 66 points.

Everyone is here from the forwards and the lines remain the same as last night:

Orange: Bergfors-Antropov -Little

Grey: MacArthur-Peverley-Afinogenov

Light blue: Kane-Slater-Armstrong

Red: Thorburn-Reasoner-Artyukhin

Yellow: White-Boulton-Kozlov

Ron Hainsey, Johnny Oduya and Christoph Schubert did not practice. Coach John Anderson said no injuries, just maintenance days.

Anderson said Hedberg will start against Tampa on Saturday and did not rule out that he could start again on Sunday against Carolina.

The last piece of news: Niclas Bergfors has been credited with the Thrashers’ power-play goal in the second period Thursday. He had been originally credited with the goal, but following the game it was awarded to Nik Antropov. Another scoring change Friday gave the goal back to Bergfors.

81 comments Add your comment

Bob

March 5th, 2010
11:22 am

Huge game tomorrow. We can separate ourselves in this 4pt game with Tampa and really set it up nicely for the rest of the run. They’re going to have to work Pavelec into the lineup to keep Moose rested, but not tomorrow night.

Thrasher_Ed

March 5th, 2010
11:23 am

Good game last night! Not a great game but good. The Thrash took advantage of mistakes and took care of business against a team the should beat. Now for the hardest part of the week, Tampa and Carolina back to back. We need to get these 4 points! The Thrashers must continue to take 2 points against inferior teams below them in the standings. Work hard boys! We need 4 points from this weekend.

Irish-Heel

March 5th, 2010
11:28 am

Look in the rear-view mirror. The Canes are coming.

Jack

March 5th, 2010
11:28 am

other than the 3rd period it was geat to see the thrashers dominate a team, and see the new guys produce

Zim

March 5th, 2010
11:30 am

Anybody else a little uneasy with the Bogosian-Schubert pairing? The chemistry doesn’t seem quite there yet and both are prone to aggressive decisions that can take them out of position.

Smoothie

March 5th, 2010
11:32 am

Bob, tough call on Moose. I think I’d rather let him rest for Sunday against the Canes. He’s usually progressively worse by the 3rd or 4th game of a consecutive start stretch. Pavs should be charged up and ready to go. Plus, Pavs has allowed 11 goals in 3 games vs Carolina.

Pavelec, then Moose, in my humble opinion.

Smoothie

March 5th, 2010
11:34 am

Zim, I’m right there with ya. Check out my post towards the bottom of Rawhide’s fan blog. I want Chelly, NOW. Or Kulda even.

Jack

March 5th, 2010
11:34 am

Not this season Carolina will be lucky not to uncork the champagne in the cellar Sorry Irish

Jack

March 5th, 2010
11:37 am

Agree with you Smoothie send Pav to the TB game, unfortunately we will be playing against the TB goals that is undefeated against us. Nitymaki.

BG33Brown

March 5th, 2010
11:43 am

I am very nervous about this weekend. We have to get at least 2 points, which you would normally think, “hey two teams below us-no problem.” Problem: never beaten Nitty and a charging Carolina.

DON’T take your foot off the gas. Go Thrashers!!

Want My Floor Seats?

March 5th, 2010
11:54 am

Artyukhin had the Play of the Night on NHL On The Fly for that breakaway that must’ve looked like a derailed locomotive heading straight for the Isles’ net! Freakishly huge and fast…Dudley deserves double-KUDOS for that theft.

They’re playing so unselfishly that I think it’s even hurt them a few times over the past couple of games…Overpassing, killing their own power plays looking for the ‘perfect’ shot, leaving it for someone else when they should just take the shot. But they’re playing so well right now that it’s hard to believe that 4 of these guys are still very new and 2 of them even scored before their bags were unpacked!

If it’s a dream, please don’t wake me…

Game7

March 5th, 2010
11:57 am

WOW! Go Thrashers Go!!!

ChippersLoveChild

March 5th, 2010
12:24 pm

Artyukhin has played one game here, I wouldn’t call it a “theft” just yet. Canes scare me, they have won 7 in a row and are playing really, really well. I’d rather have Moose for Sunday.

Hollywould

March 5th, 2010
12:24 pm

I agree with Fllor Seats. They made some good passes last nite but it seemed they tried to hard to make
passes than shots. But hey, If that is the worst problem I can live with it. #4 needs to get his act together.

Dwayne

March 5th, 2010
12:28 pm

Thrashers are in a must win situation, ride the Moose!!!!! Don’t give me the 37 year old back up crap..
I have fired DW as GM for the Thrashers, he is now just a PR guy.
RW is the new GM.
RW does not like the spotlight, not because he is a scout/team builder, but because he has the worst head of hair…ever..it looks like a dead, rotted squirrel climbed on top of his head and decided to stay there.

Durocher

March 5th, 2010
12:34 pm

If the Thrashers can beat the Lightning in Tampa Bay – where the Lightning have only lost 8 games so far this season – then I think we really can begin to believe that the Thrashers are playoff bound.

Gwinnett Fred

March 5th, 2010
12:35 pm

Kudo’s to the Sharks for scoring twice late to beat the Habs in regulation last night!

TIME TO LAY A ‘L’ ON NITTIMAKI!!!!!

And since the current team is nothing like any previous Thrashers team he has faced, hopefully his mystical domination goes away!!!

Charlie

March 5th, 2010
12:39 pm

Floor Seats – glad to hear that Artyukhin got recognition for that play. I was sitting in the third row behind Biron and it was just plain awesome to watch it develop. You could see at the blue line that Artie knew he could take the defenseman wide, and then what a burst. Locomotives cannot corner like he did as he closed on the net! Everything we read after the deal mentioned his speed and size, but wow – seeing is believing. If he never again does anything remotely as spectacular, this will always be remembered. Cautiously impressed by the energy out there the last two games.

GaVaHokie

March 5th, 2010
12:41 pm

That Bergfors goal through the Antropov screen last night on the PP was brilliant… such great hockey awareness on the youngster.

It was relaxing just watching the Thrashers play a “north and south” game last night instead of dangling, and doing figure 8’s all over the ice.

Want My Floor Seats?

March 5th, 2010
12:42 pm

True, Arty’s only played one game here…But when’s the last time a Thrasher was recognized for Play of the Night (and sorry, but #17 doesn’t count). Kubina says of Arty, “He is so fast on the ice, one of the fastest guys I’ve ever played with…”

Did you see how the Islanders were just WATCHING him blow past them like they couldn’t believe their eyes? I like it…

Anyone else notice the Thrashers got promoted in the AJC to C1-C2 instead of the normal C4 or C6 coverage? Now if someone will pony up and buy Jeff Schultz a ticket and force him to go and actually watch this team play…Ah, but I dream again…

Gwinnett Fred

March 5th, 2010
12:42 pm

Nice to see Begfors & Oduya really starting to be comfortable in their new surroundings too. Combined +8 in their last 4 games!

Darren

March 5th, 2010
12:42 pm

Canes have been playing strong, but they’d need to jump 5 teams just to get in 9th. Atlanta has at least a game in hand on all the teams below them. I wouldn’t be worried about Carolina at this point.

And yes, time to slay that damned Finnish dragon.

GaVaHokie

March 5th, 2010
1:01 pm

Great article from Puck Daddy today on Yahoo, praising the Thrashers… he brings up a good point. While the April schedule looks really daunting. Washington, Pittsburgh and New Jersey should be locks for the playoffs by April. They might start resting guys or play a safer game, etc.

I think the key in April is to really boost the physicality with Boulton, Arty, Thorsy, Schubie and Army and get those teams to back off for fear of injury before the playoffs.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/The-Race-in-the-East-Why-Atlanta-rsquo-s-a-soli;_ylt=AkmsNTl83Eq6G01hbfKVRmV7vLYF?urn=nhl,226117

TheFan79

March 5th, 2010
1:08 pm

With the new addition on thrashers team i believe we can beat Tampa.

Want My Floor Seats?

March 5th, 2010
1:09 pm

Hey Charlie, I saw you jumping up and down on the 3rd row! (lol)

I should add that Artyukhin came on with fresh legs and went straight for the puck…No hesitation whatsoever. I actually think they talked about it and ran it. Once he controlled the puck behind our net, Pevs, Oduya, Kubina and even Mad Max didn’t even go with him. They just let him blast off and kind of watched the play as well.

Maybe it was one of those “we’re up by 5-1 and the new guy wants to show the fans what he’s got…Sounds good…Let’s do it!” kind of things. It was just what the doc ordered! Maybe he can steamroll Niitty a time or two? You know, to shake him up a little, not kill him though! On second thought, it probably won’t take two as one time should be quite sufficient… 8)

Smoothie

March 5th, 2010
1:18 pm

Good, Bergie got his goal back! Didn’t think Antro got a piece of that as it didn’t seem to change directions…good screen though by big Nik.

Gotta keep Berg-force One way ahead of Koval-choke…now 5 to 2 BFO.

English Teacher

March 5th, 2010
1:28 pm

“There were four or five of us [Sabres rumored to be traded]. I’m actually excited to be here. I’m glad it was me. They wanted to get a big third-line guy there and they didn’t see me fitting in. I think it’s a good fit here.”

That’s MacArthur. If you’ve seen the video of that interview, you know that he said those things with excitement in his voice rather than just making the bes out of his situation. THAT’s the kind of players we’ve been needing – guys like Peverley who want a chance to play, who understand that it’s a team sport, and who hustle all the time.

Man, I’m stoked!

Dwayne

March 5th, 2010
1:51 pm

Someone already mentioned it once, I’ll ask it again Viv, please ask BergForce One and OOOOOOduuuuuyaaaaa how do they feel now about coming here?

Smoothie

March 5th, 2010
1:59 pm

Everyone, which do you prefer?

Game 1 @ TB Moose Pavs
Game 2 v Car Pavs Moose
Game 3 v Nsh Moose Moose
Game 4 @ CBJ Pavs Pavs
Game 5 v NYR Moose Moose

I prefer column 2 since we’ve been giving up too many shots lately. Even Johnny said in the post-game that Moose had to work too hard last night. Hopefully, he’ll drive home that point in practice and the boys will do a better job in front of Hedberg. Give up another 35-40 shots and we are toast vs TBL.

I don’t like this decision by JA to start Moose tomorrow. If Moose gets rested instead, he’s fresh and ready to go against the Canes who’ve owned Pavelec. Then there’s a day off and Moose can come back vs Nashville before resting again for Friday’s Fight Night game against NYR. Plus, we should be able to beat the Blue Jackets even with a shaky effort from Pavelec. I hope I’m wrong, but we’ve given up an avg of 36.5 shots against in Moose’s last 4 starts. Ungood.

Bob

March 5th, 2010
2:12 pm

Smooth, I think Anderson has lost all confidence in Pavelec. And this club is on a roll and he probably wants to bank as many pts as possible. May hay while the sun is shining and all that. I could actually see him playing Moose Sunday as well if he has a relatively easy night tomorrow.

PC

March 5th, 2010
2:18 pm

Wasn’t the Yellow line changed to Gold?

KLS1

March 5th, 2010
2:21 pm

I really like not talking about Kovalchuk and now focusing on building a team. This playoff spot is there for the taking so we’ll see how the team responds.

Ride the moose…he will give you a chance to win every night.

PC

March 5th, 2010
2:23 pm

Saw my first game of the season last night (no excuses). was left wondering who was out there and what did they do with my thrashers. excellent puck movement, communication, and hustle on defense. the Islanders looked like the old thrash. we just smothered an inferior opponent. Give DW (or Duds) some props. CJA has nice toys to play with.

PC

March 5th, 2010
2:25 pm

oh, and the one bright spot for the Isle was a nice three pass combo that Moose eventually stoned at the doorstep. had to be demorilizing.

Want My Floor Seats?

March 5th, 2010
2:36 pm

Play MOOSE until he falls out face down in the ice. Pavs had some good games early in the year and then something happened?!? We were at the Oct 22nd Caps game when he had the 190 ft goal scored against him. Maybe that was it?

Pavs needs some confidence games, but there aren’t any now that we’re in a playoff race. JA will ride Moose until he loses, which he will of course. Then give Pavs a shot…But if he has 2 goals against him in the 1st 10 minutes, pull him…

ThrashDawg

March 5th, 2010
2:48 pm

Be consistent folks….throw a few fire DW lines out there in some of these posts! lol…

Want My Floor Seats?

March 5th, 2010
2:58 pm

OK…How about a “Promote Rick Dudley!” line? Does that qualify?

GaVaHokie

March 5th, 2010
3:05 pm

Be consistent folks….throw a few fire DW lines out there in some of these posts! lol…

I think the best thing about Waddell now is his willingness to listen to his scouts, coaches and Asst. GM…

Artyukhin had to be a Rick Dudley call… Cunneyworth probably helped with the MacArthur trade. But it takes someone like Waddell to make the right offer.

ThrashDawg

March 5th, 2010
3:16 pm

How about giving Waddell credit for hiring Rick Dudley?

GaVaHokie

March 5th, 2010
3:17 pm

Maybe it was one of those “we’re up by 5-1 and the new guy wants to show the fans what he’s got…Sounds good…Let’s do it!” kind of things.

I definitely think the Arty rush was a called play… Anderson’s been known to do that to get a guy comfortable on the ice.

Coach told Bogosian to do that a few times… “He said, sometime tonight Zach, I want to see you take the puck end to end.”

GaVaHokie

March 5th, 2010
3:17 pm

ThrashDawg… agreed.

lord stanley

March 5th, 2010
3:31 pm

All I have to say is moose moose and more moose. Then change pav from goalie to waterboy

PC

March 5th, 2010
3:32 pm

It is consistent to give credit when it is due. This team is for real.

PC

March 5th, 2010
3:35 pm

You can tell by the tone of stendec’s posts. All the best for you and yours stendec.

Lee

March 5th, 2010
4:06 pm

Man, I know it’s only been two games, but we’ve played pretty well. Hopefully we’ll keep it up and march our way to the playoffs, but we have a lot of close rivalry games that will be tight, and we need to keep up the way we are playing. The only negative thing I have to say is the fact that we go outshot last night, and we relied on Moose too much. Most of the time, he’ll be there to make the save, but we can’t always be that relaxed. I belive we DO have a chance at the playoffs, but that is if we win the majority of the games. To have a ligitamate chance of getting far in the playoffs, we need to be 7th or higher so that we at least have a better chance of beating a team than the #1 seed (probably Washington). Keep it up and GO THRASHERS!

Midfield

March 5th, 2010
4:11 pm

Want My Floor Seats? – as a thread nick – I’m not a big fan of Schultz, and I’d love to be wrong on this, but, based on all accepted metrics, he is about right about the outlook. Barring some magical transformation – call it special chemistry or whatever – this team is hardly bound for a deep PO run. The back-to-back wins over Florida and Isles are a bit short of hockey greatness sign. High props for optimism, though.

Smoothie

March 5th, 2010
4:22 pm

Scoring Stats since Koastal-chuk’s departure:

Antropov: 3 G (1 PP) – 8 A – 11 pts (+2)
Bergfors: 5 G (1 PP) – 1 A – 6 pts (+4)
B.Little: 2 G (0 PP) – 4 A – 6 pts (+3)

LAB line: 10 G – 13 A – 23 pts (+9) in 7 games

Kane-Slates-Army line: 5 G – 4 A – 9 pts (+4)

Peverley: 2 G – 3 A – 5 pts (+1)
Afinogenov: 3 G (1 PP) – 3 A – 6 pts (+3)

Hmmm, every one of our Top 9, including C-Mac & Arty, are plus players in the last 7 games. Let’s hope this trend continues. The only minus players since the trade are Boulton, Kozlov, Enstrom & Kubina. Tobes & Kubes are a combined -3 but they have 4 PP points and 11 points total during this 7 game stretch. How do you do?!!

GaVaHokie

March 5th, 2010
4:33 pm

Enstrom and Kubina are also top pairing, facing top line opponents.

Gwinnett Fred

March 5th, 2010
4:46 pm

Suggestion for an off day blog:

What are the reasons why players take the number they have? Generally, nobody in their right mind takes an offbeat number like 61, 76, 77 unless that number has some meaning to them.

Lee

March 5th, 2010
5:30 pm

Gwinnett Fred – Kubina wears 77 because he was born in ‘77. As for the others, I don’t know.